In My Opinion
Love and Money
This month, I’m going to act as your financial advisor. And I’m going to give you advice about buying a bicycle. Ok, I know that’s sent most of you off to watch Celebrity Apprentice or something, so will the three of you left please pull up your chairs and listen.
Of course, I wouldn’t dare give financial advice personally – I can hardly balance a check book. So I’m channeling Carl Richards, a guy who makes his living telling people the best way to spend and save their money. He knows what he’s talking about.
Leaves from the Orient
Drinking Tea in America and Europe
Tea as evoked in William Cowper’s 1875 poem is hardly an exotic beverage. It is more a comfort drink and certainly one beloved of the nineteenth-century Temperance brigade in England. But it has a noble history and its introduction into Europe was surrounded by considerable ceremony, and its use gave rise to an extensive array of artifacts.
The Dewitt Clinton
A Historic Train, a Historic Silhouette
This is the story of how an itinerant silhouette artist created an eight-foot long silhouette of New York’s first passenger steam train on its inaugural run in 1831. The artist was William Henry Brown, the train was the DeWitt Clinton, and the silhouette is among the largest still surviving.
Literary legends from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Collecting books is a custom with a cultural history as old as the book itself; however in the ancient world, books were extremely rare, handmade objects that commanded a princely sum, restricting private collecting to a few wealthy and influential men. It was only when the printing press created hundreds of identical copies of books, at prices within the means of Europe’s middle class, that book collecting became fashionable. By the end of the seventeenth century, book collecting became a popular activity for an increasingly literate and cultured population, as evidenced by auctions devoted specifically to books, first recorded in England in 1676.
Look up in the sky…it’s a bird…it’s a plane…
No, it’s a drone over an historic house
Some may think that high tech and historic preservation may be strange bedfellows, but there is a long tradition of historic preservation proponents and professionals using cutting edge technology. Often the most scientific based conservation solutions are the best in the long run, and can often be the most cost effective in the short run. One of the best local examples of this is the new use of drones by Historic New England to inspect, document and measure their properties, and to help them produce accurate maintenance schedules.
It was the provenance that got me first, and then the casters. I had received an email from a woman who wanted to donate three chairs to the Ipswich Museum. We have a lot of chairs, many of them pretty nondescript, so I hardly bounced up and down with excitement at the news. But reading on, I learned that she was a descendent of the Lummus family, and according to her family history, the chairs had originally been in the Lummus House on High Street, here in Ipswich.