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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/644

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

goods will, therefore, close the gaps between ethnological and prehistoric museums on the one side and between ethnological and historical museums on the other side. It will do for our own people what ethnological museums have done in relation to foreign peoples, particularly to savages; it will seek out objects of the present as historical museums have recovered them from the tombs and dwelling-places of primitive times; and will give for the common life and conduct of the peoples what historical museums have furnished as to their ecclesiastical and courtly life.

We have a right, therefore, to expect much from the museum of costumes and household goods. Experience has contradicted the objection that it is too late to carry out such a purpose. Our beginnings have already taught us that even in Germany one has only to inquire and exert himself earnestly to obtain a great number of objects of antique tradition. In other countries brilliant success has been achieved, especially in Sweden, which, through the indefatigable industry of Herr Hazelius, has had a model museum of this kind in Stockholm for many years. There are also notable collections of similar character in Moscow and Amsterdam; but the expectations should not be raised too high. Thus it is evident that what we perhaps too ambitiously call national costumes do not reach back into prehistoric times. There was then nothing like them. Such characteristic styles can exist only among those peoples of whom some of the tribes have continued in a kind of natural condition, and these are found in Europe only among those of the Finnish stock. With all the Aryan peoples of Europe the national costume is a relatively late, almost a modern, product. In Germany such costumes can be found only in limited districts, sometimes only in particular villages, and are seldom of earlier origin than the fifteenth century. Not a few of them were first fixed by the Reformation. The actual collection of the material may open the way to comparative studies that will furnish earlier dates, but this is likely to be the case only as applies to single parts of the dress.

Men are more permanent in their house construction, methods of tillage and of domesticating animals, in their furnishings and tools, than in their dress. Articles of stone, bone, horn, and clay, in particular, incline to be fixed in character. The groundwork of house arrangement persists through all the additions which the extension of the scale and the larger estate may entail; and it is, in respect to the family, as permanent as are the topography and flora to whole districts.

Whole houses can hardly be brought into museums except as they may be represented by models or drawings. Consideration will be given to these. Rooms and chambers may be introduced in complete arrangement, and we hope at the opening of the