Fondly, Pennsylvania is a joint blog of HSP's archives, conservation, and digitization departments. Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well as how we care for, describe, and preserve our collections. Whether you are doing research or just curious to know more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at HSP, please read, explore, and join the conversation!
Despite his preference for unpredictability, we know exactly what President Trump will be discussing on June 14: The American flag. The occasion? A day dedicated to the Stars and Stripes.
If you're caught unawares, don't get wrinkled. Flag Day comes up short in the holiday hierarchy. It's that "runty stepchild among American national holidays," according to the New York Times.
We don't get off work, after all.
One hundred years ago this month, a University of Pennsylvania professor enlisted in the American Expeditionary Forces to serve during the First World War. He would not return. As we mark this year’s Memorial Day, consider the story of Ward Wright Pierson.
Born in central Iowa, Pierson put himself through Northwestern University working as a carpenter. A fellowship brought him to Penn, where he earned his doctorate in philosophy.
Every day 95 million new images enter Instagram’s torrent of selfies, camera-friendly cats, and food portraiture. This snapshot surge is not without precedent. Consider the story of the stereograph, America’s earliest mass-produced photograph craze.
First, some background.
Photography is a French invention, developed by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and officially recognized in early 1839.
Newspaper features describing this new technology reached Philadelphia later that year. Many readers disbelieved such a process was possible.
Philadelphia boasts more residents commuting by bicycle per capita than any of the 10 largest cities in the United States. As you affix your ankle reflectors for this year’s National Bike to Work Week (May 15-19), consider Philadelphia’s connections to the two-wheeler.
Taking a broad definition of the term, the first “bicycle” in Pennsylvania emerged in 1819 from the parts of a threshing machine. A Germantown blacksmith fashioned it at the behest of artist and antiquarian Charles Willson Peale.
At the corner of 13th and Locust Streets, five sets of locks and keys safeguard two pieces of rag paper. The draconian security — including a 19th-century bank vault door — is justified: Here rest the only handwritten drafts of the U.S. Constitution.
As part of a new promotional partnership, HSP and Taller Puertorriqueño are hosting two community discussions about Latin@ history in Pennsylvania. On May 6, join Dr. Victor Vazquez-Hernandez as he explores the social history of Philadelphia's Puerto Rican community in the interwar years (1919-1941).
With the NFL draft and Frank Gehry’s plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s expansion, the Fairmount neighborhood has seen more than its fair share of recent construction and turbulence. But this perhaps pales in comparison with the building of the Art Museum itself. While stuck in traffic on the Parkway, consider the story of Eli Kirk Price II, the man who shepherded the project to completion.
First, some background. The institution now known as the Philadelphia Museum of Art began on the west side of the Schuylkill.
As centennial commemorations across the country honor American men and women that served in the First World War, put their courage in stark perspective with the seedy story of Grover Bergdoll, a man who fled rather than fight.
First, some background.
Bearing the namesake of the 22nd (and 24th) POTUS, Grover Cleveland Bergdoll was born with a silver spoon. Or perhaps a silver tap is more appropriate.
The scion of a beer baronetcy in Brewerytown, he took readily to the life of the leisure class.
With spring in full swing, replenished queues of tourists along Independence Mall newly attest to Philadelphia as a city of history.
But Philadelphia stakes an equal claim as a city of fiction. Consider the story of Charles Brockden Brown, arguably America's first professional writer and the man who brought Gothic literature stateside.
Born in 1771 to devout Quakers, the often-sickly Brown "preferred maps to marbles" and penned a poem titled "In Praise of Solitude" in his early teens.
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