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!
Greeting readers – we're glad you've returned for another group of transcriptions 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.
As a conservation technician on the Bank of North America project, I am constantly amazed and inspired by the collection. Indeed, it is inevitable that as I clean and mend pages in the manuscripts, my interest is piqued by what I find within – whether it be ink blots, insects, doodles, or in this case, certain recurring names. The names I find particularly eye-catching are those that speak of bygone eras, names that I have not previously encountered in contemporary society, names that inspire narrative imaginings like fictional characters in a favorite novel.
Low blood pressure kept Francis Bosworth (1904-1983) from serving in the military during the Second World War. In response, Bosworth, a seasoned writer, turned to social service. It was this second calling that brought Bosworth, an Episcopalian, to Philadelphia, where he was employed by the Quakers for nearly a quarter of a century to oversee a settlement house. Oversight led to activism, and in recognition of his efforts on behalf of urban development, Bosworth was awarded one of the city’s most prestigious honors in 1952, the Philadelphia Award.
[Editor's note: the following blog post was written a few weeks prior to publication. The cigarette tax legislation mentioned in the first paragraph was just signed into law.]
Greetings readers, and happy autumn to you all! We're back again with more transcribed 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.
This is the eighth and final blog in A Philly Foodie Explores Local History-- a journey in food history that has led me to cook from Martha Washington’s original cookbook, connect with Philadelphia’s historic Italian Market, and dedicate an entire blog to Pennsylvania peaches. It only seems fitting to end this blog series by visiting Reading Terminal Market, a popular foodie destination in the city today whose history reflects massive changes in American food production and distribution throughout the 20th century. At the 1931 formal opening of The Food Show and Home Progress Exposition at Reading Terminal, president of Reading Company Agnew T. Dice spoke about the role railroads and modern technology played in reshaping the American dinner table at the time. A copy of this speech along with an incredible collection of 1940s photographs have made their way into archives at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and provide a lively view of the market’s past. After peering into the history of Reading Terminal Market below and in the photo album to the right, you might be inspired to visit the market in person! If that is the case, you will be happy to find two end-of-summer dishes at the end of this blog whose ingredients can be found entirely at Reading Terminal!
We're deep in the phase of making changes to our technological platforms (Collective Access, our DAMS, and Drupal, our digital exhibits platform) in order to launch the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project next fall. I recently wrote a blog post on the project for the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG) website. Head on over to the DVAG blog to learn about what we've done
As you might expect, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has a large collection of materials related to the founding father of Pennsylvania, William Penn. Much to my delight, many recipes of Penn’s first wife Gulielma Maria Penn have been preserved in The Penn Family Papers, an impressively large collection of personal written materials by William Penn and various family members. The cooking recipes were collected into a 4-part manuscript totaling more then 150 pages towards the end of the 17th century at the request of Gulielma and Penn’s son William. You can see in the images below that the original recipes are very difficult to read, which is largely due to the rushed manner in which they were transcribed and their use of 17th century spelling and words that are obsolete today. Luckily, HSP has an excellent transcription of the cookbook by Evelyn Abraham Benson that came in very handy in clarifying the cooking instructions and explaining the book’s origins. This week, I tested out two excellent recipes for “A Tart of Spinage” and “Fregasy of Chicken” which would like to share with you below:
Ever since I heard that my family’s farm had begun selling Chambersburg peaches a few weeks ago, I have been craving summer peaches like crazy! Many hot summer days working Pittsburgh-area Duda farmstands as a college student were greatly improved by easy access to these peaches. I’ll admit that more then a few customers caught me with juice rolling down to my elbows when daily business had slowed down— and I will add that my uncles are smiling at my confession now since they know this is advertising at its finest! When I came across a 1910 Franklin County Charity Benefit Cookbook to raise money for the Chambersburg Hospital, Children’s Aid Society of Franklin County, and local home for the elderly, I immediately thought of Chambersburg peaches! This historic cookbook’s recipe for peach ice cream ended up pulling me into Pennsylvania peach history where I was not only impressed with the economic significance of the fruit detailed in two agricultural extension bulletins from 1896 and 1913, but also discovered it's ties to the Civil War." Dip into a brief history of Pennsylvania peaches below and in the additional images in the photo album to the right!