Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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NSCA: Machette & Taylor Coverlet, Crary & Beach

Dr. Mason Crary name is inscribed Dr. M. Crary with an image of bloodletting tools. (It’s hard to unsee, once you see it and think of what it shows.) He was born in 1779 in Connecticut, from there the family moved to Albany, NY where he studied medicine. In 1804 he moved to Luzerne Co where he met the Nathan Beach family, the first white settlers in the area and married the daughter Desire. Nathan Beach, an attorney, was very influential in Pennsylvania serving in the legislature and various offices for the Susquehanna and Lehigh Canal as well as the turnpike.

In 1814 Dr. Crary moved to Philadelphia where he practiced as a Dr. and sold his own medicine “Dr. Crary’s Anti-bilious Family Pills.” In 1824 he sold his practice to his assistant and returned to the Salem Township Luzerne Co. He and his wife (Desire Beach) whose name is inscribed Mrs. Crary on the coverlet, had 10 children, but only 9 are inscribed on the coverlet. Erasmus D. Crary the oldest child born in 1807 would grow up to marry Susan Machette and probably the reason for their inscriptions being included. To see more of the Crary and Beach family blocks follow this link.

Another NSCA, but a mixed album version (not all the blocks are cut-out chintz applique) has prominent Luzerne County members inscribed on the quilt. This quilt would be made six years after the Machette & Taylor Coverlet in 1846 with 49 squares all inscribed. The upper left panel is inscribed “Presented to George Washington Reed of Philadelphia/The able and eloquent champion of the cause of/temperance/by The Ladies of Wyoming and Exeter/Luzern Co [sic], PA Sept 1846. (There were several articles in the newspaper advertising speeches by George Washinton Reed, as well as one warning about falsehoods being spread about him.) The upper right corner of the back bears names of those who made additional contributions to the quilt besides those on the front.