Java Up: The Coffee House: A Cultural History

Grab your mug, get some joe, and crack open The Coffee House: A Cultural History by Markman Ellis (Wenfield and Nicolson, 2004). I was aware of the role the coffee house played in discourse and the exchange of news. In … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: A Speedy Trip to Ottawa

Work took me kicking and screaming to Ottawa this week. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Canada. It was just a chock a block week and I managed to miss being in-country for a presidential election again. … Continue reading

Museum Monday: User Theft of Collections

Yesterday, The Baltimore Sun reported that Jason James Savedoff was sentenced to one year in prison for his supporting role in the theft of over sixty documents from the Maryland Historical Society. The man who convinced him to do it, … Continue reading

Hurricane? Oysters Will Travel

The Long Island Express, otherwise known as the Hurricane of 1938, was a category 3 hurricane when it made landfall. It swept away communities, flooded New York City, and cost between 600 and 800 lives. An article on sewage contamination … Continue reading

A Visit to the Drugstore, 1786

Halloween’s passed us by, but here’s a tale of horror from the late eighteenth century: a visit to the drugstore. This advertisement appeared in The Maryland Journal on August 11, 1786. Particularly note the “Calomel, and all other well-prepared Mercuries” … Continue reading

Living Small – Microunits

I read Allison Arieff’s New York Times Opinionator article “How Small is Too Small?” with a somewhat familiar perspective. I live in Manhattan, in a 450 square foot apartment. I get small. But I’d be hard pressed to get smaller. … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Johnstown Inclined Plane

People generally know one thing about Johnstown, PA: the flood. The Johnstown Flood National Memorial is located on the rim of the former recreational lake that burst on May 31, 1899 and spilled 20 million tons of water into the town … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: City Hall Station

On the top of my list of cool things to do in New York City: visit City Hall Station, the abandoned star of the New York city subway system. Opened in 1904, the one way loop station’s design and close … Continue reading

Museum Monday: The London Transport Museum

Transit Tuesday is moving on in on Museum Monday. If I didn’t live in New York City, I would live in London. It feels like home. And for fans of transit, the London Transport Museum is an excellent time. In … Continue reading

The Historic Fabric of Philadelphia: James E. Taylor’s Sketchbook

Using Winterthur’s online collections resources last night, I stumbled onto James E. Taylor’s sketchbook of historic buildings in Philadelphia. A newspaper illustrator, Taylor sketched historic buildings in Philadelphia’s Old City area in 1861, just before most of the structures in … Continue reading