Online Exhibits@Yale

The Old Maid’s Thermometer

The Old Maid’s Thermometer

The Old Maid’s Thermometer, c.1820, Lithograph, hand colored, McQueen & Company, Published by S. and J. Fuller, 34 Rathbone-Place, Bequest of Clements C. Fry 1955

This print traces an old maid’s path from youth to middle age, providing a disposition for each age. Though intended as a parody, it is difficult to ignore the moral and judgmental undertones presented at each stage. And yet, the humor of the piece relies on the ubiquity of the moral framework captured within.

The Old Maid’s Thermometer