Journalistic Licence

220-year-old dress given to Rock Ford: Washington, fashion hero

I found this article through Lahbluebonnet's blog, Teacups Among the Fabric, and I didn't want to leave an essay in her comments, so here I go!

It's interesting to watch the video after reading the article - I mean, I know that journalists often write ... basically whatever they feel like after interviewing academics, but that's a pretty big difference.  Trussell, the museum worker, implies pretty heavily that the museum doesn't really believe the family's story about Washington giving the dress - she points out that it was probably originally made in the late 1770s (which I agree with; family histories often link objects to important historic events or places they don't belong with) - but the writer of the article, Knapp, states that Washington gave it to Mrs. Hand.  Knapp quotes Trussell as saying that the gown "would not have gone out of style", but she seems pretty clear in the video interview that older women might lag behind the times rather than that the gown was timeless.  (I have to wonder about the other quotes given in the article - she never uses the word "embroidery" in the video, so why would she call the brocading that at another time?)

So let this example be a warning to not take newspaper articles at face value, and to always be cautious when talking to journalists!


  1. Fly trim and fabric so similar to the dress in your previous post. It's a lovely gown.

    1. I did think it was funny how similar the two are. I think AIHA's is better, though!


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