Covering the Basics

By Carrie Blough, Curator, Historical Society of Frederick County | Photography by Turner Photography Studio | Posted on 06.17.13 – History, Timepiece

Like other areas in 19th century America, Frederick County Boasted its fair share of weavers, including Andrew Corrick and Joshua Corrick, likely father and son. Andrew Corrick was listed in the 1840 U.S. Census as a manufacturer in Middletown. During this time, the weaving trade was going through significant change, as the new Jacquard system became common, making the craft faster and easier.

A coverlet, a common bed covering of the era, featured a wool weft and a linen or cotton warp. This made for a very warm blanket. The wool was usually dyed red or blue, and the linen or cotton was left a natural color. A variety of patterns and styles were available with Jacquard weaving. Customers would select the pattern and color of their made-to-order coverlet. The patterns included were typically German–distelfinks and roses and other plant life. The patterns the Corricks used were called “Double Rose” and “Double Lilly and Sunburst.” (The coverlet pictured here features the “Double Lilly and Sunburst” pattern.) Although the Corricks did not date their coverlets as many other weavers did, their work can be dated from the 1830s to the 1850s, due to the popularity and availability of the technology.

Just as today, care and precision went into the selection of one’s bedding in the 19th century. The coverlet was an important piece in a household, displaying the family’s ability to purchase the item and the beautiful pattern and colors of the weave. Since coverlets were made to order, customers were required to return to the weaving workshop and collect their item when it was finished. Occasionally a customer had to be reminded. Andrew Corrick placed an ad in the Catoctin Whig in 1846 urging Peter Dorey “and others to retrieve their ‘Coverlit’ that was finished for more than a year.”