On This Day in History Quilt for March 21:

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 read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance