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!
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.
As commemorations this month mark the centennial of America's involvement in the First World War, we are confronted with images resurrected from a century prior. The square-jawed "doughboys" with cigarettes pressed between their lips seem as foreign to us as lighting up on a plane in 2017. Yet many of the myths animating our forebears 100 years ago continue to confound us today. For some historical perspective, consider the story of pilot Stephen Henley Noyes.
As commemorations across the country mark the centennial of American involvement in the First World War, consider the story of the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania (EAP), a women's organization founded to help wounded soldiers and distressed civilians alike.
At the outbreak of the conflict in 1914, a plurality of Philadelphians - like most Americans - favored a policy of neutrality toward the European war.
The cables had started to stream in during the early afternoon. A passenger ship crossing the Atlantic sank with the loss of 1,200 lives – including 128 Americans. Chaos had erupted on board as the ocean steamer began to list. Prominent captains of industry and working class folks alike perished in the chilly water.
No, this ship isn’t the Titanic. And instead of an iceberg, the culprit was much smaller: a German torpedo.
As the Phillies step up to the plate against the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day, consider the story of Philadelphian Edith Houghton, Major League Baseball’s first female scout.
The daughter of a grocery goods distributor and semiprofessional baseball player, Houghton was born in North Philadelphia in 1912, the youngest of 10 children.
When her family moved to 25th and Diamond Streets, directly across from a baseball diamond, Houghton became captivated with the game. At 8, she was the on-field mascot for the Philadelphia Police League.
Poetry fans wishing to mark the 125th anniversary of the passing of Walt Whitman - he died March 26, 1892 - should consider a trip across the Delaware to visit his Camden home.
New York rightly claims him as a native son, as Whitman grew up on Long Island and in Brooklyn. But as is the wont of bards, wanderlust drew him across the country.
At the height of the Civil War, Whitman made it to Washington, D.C., and worked as a nurse, providing cheer and doling out gifts of preserves and tobacco to his "dear comrades."
“Philadelphia has the finest orchestra I have ever heard at any time or any place in my whole life. I don’t know that I would be exaggerating if I said that it is the finest orchestra the world has ever heard.”
This post is courtesy of Faye Allard-Glass, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Community College of Philadelphia, who will be moderating Becoming U.S. – Age and Assimilation, a free program exploring the many ways age and generational status affect immigration and assimilation experiences.
As crowds line the route of this year's St. Patrick's Day parade, consider the story of Irish immigration through the prism of the Union Army's Irish Brigade.
First some background. When many Americans think of Irish immigration, imaginations flock to the 19th century's crush of humanity chased from the Emerald Isle by famine and political oppression. But this forgets the early contributions of the "sons of Erin" in the nation's founding.
- 1 of 47
- next ›