Inside the Collections Care Project: It’s as easy as FTD

Dec 17, 2014

The second phase of Historic New England’s Collections Care Project is underway. If you’ve been following our posts, you know that the first phase involved moving thousands of objects into temporary storage so that we can improve the permanent storage area. The second phase involves cleaning, photographing, and updating records for the objects that we moved.

The first group of objects we are working with is ceramics. Each day, we add new photographs, including many of objects never before available online, to Historic New England’s Collections Access portal. If you’re interested in ceramics, you’ll want to check it out.

This week, we chose to spread holiday cheer by sharing these earthenware bowls. Produced in 1980, they bear the impression “FTD” on the base. 

You probably recognize FTD as the popular floral ordering and delivery service with the Mercury Man logo. FTD Companies, Inc., originated in Rochester, New York, in 1910 under the name Florists’ Telegraph Delivery. It began as a cooperative of retail florists who agreed to serve each other’s out-of-town customers by exchanging orders via telegraph.

The FTD network of florists spread across the country and, eventually, the globe. In fact, FTD virtually monopolized the flowers-by-wire market in the U.S. in the twentieth century and faced several antitrust lawsuits. It’s no wonder FTD floral products found their way into the hearts and homes of so many New Englanders.

Historic New England is actively collecting objects that tell stories about life in New England in the twentieth century. Read more about this collecting initiative in a recent Boston Globe article.

You can help preserve the collection by making a gift to the Collections and Conservation Fund.