In Their Words

"our 'virtuous sweatshop'"

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We are now filling two or three small orders and getting done one large order-a fifty dollar door-curtain (on tow cloth, worked in course threads) and there are seven women in what Ellen calls our 'virtuous sweat-shop' every day!

Margaret C Whiting, Deerfield, letter to Emily Balch, Wellesley, MA, October 25 [1896]. Whiting Family Papers PVMA Library.

The business model of the Deerfield Society of Blue and White Needlework was fundamentally different from that of the Society of Deerfield Industries. Whereas Deerfield Industries members exhibited together, but controlled both the design and creation of a work on an individual basis, Blue and White Society needleworkers, were paid by the finished piece to expertly execute the embroidery designs of the Society's leaders Ellen Miller and Margaret Whiting.