Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Civil War Comes to California

As was mentioned in a post last week, Americans will be marking the 150th anniversaries of the great events of the Civil War over the next four years.  Many of the battles, commanders and regiments of that conflict have become legends, and the narrative of a nation split apart, brother fighting against brother, remains compelling.  ...

The Acquisitions Table: The New Pretty Village

The New Pretty Village. Church Set. New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1897. The McLoughlin Brothers dominated both the picture book and game markets in late 19th-century America, and The New Pretty Village is a wonderful example of McLoughlin’s halcyon era. This segment of the ideal suburban village includes cardboard models of a church, a stately house, a ...

Past is Present and Other Blogs

Here is a roundup of a few blogs that have recently mentioned Past is Present. One of our recent posts -- "City Living" was referenced a couple of times. Two Nerdy History Girls had a post "Big Bad City Tempts Young Men, 1849" in which Susan provides a wonderful set-up to introduce our earlier post: "Just ...

Celebrating 100 Years, 100 Years Ago

As AAS gears up for the most momentous occasion of its bicentennial in 2012, I thought it would be fitting to take a look back in the AAS archives to see how we celebrated the first 100 years.  In 1912, the Society had just moved into its new (and now current) home at 185 Salisbury ...

The Acquisitions Table: No Rose Without a Thorn

No rose without a thorn. New York: Nathaniel Currier, [1838-1856] Shown with "My Master's Wife" When he started his business on Nassau Street in New York City, Nathaniel Currier offered for sale lithographs of news events, historic images, local views, and pretty women. He also occasionally produced narrative genre scenes such as this curious depiction of ...

The Acquisitions Table: The First German-American Cookbook

David Whitesell, curator of books, reports on a recent acquisition: Die Wahre Brandtewein-Brennerey, oder Brandtewein- Gin- und Cordialmacher-Kunst:  wie auch die a?chte Fa?rbe-Kunst, Blau, Roth, Gelb und Gru?n zu fa?rben, auf Baumwalle, Leinen, und Wolle … [Reading, PA?: Gottlob Jungmann and Carl Andreas Bruckmann?], 1802. Very rare third of four recorded editions of what might be ...

The Diary of Patty Rogers

With wedding season upon us, and love and relationships at the forefront of many minds this time of the year, it's fun to wonder what courting, love, and relationships were like, and how they've evolved over the past couple hundred years.  We all have ideas in our minds,  probably placed there through novels and films.  ...

Lee Pardon Aldrich and the Trial of Daniel Sickles

In February of 1859, a scandalous event shook Washington D.C., involving two prominent politicians, betrayal and murder most foul.  How intriguing! Hon. Daniel E. Sickles, Congressman from New York, shot and killed Philip Barton Key, U.S. District Attorney (and also, interestingly enough, son of famed composer Francis Scott Key), after discovering an affair between Key and ...

A History of Books

Purely physical love for a book can sometimes be a book’s worst enemy.  By fingering the books, prints, manuscripts, and newspapers in AAS collections, each reader and researcher contributes to the slow death of our materials.  In his novel In the Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco writes that the saliva and dust left behind ...