ca. 1900

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

"The Lion and Palm," one of the finest and most popular commercial patterns for hooked rugs sold by Ebenezer Ross of Toledo, Ohio, was actually a copy of a pattern published earlier by Edward Sands Frost of Biddeford, Maine. In 1868, Frost helped popularize the craft of rug hooking by developing a specialized hook. A cobbler by trade, Frost created patterns to help sell his new hook. So popular were his patterns, that he developed stencils in order to reproduce them more efficiently. By 1884, he had amassed enough unique patterns to publish them all in book form. Frost's ingenuity transformed the American craft of rug hooking by making it more popularly accessible. Now anyone with enough time and spare fabric could use prepared patterns to create a rug. It also helped spread the popularity from its mid-century origins in Maine and New Hampshire to the rest of New England by the 1870s and the rest of the nation by the turn of the century. As the popularity of Frost's patterns became evident, others copied his patterns for their own publications; by the end of the century, they were even available from such mainstream outlets as Sears, Roebuck, & Co. and Montgomery Ward.

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  • Title: Rug
  • Date Created: ca. 1900
  • Location: Colebrook, CT
  • Subject Keywords: lion
  • Type: Hobbies and Crafts
  • Medium: wool, hooked
  • Object ID: 84.18