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Betsy Ross


Every school child knows that Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag. But the legend paints her as a simple seamstress who unexpectedly made history.

An exhibit at Winterthur shows us a side that goes far beyond the legend.

In fact, she was an educated, astute businesswoman. A hard-working professional upholsterer who eloped because she was a Quaker and the man she fell in love with was an Episcopalian, she and her husband started their own upholstery business. She also fabricated cartridge cases for soldiers and created everything from window coverings to flags to tassles. Her full name was Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole – come and meet her.

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