Ode to Antonia the Astronomer.

On this day in 1866, American astronomer Antonia Maury was born in Cold Spring, New York. Antonia’s grandfather and uncle, John William and Henry Draper, were both pioneering astronomers and exposed the Maury’s children to science at a young age. Antonia graduated from Vassar College in 1887 with honors and went on to study at the Harvard College Observatory, where she worked as a “Harvard Computer” (a group of highly skilled women who processed astronomical data).

This quilt, titled “Austin Halley 86” was made in 1979 by Kathleen L. Briggs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From this record: “Designed as part of a series on astronomy. To commemorate Halley’s comet, which was visible in Austin, Texas, but not in Milwaukee. Each fill in section has a different design as an historical record of the comets.” The inscription on the quilt includes the exact time Briggs finished the quilt: 9:00 p.m. CDT 09/02/86.  Documented during the Wisconsin Quilt History Project.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.


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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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