American History


Surgeon and Abolitionist James McCune Smith: An African American Pioneer

Dr. James McCune Smith. Source: New-York Historical Society

Surgeon and Abolitionist James McCune Smith: An African American Pioneer

Local Intelligence: Exploring the Past of My Adopted Hometown

Our Guest Blogger:

Barbara Shaffer, unofficial historian of Springfield, Massachusetts

From the online archive of the Springfield Republican and Union

Local Intelligence: Exploring the Past of My Adopted Hometown

Birth of a Star—Washington, D.C.’s Evening Star

The Evening Star Newspaper Buildings. Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Birth of a Star—Washington, D.C.’s Evening Star

Etaoin and Other Shrdlu in the News

LINOTYPE: THE FILM, a new documentary by Doug Wilson, is now being screened across the U.S.

Etaoin and Other Shrdlu in the News

Location, location, location!

Nothing says “home” quite like a map of Alaska and adjacent lands shown as Russian and British territory—with annotations in French! 

“Map showing Russian territory of Alaska and coastline of western Canada. Alaskan Boundary Tribunal” (1903). Source: U.S. Congressional Serial Set, Readex

Location, location, location!

Announcing the digital edition of Washington, D.C.’s Evening Star, 1852-1922

Old Evening Star Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. -- Source: Carol M. Highsmith Archive (Library of Congress)

This spring Readex will begin releasing a complete 70-year span of The Evening Star—one of the most influential newspapers in U.S. history. For more than a century, historians have regarded The Evening Star as the newspaper of record for the nation’s capital. Today, curators from leading newspaper repositories cite this long-running afternoon daily as one of their most heavily researched papers.

Man buying The Evening Star from newsboy -- Source: National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress)

Announcing the digital edition of Washington, D.C.’s Evening Star, 1852-1922

Readex announces Early American Newspapers, Series 8 and Series 9, 1832-1922

From Early American Newspapers, Series 9

Readex announces Early American Newspapers, Series 8 and Series 9, 1832-1922

The World’s Greatest Aviator: Daredevil Lincoln Beachey and the Dip of Death

Lincoln J. Beachey (March 3, 1887 – March 14, 1915)

In the early 20th century, aviator Lincoln Beachey and his Curtis biplane amazed and delighted crowds with the “Dip of Death” and his mastery of “looping the loop.” Or by daring to fly upside down, which on one occasion shook $300 from his pocket and led him to quip,
I am willing to take a chance of losing my life flying upside down but it’s certainly tough to be torn loose from my bank roll, too.1
A groundbreaking aviator and breathtaking stuntman, he could boast of having performed for over 20 million spectators, or about one fifth of the U.S. population at the time. Yet 100 years later his name is largely unknown.

Source: Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Press; Jan. 30, 1914. Click open full article in PDF.

The World’s Greatest Aviator: Daredevil Lincoln Beachey and the Dip of Death

Librarian turned award-winning biographer hails research value of historical newspapers

Paperback publication date: March 1, 2012

Librarian turned award-winning biographer hails research value of historical newspapers

The Lady’s Maid: A Life in Service in America

Downton Abbey, a drama that recently ended its second season on PBS about the English aristocracy and their servants during the Edwardian era, has become a cult hit in the United States. A great deal of its appeal is nostalgia for an elegant way of life unfamiliar to most of us. And there is likely not a woman alive who has not wished for a lady’s maid (of a nicer sort) than the dour and scheming O’Brien, lady’s maid to Lady Grantham (Cora Crawley). Ladies’ maids were part seamstress, masseuse, hairdresser, beautician and secretary. Unlike the rest of the servants, they reported directly to the lady of the house rather than to the housekeeper or butler, which set them apart from the others. As Downton Abbey makes abundantly clear, a strict hierarchy ruled "below stairs" too. The butler, housekeeper and ladies' maids were at the top. Because of the close nature of the relationship between the lady of the house and her maid, maids were carefully selected. According to The Lady’s Maid: Her Duties and How to Perform Them, a manual published in 1870,
The Lady’s Maid: A Life in Service in America

Pages


Back to top