Biographical / Historical
Osma Gallinger Tod (1895-1983) was a weaver, teacher, and author active in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Tod was at the forefront of the reawakened American craft movement of the 1930s, and was the author of Basket Pioneering, Joys of Handweaving, The Shuttle Service, and numerous other instructional guides in the field of decorative art.
Tod was born Lucy Osma Palmer in Newark, New Jersey. She graduated from Wellesley College and married artist Frank Byron Couch with whom she had a daughter, Josephine Couch Del Deo. She developed a craft project known as Cromaine Crafts in Hartland, Michigan, which became a model for efforts in teaching residents of rural communities how to earn money at home. Couch died in 1928 and Tod married cabinet maker and craftsman Milo Oliver Gallinger. They owned a studio and loom factory in Guernsey, Pennsylvania, and established their own business, Creative Crafts. Oliver died in 1956.
After moving to Coral Gables, Florida, Tod established a studio in 1962 from which she taught weaving. The Coral Gables Library and the Weavers Guild of South Florida held a retrospective of her work in 1981. Along with writing and teaching, Tod organized and directed the National Conference of American Handweavers for over 20 years.
Tod died in 1983 in Centerville, Massachussetts.