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!
Maritime disaster and lawn tennis have more in common than one might suppose. Consider the quiet confidence of Richard Norris Williams, Titanic survivor and tennis titlist.
A descendant of Benjamin Franklin, Williams was born to American parents in Switzerland. Acceptance to Harvard in 1912 readied the 21-year-old for his first trip to the United States. With first-class passage booked on the RMS Titanic, Williams and his father boarded in Cherbourg.
In the age of e-readers and mass paperbacks, it is easy to forget that books were once a very scarce and expensive commodity made by hand from materials equally costly and difficult to acquire. In the distant past, before the prevalence of paper, book pages were most often cut from vellum, a parchment made from calfskin; depending on the size of the book and number of pages, a single volume could require the laboriously prepared skins of several, even dozens, of animals. It was therefore not unheard of for such pages and books to be scraped down and reused, t
As anyone with a hangover on April 15 knows, taxes and whiskey have never mixed. George Washington learned this lesson the hard way when facing off against the largest organized resistance to federal authority between the Revolution and the Civil War: the Whiskey Rebellion.
In the years after Yankee victory at Yorktown, the nascent United States became shackled to a foe far more tyrannical than a British monarch: budgetary imbalance.
Hello all! We're closing in on the final months of posts of 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.
As students and parents prepare for the coming school year, consider the half-century career of educator Mary Anna Longstreth.
Born in Philadelphia, Longstreth (1811-1884) began her schooling at 2 years old, "according to the strictest traditions of the Society of Friends," as recorded by the Mary Anna Longstreth Alumnae Association. At 13, Longstreth was already instructing her younger sisters in Latin.
"Her early training made work the habit of her life," recounted a future colleague.
After two long years of poring through HSP's graphics collections, digitizing countless images, researching the history of political cartoons, playing around with high-tech image viewers, painstakingly encoding TEI, creating lesson plans and resources for educators, learning about RDF and metadata standards, and blogging, blogging, blogging, it is time for Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) staff to sign off on this digital history project.
One of the most interesting articles I have come across randomly browsing the Internet discussed last meals of famous inmates on death row. There are several outrageous feasts, but the most popular food of choice is apple pie a la mode. Why, you might ask?
When it comes to Philadelphia's connection to the history of television, many believe it to stretch only as far as the hemlines and pegged pants of modish teens on American Bandstand. However, the city's pixilated past deserves a high-definition look.
It was at the Franklin Institute that inventor Philo Farnsworth demonstrated the first electronic television set to the public. TV Guide launched its channel safaris from a small office in Center City, while the inventor of instant replay, Tony Verna, also called the city home.
In a few short weeks we’ll be wrapping up work on the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) Project. While working on the two year project, we’ve come across many interesting and funny political cartoons.
One of our favorites is Join, or Die. It was published by Benjamin Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette, and is most likely the first American political cartoon. The cartoon shows a snake cut into eight pieces and makes the point that the colonies must unite in order to defend themselves against tyranny.
As pro golfers head to the 97th PGA Championship in Wisconsin this month, local golfers can tee up with a look at Philadelphia's intimate connection to the game through Rodman Wanamaker, son of the department-store magnate John Wanamaker.