Research Process

       I chose to conduct research about the creation of the moustache cup because it is a rather obscure object that I use every day, being a mustachioed man whose whiskers might rival any Victorian gentleman.  My mother has a growing collection of moustache cups as wells as shaving mugs and scuttles and she introduced me to their existence.  I encounter them often on visits to thrift and antique stores and have grown to be rather fascinated with moustache related objects.

        My research began as most students of history would - I consulted Wikipedia.  This gave me a starting point.  It didn’t take long to realize that most information on the internet was a “cut and paste” of information listed on Wikipedia.  Much of that information’s accuracy was suspect so I dove in deeper.  I purchased two books, the Erardi & Peck book as well as Dorothy Hammond’s book since they are really the only two reliable references in print.  I also came across a research paper written by Miriam Walter.  When I encountered David Leese’s name as being a Harvey Adams expert and descendant, I reached out to him for an interview, which he granted.  It was a difficult project to research due to limited and quite often incorrect information.  Much of my 100+ hours of research was spent trying to find the original source of misinformation on the internet.

         I chose to showcase my research as a website because I am using it to provide a model for a National History Day website for my sixth grade history students.  I wanted a presentation that would last and could easily be accessed by other people conducting research into moustache cups.  The majority of the photos included on this website were taken by myself and are of examples from my mother’s collection.

         Relating the topic of “Harvey Adams:  Why the Moustache Cup” to the concept of “Triumph over Tragedy” was the tricky part of this project.  Since the NHD theme in 2018 is Triumph and Tragedy, I wanted to connect my project to the theme.  Only a mustachioed man would know the aggravation of dining with a large moustache.  I am constantly wiping and rearranging my whiskers.  This aggravation had to have plagued millions of Victorian men.  Because the majority of cups are of feminine design it is obvious that the ladies in their lives realized and sympathized with this very real problem.  The moustache cup truly did resolve this problem for millions of men of the Victorian Era.  That is the triumphant part of the story.