Museum to explore the history of hankies

SYCAMORE – A handkerchief, while a simple item, has a very long and interesting history. Handkerchiefs have been used for more than 400 years – from kings, queens and lords, to the blushing bride on her wedding day. Elaine Goodwin will share her knowledge about handkerchiefs and display her personal favorites during the Sycamore History Museum’s May 2 Brown Bag lunch program.

Goodwin read a book about the history of handkerchiefs, which led her to search her house to see what she might discover. She found several, and so did her daughter. She was intrigued by the family stories connected to many of these handkerchiefs. Thus, her collection and knowledge grew.

“We were interested in this program for a couple of reasons. First, our current exhibit talks about ‘Play,’ which includes what people do in their leisure time. Collecting is a very popular activity,” museum executive director Michelle Donahoe said.

“Secondly, we have a wonderful collection of handkerchiefs at SHM from the Lahti family, which will also be on display during the talk. One of my favorites is a handkerchief that was a birthday present, with the note: ‘When a handkerchief was enough of a present.’”

The May Brown Bag lunch will be held at noon May 2 at the Sycamore History Museum, 1730 N. Main St. in Sycamore.

The talk is free and open to the public. Coffee and cookies are provided.

For more information, visit or call 815-895-5762.

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