Welcome, Guest Curator Patrick Waters

Patrick Waters is a senior at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is majoring in Marketing major with a minor in Information Technology. He recently made a presentation about his work on the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project at Assumption College’s twenty-fifth annual Undergraduate Symposium. For the past three years he has been working for Dell in their Social Media Strategy and Governance department. He has passion for high tech and enjoys learning about American history.

Welcome, Patrick Waters!

Welcome, Guest Curator Samantha Surowiec

Samantha Surowiec is a sophomore at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she is majoring in History and minoring in Political Science and Psychology. Growing up near Boston, she developed a love for Revolutionary America and U.S. history from a young age, but she is also very interested in many other periods and places in history. She is a member of the Honors Program and SOPHIA (Sophomore Initiative at Assumption) Program. She is one of twelve Admissions Ambassadors on campus, an executive board member of the Residence Hall Association, and a writer for the school newspaper, Le Provocateur.

Welcome, Samantha Surowiec!

Welcome, Guest Curator Matthew Ringstaff

Matthew Ringstaff is a sophomore at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.  He is majoring in History and minoring in Art History.  He was born and raised in Sicklerville in southern New Jersey and never really left the state until he ventured to college in Worcester. He is the middle of three sons in his family.  His older brother, Bill, is a police sergeant in Bridgeton New Jersey. His younger brother, Mark, is in high school and works at IHOP. Matt admires his unbelievable work ethic. Most significantly, his mother, Christine Ringstaff, an amazing woman who worked three jobs to give her children every possible opportunity, inspires him.  He credits her as the best role model anyone could have. He strives to match her grit, wittiness, and resilience in all of his endeavors as a student, as an athlete, and throughout every aspect of his life.

Welcome, Matthew Ringstaff!

Welcome, Guest Curator Aidan Griffin!

Aidan Griffin is a junior at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is majoring in History and minoring in Sociology. He enjoys studying history because history is much more than the study of the past and of dead people. History is very much alive, looking for the effects of actions that, even if done long ago, still greatly affect the present and the future. He is fairly knowledgeable about a range of topics, ranging from future population estimates to facts about cannibalism. He also can speak Spanish, German, and Russian, but only for one word, which is “no.” He will be a guest curator for the Adverts 250 Project from March 31, 2019, to April 6, 2019.

Welcome, Aidan Griffin!

Welcome, Guest Curator Sean Duda!

Sean Duda is a sophomore at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is double majoring in History and Education. He is also pursuing a minor in Music. He is a member of several organizations on campus, including Music Ministry, Jazz Band, Charismatic Praise, and Advocates for Life. He enjoys learning how to play new instruments and learning about Medieval Europe.

Welcome, Sean Duda!

Welcome, Guest Curator Zachary Dubreuil!

Zachary Dubreuil is a sophomore majoring in history at Assumption College. He plans to become a museum curator. He enjoys learning about the American Revolution, World War II, and the War on Terror. He is a part of multiple campus organizations, including the Residence Hall Association and Peer Ministry. He also plays on the club Ultimate Frisbee Team.

Welcome, Zachary Dubreuil!

Welcome, Guest Curator Luke DiCicco!

Luke DiCicco is a sophomore with a double major in History and Political Science at Assumption College. His main historical interests include the World Wars and the history of Europe, but he is always eager to learn about anything related to history. He is a member of the Honors Program as well as a resident assistant in Hanrahan Hall. He is involved in the Resident Hall Association and Peer Ministry. He just returned from a SEND trip (or alternative spring break) to Washington, DC.

Welcome, Luke DiCicco!

Welcome, Guest Curator Olivia Burke!

Olivia Burke is a junior at Assumption College. She is majoring in history and is in the Honors Program. Next year, Olivia will complete her senior capstone thesis on the African American experience in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Besides the Honors Program, Olivia competes on the equestrian team, is in music ministry, and works in Admissions as an administrative assistant. Seasonally, Olivia is an interpretation ranger for the National Park Service at Cape Cod National Seashore. She leads programs for the public such as guided hikes, activities for children, and history lectures.

Welcome, Olivia Burke!

Reflections from Guest Curator Chloe Amour

During my time as guest curator for the Adverts 250 Project, I learned a great deal about what it means to dive into history. From retrieving dozens of colonial newspapers from 1769 to wisely selecting advertisements to dissect, I was able to jump into the daily life of colonists. Prior to working on this project, my knowledge of colonial America was solely based on high school textbooks, documentary clips, and some pre-selected additional readings. It was a change of pace to use more advanced historical skills to gain a deeper understanding of consumer culture and advertising in print culture. I was no longer just reading a summary of historical facts; I was “doing history” in a way that allowed myself to go beyond the text. By using primary sources, I was able to apply critical thinking skills to analyze various advertisements. It was fascinating to see which goods were sought after, such as chairs, sugar, flour of mustard, and textiles. Amongst the goods, there were also advertisements for slaves and other services which appealed to colonists. The most interesting I found was the advertisement for hair styling – self-image was valued back then too! Adding to that, it is even more interesting how prevalent and important the printed newspaper was. The newspapers contributed to the uproar of advertising, which I was able to see through this first-hand experience. Today, people rarely read a printed copy of the news – social media makes it way easier to keep up with the news via smartphones or tablets. Diving into the realm of historical research was an experience that enhanced my analytical skills. I gained a deeper appreciation for history, too.

Initially the biggest challenge I faced was how to find the meaning behind each advertisement. With varying lengths, it did not appear that some had too much to grapple with. At a glance, the brief words made me think I would struggle to make connections to Revolutionary America. However, during my time working on the project, I was able to gain the skills necessary to interpret advertisements. Now, I am able to look at a brief advertisement and go beyond the surface to learn about colonial society. It’s exciting to explore the symbolic meanings, which encapsulates the purpose of historical research. There are so many aspects to look at closely and make connections that highlight the advertisement. Having read through several newspapers, it was interesting to see the trends in consumer goods in advertisements all the way from Connecticut to Georgia. The complex demand for slaves as well as consumer goods varied yet shed light on the differences in the colonies. My main takeaway from the research was that the desire to hold a British identity was universal. Advertising “London goods” attracted colonists longing to uphold ties to the Crown. This speaks on the values, everyday life, and culture of colonial America, which had not yet pulled away from Britain in 1769.

One of my favorite aspects of the project was conducting research with scholarly articles to find additional information on colonial and revolutionary America. Using online databases to find journal articles was a bit of trial and error as I tired various keyword searches to find just the right supplementary source. I liked being able to connect the colonial advertisements to some other aspect of lifestyles and politics. I have furthered my knowledge in regard to using scholarly sources, which I look forward to applying in future historical research.

It was rewarding to carry out historical research to contribute to the Adverts 250 Project. I learned a great deal about the colonists’ desire to be identified as British, which influenced consumer culture. Through my work on the project, I have a greater sense of appreciation for advertisements, and the realm of marketing, as it has the ability to strongly influence society. I am still in a bit of awe that newspapers are recovered from 250 years ago. Having those readily available, with online databases, makes history that much more accessible and intriguing. As I continue my studies in the field of history, I strive to continue to find unique sources that give further insights on different periods of history. It was a pleasure to present my remarks on such interesting advertisements throughout the week, and I hope I am able to return as guest curator in the future.