The Impact of Aging Infrastructure on Health

Ron Nixon’s New York Times article “Human Cost Rises as Old Bridges, Dams, and Roads Go Unrepaired” [Oxford comma mine] conveys how our society is sagging under lack of maintenance and repair. While bridges collapse spectacularly, illness from aging water management … Continue reading

Thomas Bewick, Newcastle Wood Engraver (1753-1828)

In digging through the British Museum online collection database this week for a project, I tripped over the wood engravings of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Operating mostly in Newcastle for his entire career, Bewick’s rural upbringing led to an interest in … Continue reading

Preservation and Access in Oklahoma

Early this week found me in Edmond, Oklahoma. Located along US Route 66, the texture of the town is trains, traffic, bungalows, and mid-century roadside architecture. UCO was founded as a land grant college in 1890, right after the Land … Continue reading

The Pain of Mosul – A Preservation Professional’s Perspective

This was originally published at wwww.rebeccafifieldpreservation.com earlier today. I have spent my life caring for cultural heritage. As a museum collection manager, my work aims to preserve the physical and intellectual values of collections by limiting risks, such as pollutants, … Continue reading

Postpartum Depression and Witchcraft

If you have had a baby, you know the months afterward can be tough, and memorable. There are numerous explanations as to what lunacy gripped Salem Village (now Danvers) in 1692. Ergot poisoning. Adolescent girls seeking power. Class inequality. Disputes over … Continue reading

Maryland Preparations for the Sick, 1881

‘Tis the season for illness. Cooking tomes of the past often included a chapter of recipes to be made for the ill and infirm. Certainly, our need for something comforting remains, but general folklore shared today mentions chicken soup, ginger … Continue reading

New Year’s Day – A Great Day to Run Away

Many of us choose some aspect of life to rejuvenate on the 1st of January. On a whim, I decided to reference my runaway servant research database to see how popular a day New Year’s Day was for running away. … Continue reading

Book: The Public Library by Robert Dawson

Last night I read The Public Library, A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson. I didn’t borrow it from my public library, which is the Carnegie-built Webster branch of the New York Public Library. It’s at the end of my street … Continue reading

Thanksgiving, Sauerkraut, and the Railroad

Marylanders, love it or hate it, serve sauerkraut at Thanksgiving (see a previous post on the subject here). I particularly like the tang of fermented cabbage to break up the richness of the other dishes on offer. I’m curious how … Continue reading

Doors Open Baltimore – This Saturday, October 25

After my last post about the decay of Baltimore progressive civic icons from the 19th century, Doors Open Baltimore celebrates the industrial past that made it possible this Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 10am-4pm. Fascinating physical industrial heritage spanning from … Continue reading