Collections Highlights

Chiara Torrini - Rhodes College Intern - Senior - Major Archeology

HIGHLIGHT – October 12, 2022

Meet Chiara Torrini – Rhodes College Intern

One of MoSH’s strategic goals is to provide opportunities for community members to work alongside museum staff.  During the summer of 2022, Rhodes College student Chiara Torrini began her internship in the Collections Department at MoSH. Currently majoring in archeology at Rhodes, she worked with museum curators and registrars all summer, taking on the project of researching and writing commentary for selected objects in MoSH’s Country Store. Now complete, this information has been uploaded to the museum’s collection web module and is also presented as a digital story. We are so grateful to Chiara for her hard work and are happy to share this new research and images online here: Digital Stories | Museum of Science & History (MoSH) – Memphis Museums (

We asked Chiara to share her internship highlights:

My name is Chiara Torrini, and I’m a senior at Rhodes College. This summer, I had the opportunity to work in the collections department of the Memphis Museum of Science & History through a Rhodes College Lainoff Fellowship. I examined artifacts from MoSH’s Country Store exhibit, which mimics a typical rural country store from the 1860 to 1910 time frame. I’m interested in archaeology and material culture, so I enjoyed my internship, which allowed me to examine items such as old irons, eggbeaters, and corn-stick pans. Since then, I’ve spotted a few old irons (even one in Hungary!) and learned what specific kind they were. I researched these objects to try and find manufacturers and approximate dates of use. I had some real surprises, like when I discovered the exact trivet I’d given up on in a specific catalog.

What I learned the most about is what home life was like in late 1800s America, especially the time and effort demanded from women. Feeling how heavy irons are is a visceral way to understand how much work women did, and how hard it was. I’m especially interested in how time demands changed with new inventions and industrialization touching every facet of life, including food production. My internship has also inspired me to work on a research paper focused on women’s suffrage and material culture this semester.

I had a great time doing this research at MoSH, and I hope you all enjoy the digital story and artifact descriptions!