George Frideric Handel and The London Foundling Hospital

The Messiah, written by George Frideric Handel in 1741 and first performed in Dublin before its launch in London, was originally meant for Easter. Many of us have attended the oratorio’s performance at Yuletide, a practice that gained popularity in … Continue reading

A Philadelphia Servant, 1787

  A pie lays broken in the street, a distraught servant teased by the chimney sweeps who caused her to drop it. She’s likely on her way back from the bakery to which her mistress sent the pie to be … Continue reading

Photo: Huntin’ Dog, c. 1920

I don’t hunt, and what little I do know of hunting is bound into my Susquehanna River DNA. I figure the man reposing by the tree with his trusty companion has been hunting ducks or geese or other small game, like … Continue reading

Bye Bye Schrafft’s: Losing More Unique Buildings on the UES

A “Rat Poison” sign appeared on the front door of 155 East 79th street. Generally, that’s the sign that indicates death is close at hand. Obviously the rats are going to kick it. But it’s the building that is coming … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – Where Vintage is Just Fine

It’s one of my first memories of Rome after sleeping off my first bout of European jet lag: opening my Stazione Termini hotel room shutters to find a rather ancient streetcar below. Decay has a different meaning in Europe. I … Continue reading

Museum Monday – Chester County Historical Society

In addition to Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library, Wednesday also took me to the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania. This is local history at its best – and very well-supported. CCHS has a complex in West Chester’s … Continue reading

A Squeal of Delight at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: Miniature Dresses

I attended the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis at the end of May. The opening reception was on a steamy night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). While the reception was welcoming, it was difficult for … Continue reading

Historic Philadelphia Mapping Resources

My research on indentured and enslaved servants’ lives has led me to mapping out their existence on historic maps of Philadelphia. I’m hoping to better understand their relation to the community, merchants, and manufacturers in their environment. I’ve found some … Continue reading