Monthly Archives: November 2009

It’s all in the timing

catterpillar

Proof that humor is not a modern invention:  a joke to lighten our Wednesdays direct from John Davis to AAS Librarian Christopher Columbus Baldwin in the close of a February 4, 1832 letter. Can you tell why a catterpillar [sic] is like a woman churning butter? Do you give it up? Because she makes butterfly. No groans ...

The Embezzler Redeemed – Part 3

brower_manhattan_company_bank_note

Continued from Part 2 of the Embezzler Redeemed One possible answer to this question is suggested by an account published in the November 19, 1803 issue of the Morning Chronicle. We understand that the Manhattan Company have discovered a further fraud of about eight thousand dollars, committed by Benjamin Brower, previous to his elopements. It is said ...

From Cheap-Jacks to Scrooge McDuck

In Cheap We Trust

Recent economic events have raised the profile of cheapness, which makes this Tuesday evening's free public lecture at AAS a particularly timely event.  On Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30pm Lauren Weber will be discussing the value of thriftiness in American history in a talk titled: "From Cheap-Jacks to Scrooge McDuck: A Brief History of Cheapness and Thrift in America."  By ...

Are your bookshelves looking bare?

icon.book

Happy weekend, everyone!  Hope you all have had a chance to crash out on the couch and luxuriate in the do-nothing vibe. Should the time come when you decide to do something more drastic with your weekend, here's a last-minute but heartfelt invitation to join us at the acclaimed Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair ...

The Embezzler Redeemed- Part 2

brower_wall_street

Continued from Part 1 of "The Embezzler Redeemed" A report that Benjamin Brower had been apprehended at Albany was refuted almost immediately as being “wholly without foundation.”  But on October 25, 1803, the New England Palladium (Boston) briefly reported he had been captured.  On the 29th the New York Morning Chronicle expanded upon the news of ...

Anatomy of a Catalog Record

catalog_record

People tend to treat catalog records a lot like refrigerators: open it, grab what you need, and close it up again. At AAS, the milk, eggs, and butter of the record are the author, title, and call number. Locate those three and the rest can stay a black and white blur. But know that ...

The Embezzler Redeemed- Part 1

brower_columbian_speaker_preface

One of the great joys of cataloging is figuring out who the folks were who wrote, edited, illustrated, printed, published, or owned the books that cross our desks.  In most cases we don’t have time to delve into the lives of these people, and wistfully think that someone ought to write a dissertation on this ...

Apple Pie Bake-Off Or The Sweet Taste of Revenge

apples

In the October 1813 Report of the Committee, Isaiah Thomas justified the choice of Worcester for the home of the American Antiquarian Society. He maintained that an “inland situation” offered the best protection against, the destruction so often experienced in large towns and cities by fire, as well as from the ravages of an enemy, ...