The Prospectville Branch Needlework Guild of America was established in 1951. HPHA received several volumes of memorabilia regarding this organization as a donation from Mr. John J Nesbitt III. Mr Nesbitt's mother had been a member of this group.
The Needlework Guild began in England in 1882 following a mining disaster in nearby Wales. Lady Diana Wolverton gathered a group of people together to make clothing (one to wear, one to wash) for the children whose parents had died in the disaster. She “glimpsed the fact that old garments might pauperize, but new garments equalize.”
In 1885 Mrs. Harpence from Philadelphia was impressed with the work that was being done. She shared the concept with her niece, Laura Safford, who in turn told 6 of her friends. They agreed to help her sew for the needy. The first year, they collected 921 articles which were donated to hospitals and orphanages. The Needlework Guild of America was founded in Philadelphia in 1885 and later incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1896.
The National Headquarters for the Needlework Guild of America is now located in Warminster, Pennsylvania. NGA has 33 branches in 10 states, is affiliated with over 170 non-profit charities across the United States and distributes over 240,000 items each year.
... more to come on the Prospectville Branch when we get a chance to review the materials donated by Mr Nesbitt