Embroidered Maps

4th June 2021

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, women’s education was very different to what it is today. It has recently emerged that young women at the time were encouraged to put their needlework skills to work in order to learn about geography.

After almost 20 years of research, Judith A. Tyner has produced a book that gathers all the information about this fascinating aspect of history. Through studying historic map samplers as well as document archives and various other aspects of history, the author has uncovered the painstaking efforts that girls at the time made to learn about the world.

One of the more fascinating discoveries were the embroidered globes from the early 19th century from the Westtown Quaker Boarding School near Philadelphia. The author speculates that these amazing artefacts helped their makers to understand longitude, latitude and the movements of the earth and sun.

You can read a detailed review of Judith A. Tyner’s ‘Stitching the World: Embroidered Maps and Women’s Geographical Education’ HERE. After checking it out ourselves, it definitely gave us pause for reflection when we next opened the Google Maps app on our phone!

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