Solar System Quilt

I can’t remember now where I first saw this, but this has been mentioned on other popular blogs.  It’s a Solar System Quilt made in 1876 by Iowan Ellen Harding Baker.  I have to add this to my list of Coolest Things I’ve Ever Seen (okay, I don’t really have such a list but maybe I should start one).

The quilt is owned by the National Museum of American History; they have a little more information about the Quilt here.  While it’s not really to-scale, I thought it was interesting that Baker gave the earth no special place.  The earth and moon are just two little dots (a few stitches worth of effort) just to the right of the sun.  Harding made the quilt in the days before the discovery of Pluto, so she shows the eight known planets, the Asteroid Belt, and what I take to be Halley’s Comet.  Halley’s appeared in 1835 and 1910, but in 1876 astronomer A. S. Herschel (grandson of the great William Herschel, discoverer of Uranus) linked the Eta Aquarid meteor shower with the Comet, so perhaps that news is what inspired Baker to include certain details in her impressive quilt.

Something to ponder alongside the fact that American girls of the early 21st century are losing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).  Maybe they should take up quilting.

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