Women’s Work at Hopewell Furnace

During the summer of 2008, I interned with the National Park Service at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.  Hopewell Furnace is the site of an 18th/19th century iron plantation, which means that they produced the pig iron that would later be sent off to forges.  I lived on site with another intern, and really got to experience the beauty of a quiet historic site.  Although we were curatorial and research interns, on weekends the staff let us interpret some of the things that women might have done…which meant full out costumes and intense hard labor (starting a fire is hard work!).  I used photos from my summer at Hopewell Furnace to show some of the things that women did in a seemingly male dominated place.

Click here to watch, and enjoy!

Category: W5: Animoto
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4 Responses
  1. mplumb says:

    Thanks for the great pictures. I think your video shows that programs like Animoto can really prove beneficial for teaching in the classroom. I’m sure your on-site interpretation was very educational for visitors to Hopewell, but now you can more effectively share that interpretation in the classroom, or in a variety of other settings, in a way that lecturing may not be able to accomplish.

  2. jjanes says:

    I’m glad you said that, because that is what I was trying to accomplish. I guess I should have said in my blog post that I meant for this type of video to be used as something to be accessed online, particularly as a pre-visit activity for student groups. I think that it is oftentimes important for student groups to have prior knowledge of the site before actually coming; it helps to better solidify the experience for them. Animoto doesn’t allow for some features that might enhance the actual video, but I do think that this is a good demonstration of something that might be used to enhance a visit to a historic site.

  3. rsibaja says:

    yes, the specific focus really does add more than a video that ties to tell too much. Well done!

  4. rfachner says:

    What a great story about what looks like it was such a fun and educational experience! I liked that the story was very much a day in the life, which was a great way to describe the activities at Hopewell. I think it would a great tool for students to get a glimpse of life at Hopewell, either before a visit, or even in lieu of a visit. I thought the humor was also really important to engaging the viewer and evoking an emotional response, particularly the part about doing the dishes. I would imagine that is something that a student can relate to and help them to make a connection.