Vanity, thy name is Charlotte

The MSU Campus Archaeology site has a new post by Katy Meyers Emery about a Frozen Charlotte doll found in one of their digs.

The name comes from a poem, and later a song, about a young woman who, not wanting to cover up her pretty dress, refused to dress warmly for a long sleigh ride with her beau. When they arrived at the party, he discovered, to his horror, that Charlotte had frozen to death.

The small, inexpensive dolls do not have moving limbs – i.e., they look frozen. They were quite common in the mid to late 1800s, and may also have been easily lost or broken,  as they turn up  not infrequently on historical archaeological sites.

The photos below show some of the Charlottes  (as well as other toys and trinkets) excavated from house sites in a former late nineteenth century working class neighborhood in Jersey City, New Jersey.

  Images from:

Howson, Jean, and Leonard G. Bianchi

2014 Covert-Larch: Archaeology of a Jersey City Neighborhood. Data Recovery for the Route 1&9T (25) St. Paul’s Viaduct Replacement Project Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ. Cultural Resource Unit, The RBA Group, Inc.

The original post is at MSU Campus Archaeology


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