Have I mentioned that I’ll do almost anything for history? This month I’ve done something that I never thought I’d do. I curled my hair. I know most American females try this at some point, but I never had. I’ve seen a curling iron, my grandmother owned curlers… ya.
Strawbery Banke has a special program during the month of November for schools that might not have enough money for normal field trips, and for schools particularly learning about harvest holidays. For this program I have taken on almost all the available roles, including a new-to-me role in the parlor of the Governor’s Mansion. Way back when I started at Strawbery Banke in the ‘90s I also worked the Thanksgiving program, and I also got a new role. I played Lizzie Sullivan, the Irish maid stationed in the kitchen helping groups of school kids learn about Mottoes and put together charity baskets. This year Lizzie is going to make another appearance, but not until December (so stay tuned!)
The new role is a front-of-the-house role, I am playing Susan Goodwin Dewey, the youngest child of Governor Ichabod Goodwin and Sarah Parker Rice Goodwin. Susan is recently married to a naval officer and living at home with her father the former governor, her mother, a few other sisters, some nephews and nieces, and the 4 servants. When given the new role I knew I would not have time to do justice to a full formal Victorian outfit, so I asked for a museum owned outfit, and luckily they had a lovely one that mostly fit me. The day I tried it on I was discussing accessories with the head of Role-Players and she said that I should curl my hair. Curl. My. Hair.
I looked through my Victorian costume books and photo books, I looked at fashion plates and decided that yes, it would be better if I curled my hair. My hair has a little wave to it, but only a bit of a curl if my hair is short. My hair is not short at the moment, it is fairly long, and heavy, it is not at all curly at this length. My first step in figuring out how to curl my hair was to put a desperate call out on Facebook. I have awesome friends who suggested sleeping in paper curls or rag curls. So first I tried to wet down my hair and sleep with little strips of paper in my hair. I wore a knitted hat over top and it was not too bad, but I did not part my hair beforehand, and they turned out more frizzy than curly. The next time I tried it I used scraps of rags and a spray bottle that was half water and half setting lotion. When I took the rags out the next morning I had long loose curls that I looped around a bun. Not too bad for my second try!
|Half rags half curls|
|Spikey paper curls|
|Me as Mrs. Dewey, with really curly hair.|