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Kate's 150th

Kate Gleason, Visionary: A Tribute on Her 150th Birthday

Category

Exhibition

Items on display in the exhibition occurring November 19 — December 18, 2015

Trading Cards

Come to the exhibition each week to collect a full set of Kate Gleason Trading Cards. A set of four will be issued each week of the show. Collect all 16!

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Cucumber Pickles!

Come to the exhibition in the Sunken Gallery to pick up a copy of a recipe for pickles. This recipe is recorded in the “Black Book.” Here Kate recorded a wide range of information from her personal and professional life, including recipes, clothing and domestic expenses, and notes on travel as well as philanthropic donations and attendance at meetings. For more, visit Rochester Voices.

Votes for Women

The purse and the $20 bank note, also reproduced in the exhibition, belonged to Anna Howard Shaw. The pouch contained the note when it was given to Kate’s sister, Eleanor Gleason. It is not known if Kate owned such a pouch, but as a suffragist, it is likely that she did own similar items.

Courtesy: Special Collections, Lavery Library, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY

Rochester Trailer Ad

In 1915, Kate’s professional pursuits shifted from machine tooling to trailer manufacturing. As an associate of Rochester Trailer Car Company (later, Northway Trailer), Kate worked with George Hiller to accumulate patents for draft-bars and draft-gears that would enable the cars to carry 1200 pounds and to travel at speeds up to 30 mph. Technically advanced, the trailer became, for Kate, a canvas for enhancement in other areas, too, as noted by her design of a “Hi-Speed Trailercar” — a camper that was “a practical and luxurious movable hotel on wheels” giving the comforts of home. By 1921, interest in the Hi-Speed Trailer car corporation had waned; Gleason sold the property to Crosman Brothers Seed Company.

Courtesy: East Rochester Department of Local History

Tea Set

This tea set was used by Kate Gleason while she lived abroad at Septmonts (France) and was brought back to the US when Kate’s sister, Eleanor, settled her estate. In 1958, the set was given to the women’s residence hall at RIT when the dorm was located in the old Frontenac apartments in downtown Rochester. (The dorm came to be known as Kate Gleason Hall.) At the time of the move to the Henrietta campus, the tea set was  given to the Women’s Club of RIT. It is now held in the RIT Archive Collections.

National Machine Tool Builders’ Association

In 1910, the National Machine Tool Builders’ Association presented Kate and her father with a certificate of recognition for the hospitality extended by the Gleasons to members of the association when the convention was held in Rochester on May 24 and 25 of that year.

Courtesy: Gleason Corporation

History of Woman Suffrage, v. 4

Produced in six volumes from 1881-1922, History of Woman Suffrage documents the movement’s presence in the United States. Written by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida Husted Harper, and others associated with the National Woman Suffrage Association, the volumes are both personal and public in their chronicling of the experiences of women. Gleason owned at least the first four volumes, two of which are inscribed to recall the affection and admiration among those involved in the movement. For instance, Harper recollects times spent together in sisterhood, “To Miss Kate Gleason, in memory of a beautiful Sunday at the Country Club in the autumn of 1903. Ida Husted Harper. Christmas, 1903.”

History of Woman Suffrage, v. 1

Produced in six volumes from 1881-1922, History of Woman Suffrage documents the movement’s presence in the United States. Written by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida Husted Harper, and others associated with the National Woman Suffrage Association, the volumes are both personal and public in their chronicling of the experiences of women. Close to the suffrage movement, Gleason was a friend of Anthony who inscribed this volume by noting that Gleason, in 1903, was “the ideal business woman of whom I dreamed fifty years ago.”

Early 20th c. Evening Dress

This gold lace evening dress, shawl, necklace, and ostrich feather fan are reminiscent of Kate Gleason’s wardrobe for entertaining, which is documented in photographs, such as those taken of her at her Pittsford residence, Clones. Her interest in fashion is also noted by expenses she kept in her “black book” now in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, & Preservation at the University of Rochester.

Courtesy: Rochester Historical Society

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