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Fondly, Pennsylvania

Fondly, Pennsylvania is HSP's main blog.  Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well articles on interesting bits of local history reflected in our collection.  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!

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George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: October 1863

Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us again as we roll through another series of entries from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page. Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

In October 1863, we join Parry as he and his regiment traveled south through Tennessee. Over the course of the month, things seem to have moved at a slower pace, which was probably welcome after having been through battle late last month. However, as Parry noted frequently, their poor horses and mules were worked to death during the long marches, and there was often a lack of feed. By the end of the month, Parry's in Stevenson, Alabama, a small and apparently pleasant town located not far from the Tennessee border.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


Sunday, October 4
Got a Pass to cross the
River to Chattanooga from
Genl Steadman command
Pass for ten Day from (Lwift)?

Called on Genl Turchon
Had a very nice time
Bay Horse slightly wounded

Tennessee River rising[,] one
Bridge gone. Horses all sent
out of Chattanooga – for feeding
Sunday received six letters and had
A good time reading them[.] one from
Carrie and Ellie Paff – also some (News)?
wrote a letter home sent $10.00

*****

Friday, October 9
Reading a novel all the morn-
ing --
           took a walk over the Camp
field[,] saw many Hungry and many
mules + Horses starving for the
want of feed – Bought a
Pie Leather[?] Pie[.] very nice
day. Saw some of Genl Grants'
men.

*****

Tuesday, October 13
Chattanooga Tennessee River
this is Election Day in Penn.
Curtin and Woodward for
Governor.
            A very hard rainy
Day[.] Hard to keep dry in
tent.
            Reading and sleeping
Taking Dr. Bonsalls drops for
Bowles[sic] ---
            Wrote a letter to
Frank Cadwallader

*****

Tuesday, October 20
In Camp all Day and did
not move. Very nice Day
Slept[,] read and down to
the river[.] Saw some strange
birds ---
             In good health
Ordered to Move at 6PM[sic] in
the morning[.] Spent the Eve.
on the Banks of the River
splendid Evening

*****

Thursday, October 22
Road to Stevenson Alabama
Up at daylight and began to
Ascend the Walnut Ridge of Cumber-
land Mountain[,] all day getting up
and very hard day for the mules.
Encamped on the top and spent
The night[.] made a fire to sleep
by --- clear 12 o clock woke up
found it raining Hard. Some
thief stole my Rations.

*****

Tuesday, October 27
Started on march at sun rise
and after a days march south
and much sport arrived at Jasper[.]
Looked around[,] saw the town and
bought three Pies[,] Box Sardines
had a right good supper[,] saw a
soldier buried – small pox very bad here – a very nice town on a very
level piece of ground hemed in by
mountains

*****

Saturday, October 31
Steavenson[sic] Alabama
Accompanied by Wm. Yetters [Yellers?]
Went down to Steavenson

I got my hair cut ---

Got weighed – weight 152 lbs.

Clear and nice ---

Underground Railroad Items on Display at HSP Through October 25

The two documents featured in HSP's in-progress William Still Digital History Project are—for a brief time—on display in HSP's library, part of our Treasures from the Collection document display.

The document display will be open during library public hours from October 16 through October 25, 2013. There is no charge to view the display, and full details and hours are available here.

Both of these William Still volumes provide extraordinary insight into the experiences of enslaved individuals and families who passed through Philadelphia between 1852 and 1857 and the covert networks that aided their escape. As chairman of the Vigilance Committee, Still recorded notes of the personal accounts of fugitives who arrived in Philadelphia. Twenty years later, he relied on those notes to write The Underground Rail Road (1872), the most extensive contemporary compendium of the Underground Railroad's workings in this region.

Both the journal and the published book will be on display through October 25. Also on display are life portraits of William and Hannah Penn, the first handwritten draft of the U.S. Constitution, and censored correspondence from a Japanese internment camp.

Of course, if you're not able to make it to the document display, you can also find images of the two Still volumes online in our Digital Library. And in January, we'll launch our rich new Still Digital History Project that weaves these two important documents together in new ways.

 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ink Blots Found in the Bank of North America Collection

When I began working on the Bank of North America collection in August, I was pleasantly surprised by the prevalence of ink blots within the ledgers I was cleaning and consolidating. As I collected these dark, obscure visions, I began to see them as evidence of the original bank clerk’s humanity – his unavoidable errs in writing and his inability to produce a completely perfect manuscript despite the obvious mastery of his writing implement.

This humanity allows the ledger to be not only a record of account information, but a bridge across space and time. I, and any researcher who may page the volume upon completion of the project, am a direct witness to an occurrence of two hundred years ago, when a bank clerk lost control of the flow of his ink.

Quickly I considered these “flaws” to be one of the most beautiful elements of the ledgers in the collection, and I looked forward to each new discovery.

Naturally, the imagery entices one to draw an immediate connection to the image-based test we all know and love that brought ink blots to the forefront of psychiatry – the Rorschach test. However, I must admit that when discovering these dark and strange mirrored images the Rorschach test is the last thing on my mind. 

Instead, I wonder about the bank clerk responsible for this ink blot. Was he frustrated with himself for marring what was otherwise a perfect page? Or did he, like me, pause for a moment to witness the beauty of the image growing before him, the dark conquering the light?

Did he return to the page after closing it, to revel in the mirror image formed on the opposing page? Did he imagine the same characters, animals, and narratives in these shapes as I, two hundred years later?

For more images of the collection's ink blots, please visit our Flickr site

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: September 1863

Greeting one and all! We're back this month with another group of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PAof transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Librarywhere you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

This month we have an extended offering of transcripts that include entries concerning Parry's participation in the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia. (This year marks the 150th anniversary of the battle.)  As Parry's regiment moved through Tennessee into Georgia, things remained quiet until it reached the outskirts of Chickamauga on the 18th. Though Parry never mentioned the name of the battle or town, his notes coincide with the historical record, and it's clear that his regiment took a beating. This was a tough September for Parry and the Union Army.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


Tuesday, September 1
Accompanied by Capt. Newcomer and
squad of twenty
men. We left Camp at seven[,] proceeded
to the Tennessee River. Here I was shot
at and very near hit by the Rebel sharpshooter[.]
a number of Balls came wissing[sic] by us[.]
Scouted the county in search of Mules
and Horses. found some. Col. Dimner at
a Union Mans[sic]cabin. Went down to
[Blye T'enny?] And amused ourselves
by shooting at the Rebel Pickets along
the river. very interesting time[.]
at the Garrison a fort erected in the
Indian war. Got a splendid Colt of
a Rebel their[sic].

*****

Saturday, September 12
Up at twelve[,] in saddle and
marched to Tennessee river opposite
Chatanogga[sic]. A long train wait-
ing to get across the river[.]
Afternoon went down to the Tenn-
essee River and took a swim
Rebel Deserters coming in all
the time. Brag[g]'s army bound
for Atlanta[,] Georgia.

*****

Friday, September 18
Wrote a letter to W. P. Sharkey ------ did not send it
at ten o'clock we where attacked by
the Rebels and after fighting them
four hours we fell back six miles to
our main lines for reinforcements[.]
three  of our Reg't killed and many
wounded – very hard fighting.
very cold. Reinforcements come-
ing up[,] we halted for the night
men laying on their arms

*****

Saturday, September 19
Battle raging[,] reinforcements come
up all night. Very cold. Bet ten
Dolls. and won on Gen'l Rosecrans
Terrible Battle raging all Day[.]
Our men killed by the thousands

Saw men wounded + killed by the
Hundreds.

        Loss. 1200 Killed
                Wounded 7000 -----
Slightly wounded in neck by shell
marched all night and very cold
and frosty.

*****

Sunday, September 20
Battle still raging[,] our men driven
back.

Wagons fell back and commenced
crossing the Tennessee River[.] they
crossed all night and day.

Fell back to Chattanooga[,] slept
warm and well       very cold

*****

Monday, September 21
Wagons crossing the Tenn, River
all night. Rosecrans reinforced
got my dinner expense for Dinner
$2.75[.] Letter from Frank Cadwallader[.]
went out to the front in the Evening
Capt. May killed. all night till day
Light in one Hundred yards of rebel
Lines. cold—The fighting been been
Very terrific to Day. our forces com-
peled[sic] to fall back

Loaned Geo. Frazer twenty Dollars.

*****

Tuesday September 22
All night in front Rebel lines
up at three and in saddle[,] retreated
at Chattanooga + crossed the river
our Wagons have been crossing
for two days and nights

           our Army fell back to
Chattanooga[.] fighting all
Day.

            Washed off in Tenn. River
            Very cold

*****

Friday, September 25
Tennessee on march
Marched after Day Light
slow till four O'clock[,] then
encamped for the night
very dusty and some warm

some cold[,] slept well
in camp in a Hollow twenty
four miles north east of Tenn.
Chattanooga Tenn.

Stationery Binders in Philadelphia

The conservation team continues to document and treat the ledgers in the Bank of North America collection. The nature of our work requires careful examination of the books' physical structure, which will affect the individual treatment to be carried out. This presented us with a great opportunity to compare many binding styles and glean insights into Philadelphia's stationery trade. We've photographed the over 670 ledgers in the collection and have found that the bank made use of the services of at least a dozen different stationers over the years. Stationers provided writing supplies and usually bound and sold blank books. Some stationers were printers, publishers and booksellers as well.

The small printed tickets affixed by binders to the books they made are usually found on the front pastedown. The ticket above was found inside a ledger made in 1782 and it describes the business thus: "Where all Sorts of Account Books are Made and Ruled to any Pattern. He likewise sells all Sorts of stationery wares at the Lowest Rates". Some of these wares are named and illustrated in the decorative border: Slates, Wafers, Pencils, Wax, Ink Powder and Paper. The shop's address was later amended by hand.

J. P. Parke's book and stationery store was located at 75 Chestnut St. and later at 74 S. 2nd St. in Philadelphia. The ledger above was bound in 1814. Parke specialized in medical books and some of his diaries are held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. His ticket depicts the statue of Benjamin Franklin, a fellow Philadelphia stationer, printer and bookseller. Francesco Lazzarini depicted Franklin in classical robes, standing by a tower of books. The statue was placed in the niche above the Library Company's door in 1792, just down the street from both Parke's shop and the Bank of North America.

The ledger seen above was bound in 1813 according to "Sullivan's Patent". Inside the book, John T. Sullivan's ticket depicts its binding.

William H. Maurice's ticket, seen above, has a bee skep as a device and the motto: "Industry must thrive". Maurice was listed in Philadelphia business directories between 1845 and 1863 under many other occupations, such as dry goods clerk, alongside his stationery trade.

Most of the stationers represented in the tickets in this collection worked in close proximity to each other as well as the bank. In order to purchase a new blank book, a clerk of the bank simply had to walk down to Chestnut Street. Stationers produced books to their clients' specifications and several volumes in this collection bear penciled notes on the flyleaves that instruct the finisher in the required ruling and numbering pattern. Some of these binders continued to be active as booksellers and publishers well into the 20th century. Altemus & Co., founded by Joseph T. Altemus in the 1830's, was one such business. The ticket above comes from a ledger bound in 1907. Many more examples of binders' tickets found in the Bank of North America collection, together with the bindings they were found in, can be seen on the project's flickr page. The Historical Society holds several trade periodicals such as the Printers Circular and Stationers' and Publishers' Gazette.

Boosting Morale

Before World War II began in 1939, America and much of the world was in the midst of an economic depression.  Once war efforts began, young men from around the country enlisted, thus creating openings for various types of factory jobs.  These vacancies, combined with an all time high of unemployment rates, set the stage for a large quantity of women to join the labor force.  Manufacturing companies that were major producers of consumer goods refocused their efforts to aid Allied Powers during the war.  As battle in the European and Pacific theaters intensified, radio producers, electric companies, and many other manufacturers began to assemble supplies for the military.

To keep up with the increasing demand of materials, war workers in American plants dedicated themselves to long hours and difficult, manual labor.  In order to show gratitude and support, frequent rallies were held at these manufacturing companies.  Boosting morale and increasing production rates were high priorities of these events.  Often times, wounded veterans and high ranking officers gave speeches to relay their personal war time experiences.  Detailed stories of unlikely survival created a bond between soldiers and war workers in which the importance of production was reiterated.  During these talks, it was common for employees to be asked to raise their hands indicating they had family or friends somewhere in the service.  This also strengthened efforts and morale, while increasing the likelihood of war bond sales.

Military personnel also frequently received factory tours in which they witnessed different production processes, conversed with employees, and even took their turn at handling the machinery.

Interacting with war workers was vital to the success of maintaining positive work atmospheres and high manufacturing rates.  This also kept the spirits of veterans high, particularly when touring alongside female employees.  What once seemed bleak and uninteresting, quickly grabbed the attention of these military men.  One might even be convinced they were genuinely interested in how the tools worked.

It doesn't take long to realize the true interests of the soliders.  Simply track their smiles and eyes and this becomes obvious.  Nothing is as apparent when veterans and employees are seen taking a break from the tour to embrace in a kiss. 

The question then becomes: "whose morale was being boosted?"  This is not an easy question to answer, as it looks like the manufacturing plant tours were enjoyable for all--maybe this was the true cause of increased production rates.  Whatever the case may be, the home front efforts by men and women war workers were vital to meeting the high demand of military materials.

Mapping the Underground Railroad

This summer, we've been working through various technical details for the William Still Digital History Project.

Building on the foundation we began in our past digital history projects, we're using XML to encode William Still's manuscript journal, held in trust by HSP on behalf of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, and his 1872 published book, The Underground Rail Road, to meet the standards of the international Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). This encoding will allow us to do some pretty cool interactive things with the texts. (For a brief explanation of how text encoding works, check out this blog post from a previous project.)                                                      

But we’re also testing out some new mapping features with the William Still project, and new features mean new technical details to be untangled.

For one thing, we’d like to build a network map of the people mentioned in Still’s works. You’ve probably seen these kinds of “six degrees of separation” graphics before: people’s connections are represented graphically by a series of circles (people) and lines (relationships):

On the surface, that sounds straightforward. We should make sure that lines connect parents and children, and connect Underground Railroad conductors with the people that they aided.

But when you get into specific personal stories, you find many more decisions waiting.

Is it enough to connect a parent and child, or should we connect siblings too? What about adult siblings, who have their own families; do we want to draw lines between a man and his brother-in-law, or between a woman and her nieces and nephews? What about non-family relationships? Do we want to draw lines between two fugitives who fled to freedom together, or between a fugitive and an abolitionist who helped him or her in some way? What about the people working against freedom, who informed on fugitives or worse?

My colleague Rachel and I are working through those issues as they come, and we'll no doubt make some adjustments once we see a draft of our data in visual form.

In addition to the network map, we’re also working on creating a geographic map of important locations in Still's works.

For this project, the "important locations" are ones that relate to the people profiled in Still's works: the places where people fled, where they rested, where they settled. We are working with our web developers to build a map that will allow users to follow fugitives' paths, see where fugitives ended up, and see the relative importance of various locations in moving people northward.

 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: August 1863

Hello! This month I'm happy to present another round of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

As Parry and his regiment continued on through Tennessee, he consistently noted one thing – it was hot! Despite the weather, he spent much of the month travelling from camp to camp, occasionally noting the harsh conditions, the need to forage for food, and the wildlife. This month Parry also celebrated his birthday (August 22nd -- he turned 25), and noted August 9th as a day of fasting and prayer. Additionally, he remained in contact with friends and family from home through letters and received from them local papers, which allowed him to keep abreast of Pennsylvania news.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.



Sunday, August 2
Bugle sounded at 3 o'clock up
Breakfast[.] in saddle at 5 o'clock
arrived in McMin[n]ville 12 o'clock
and went into camp. Very hot[.]
Dinner at two on corn[,] coffee
Bread + Veal. Eate very hearty[.]
Very hot. saw a number of sick
Horses – hot acquainted with some
officers. Capt Jennings and myself
took a swim in the river. I took
supper with Capt Jennings [miss?]
splendid evening in tent.

*****

Tuesday, August 11
Wrote a Letter home – very
Hot. down to the river with
G. F. Frazier took a swim
a most splendid place and
the water delightful!
                              Received
three Papers from Home[,] the
Bucks Co. + the Phila Press
         Glad to get them
                 Hot

*****

Friday, August 14
found some horses in the Woods hid
up[.] been there two days + nights with[-]
out anything to eate. reported them.

Wrote a letter to Genl. Stoneman
very ine cool rain. very nice

Wiskey in Camp by Frazier

no letter to Day[,] expectations
not gratified
                      Had some Cider

*****

Wednesday, August 19
Breakfast on Hog[,] Coffee + Potatoes
Collum began to move[,] rode on ahead
very nice time. splendid scenery
accompanied by Isaac Ruth
Encamped on Mount. Killed a
very large rattle snake[,] ten rattles
one killed with 13 rattles
very Large
                      very cool night[,] slept
well but cold

*****

Sunday, August 23
Number of Boys went out a
Foraging – Had a very fine time
got any quantity of Peaches and
Fruit. Found a Plantation in the wilderness
that had never been visited by the Union
Soldiers – muched pleased to see us[,] had never
Saw Yankeys before. Got us a very good
Dinner[,] feed our Horses and then
proceeded to our Camp at Pikeville
Plenty of Peaches and very Hot

*****

Sunday, August 30
Smith Crossroads Tenn.
in Camp in a Dismal place
no tents and no cooking utensils
Have to Eate with sticks. Roast
Corn + Potatoes. Letter + Papers
From Home – Letter from Sue
very nice Day.
                       Sent in a
Requisition for Medicine –
Called on Col. Minty –
no use

"Unveiling" the Articles of Confederation

A 1776 draft for the Articles of Confederation in John Dickinson's hand resides at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and it was recently conserved during a project funded by Bank of America.

The text itself can be studied in digital or transcribed form, but the physical object offers additional clues to its material life. Such clues can come in the form of watermarks, designs embedded in the paper during its manufacture, and this document presents various such marks and countermarks. Legal documents of the 1770s were still written on high quality imported paper, often from Dutch papermills. A sheet of the draft bears a watermark of a rampant lion, holding seven arrows (a symbol of the seven provinces) and a staff, standing on a platform labeled: VRYHEIT, inside a crowned oval strap inscribed: LIBERTATE, PRO PATRIA, EIUSQUE.

In a much earlier effort to preserve the document, both sides of the paper had been covered with a thin, transparent material. This process is called silking and it was pioneered at the turn of the 20th century by William Berwick, an influential Library of Congress conservator. Silk, or some other type of thin fabric was adhered to both sides of a fragile sheet. Silking is no longer in favor, as its long-term effects tend to be detrimental to the object it is meant to protect. Paper that has undergone this process has been observed to become brittle and yellow faster than paper undergoing natural deterioration. A silked document tends to have a veiled, opaque appearance, making manuscripts especially difficult to parse.


After testing the ink and paper, we decided to remove the remaining silk, to slow down further natural damage and improve the structural integrity of the paper as well as the legibility of the text. Once the silk was removed and the paper surface was selectively cleaned of residual grime and adhesive, tears were mended and losses were filled.

Some pages of the draft no longer retained the silk layer and heat-set tissue had been used on some of the tears. This was removed and replaced with Japanese mulberry paper, toned to match the original.

Finally, the individual leaves were placed in acid free paper folders and housed in a custom-made cloth covered protective enclosure.

The draft and other notes by Dickinson relating to the Articles can be found in the John Dickinson papers of the R. R. Logan Collection (1671-1863) or in the Digital Library.

 

Good Times Roll at the Philadelphia Stage Door Canteen


Sifting through the photographs of the Philadelphia Stage Door Canteen, an entertainment center for members of the armed forces during World War II, one can almost forget there was a war going on. Though the outside world dealt with destruction and fear, there was a small haven in the basement of the Academy of Music building where men could forget their troubles and enjoy themselves.

The Stage Door Canteen first opened its doors in June of 1943, and reportedly served 2,500,000 members of the military before it closed in October of 1945. Though it remained open for only three years, the raucous good times that were had at the Canteen are not forgotten, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Collection of World War II Papers features quite a few photographs of the Canteen.

Young men in uniform can be seen posing next to celebrities and enjoying a variety of entertainers. Faces of celebrities crop up with frequency; one photograph features a moment with Duke Ellington playing alongside an orchestra while the next photograph depicts Ethel Merman in the midst of an energetic performance. The entertainment offered by the Canteen was quite diverse. Dancers, opera singers, actors, ventriloquists, and instrumentalists alike all seemed eager to perform for the boys at the Canteen. The photographs of these performances, while varied, are not altogether unexpected. Once in a while, however, the collection provides an opportunity for surprise and even amusement.

 

One such surprise appears in a folder full of photographs concerning theatre and vocal performances. After images of singers, mouths wide open in mid-song, and actors caught up in their dramatic performances, the last photograph shows a boxing match. Another folder includes a photograph of a performing seal. The Canteen was clearly dedicated to entertaining its guests with all sorts of events, never mind the unusual nature.

 

Another opportunity for amusement is found in a folder that documents a show entitled This is the Army, a musical based on the 1943 motion picture. One of the last photographs depicts a group of men wearing frilly skirts, the main subject smiling in a pained way and daintily bending his knees. An inscription informs the reader that the picture is from a show cheekily called This is the Navy.

 

Yet another entertaining photograph appears in a folder full of dance performances. The first few photographs capture the performance of an exotic, scantily-clad dancer. She appears to be completely immersed in her performance. The next photograph reveals that the audience, or at least one specific member of the audience, is similarly immersed in her performance.

Eyebrows raised in interest, a young man in uniform tips his chair backward. Perhaps he was just trying to make sure the dancer had enough space to execute her dance, which apparently calls for her to be sprawled out on the floor at this moment. From his new angle, however, the young man certainly has an improved view up the loose skirt of the dancer. Whether this was an intentional result or merely a happy accident we may never know. The reactions of the rest of the audience to this vignette, ranging from uncertain horror to absolute amusement, are also worth noticing.

 

There are plenty more opportunities to witness the good times at the Philadelphia Stage Door Canteen in HSP’s Collection of World War II papers. Though the viewer may not completely forget the dark and serious events of World War II, he or she can certainly appreciate the small moments of happiness in an otherwise troubling time.

10/23/13
Author: Cary Hutto

Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us again as we roll through another series of entries from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

Comments: 0

10/16/13
Author: Dana Dorman

The two documents featured in HSP's in-progress William Still Digital History Project are—for a brief time—on display in HSP's library, part of our Treasures from the Collection document display.

The document display will be open during library public hours from October 16 through October 25, 2013. There is no charge to view the display, and full details and hours are available here.

Comments: 0

10/8/13
Author: Erin Paulson

When I began working on the Bank of North America collection in August, I was pleasantly surprised by the prevalence of ink blots within the ledgers I was cleaning and consolidating. As I collected these dark, obscure visions, I began to see them as evidence of the original bank clerk’s humanity – his unavoidable errs in writing and his inability to produce a completely perfect manuscript despite the obvious mastery of his writing implement.

Comments: 1

9/18/13
Author: Cary Hutto

Greeting one and all! We're back this month with another group of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

9/4/13
Author: Alina Josan

The conservation team continues to document and treat the ledgers in the Bank of North America collection. The nature of our work requires careful examination of the books' physical structure, which will affect the individual treatment to be carried out. This presented us with a great opportunity to compare many binding styles and glean insights into Philadelphia's stationery trade. We've photographed the over 670 ledgers in the collection and have found that the bank made use of the services of at least a dozen different stationers over the years.

Comments: 0

8/28/13
Author: Dave Klimowicz

Before World War II began in 1939, America and much of the world was in the midst of an economic depression.  Once war efforts began, young men from around the country enlisted, thus creating openings for various types of factory jobs.  These vacancies, combined with an all time high of unemployment rates, set the stage for a large quantity of women to join the labor force.  Manufacturing companies that were major producers of consumer goods refocused their efforts to aid Allied Powers during the war.  As battle in the European and Pacific theaters intensified, radio producers, electric co

Comments: 0

8/21/13
Author: Dana Dorman

This summer, we've been working through various technical details for the William Still Digital History Project.

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8/14/13
Author: Cary Hutto

Hello! This month I'm happy to present another round of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

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8/8/13
Author: Alina Josan

A 1776 draft for the Articles of Confederation in John Dickinson's hand resides at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and it was recently conserved during a project funded by Bank of America.

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