Tag: Library of Congress

Book Report — Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America’s Game

Book Report — Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America’s Game

Books
The last few years have been conflicting ones for football fans. While NFL devotees wrestle with their collective conscience regarding the impact of football on it's participants' long-term health, the sport has arguably never been more popular (or certainly more financially successful). While not ignoring the troubling revelations coming out almost daily on the medical front, the rich history of football in the United States is still worthy of celebration. It is in the spirit of this celebration that we now have the fantastic visually striking Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America's Game (Abrams Books 2013). The book was written by Library of Congress author Susan Reyburn, and it is this association that is Football Nation's greatest strength. So let's talk about that. ...
Celebrating More Than a Century of Government Corruption

Celebrating More Than a Century of Government Corruption

History
As the U.S. government shuts down once again in a display of petty brinksmanship, it's worth remembering that our Republican and Democrat friends have been pulling crap like this since day one. To illustrate that point, here's a fantastic illustration -- it's too nice to be called a cartoon -- from a July 1910 issue of Puck magazine. It shows us that, truly, there is nothing new under the political sun. Click for a larger version. In a bit of sad irony, I obtained this image from the website of the Library of Congress -- which is now shut down.
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 37: Smokin’ Outside the Pool Room

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 37: Smokin’ Outside the Pool Room

Vintage Photo Wednesday
From St. Louis in May 1910 comes a scene you won't see much of anymore. The photo description from the Library of Congress reads as follow: "A Pool Room Branch (Chouteau & Manchester). These boys were playing pool and smoking in the pool room while waiting for papers. The smallest boy is 9 years old and sells until 9 P.M." Click for a larger version. Photo credit to Lewis Wickes Hine. For another shot from the same session, check out this Shorpy page. I love the smirk on the dapper gentleman standing in the doorway. His face pretty much says, "Yeah, I'm watching these young kids smoke, what of it? As long as I get my paper on time I'm fine and dandy."
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 27: Franklin Township Deli, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 27: Franklin Township Deli, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday
We return to New Jersey for this week's vintage photograph, specifically Franklin Township. This shot, taken in February 1936, depicts a woman in front of a small grocery store/delicatessen. She's either fixing a tattered awning or taking it down, I can't be sure which. This is from the days before big supermarkets were a common sight. A few brand names figure prominently in this scene -- Coca-Cola and White Rose Tea. Everyone knows Coca-Cola of course, but fewer know about White Rose. It is a rather large independent wholesale food distributor in the New York/New Jersey metro area and has been in operation since the late 19th century. They got into the tea business in the early 1900s. Below the display window it's all about tobacco. I see a sign for Granger Rough Cut (pipe tobac
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 23: Going to the Garment Factory, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 23: Going to the Garment Factory, 1936

History, Vintage Photo Wednesday
Thanks to the new focus of my Vintage Photo Wednesday series on New Jersey, I'm learning some really interesting things about my home state. For instance, the town of Roosevelt -- located roughly 20 miles east of Trenton -- was established as Jersey Homesteads in 1937 as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's many New Deal initiatives. So you can probably guess where the name came from. Here's an excerpt on the history of Roosevelt from Rutgers University: In early 1933, Title II, Section 208, of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) created the Division of Subsistence Homesteads, the purpose of which was to decentralize industry from congested cities and enable workers to improve their standards of living through the help of subsistence agriculture. Jersey Homesteads was uniqu...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 22: Hudson Tunnel Station Newsies, 1909

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 22: Hudson Tunnel Station Newsies, 1909

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Starting this week I'm going to start featuring more vintage photographs from my home state of New Jersey -- the good, the bad, and the just plain neat. It's a great opportunity for me to both share and learn more about the Garden State, so save your mob/pollution jokes please. As with most of the other photos I've shared, I'm going to attempt to clean things up a bit. I'm no Shorpy but I do what I can. This week's image was taken by Lewis Wickes Hine, who shot countless numbers of pictures depicting child labor at the turn of the century and later. This photo shows a group of newsies hawking papers at the Hudson Tunnel Station in Jersey City in December 1909. From the Library of Congress page description: "Newsie selling at the Hudson Tunnel Station, Jersey City. Boy on left is Patr...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 21: New York Santa & Mobile Xmas Post Office

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 21: New York Santa & Mobile Xmas Post Office

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Sorry for the dearth of activity around these parts lately, it's been a hectic holiday season. To make it up to you I'm doubling your vintage photograph pleasure this week! Up first is a familiar site -- Santa Claus collecting donations for the less fortunate on a street corner, circa the early 1910s. This is from the Library of Congress's Bain News Service collection. Click for a larger version. The sign on the faux chimney reads, in part, "Volunteers of America -- Ballington Booth Christmas Dinners." According to Wikipedia, Ballington Booth was an officer in the Salvation Army. His parents, William and Catherine Booth, founded the Salvation Army in 1865. Booth and his wife Maud left the Salvation Army in the late 19th century and started their own charity organization -- God
Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Capsules, Ephemera
Published from 1871 until 1918, Puck magazine was America's first successful humor magazine featuring cartoons and political satire. Their Thanksgiving covers, while not always political, usually were and are still fun to look at today even if the relevance has been lost to time. Their choice of makes sense when you know that they were based out of New York City. Tammany Hall, which we all heard about in history class but have since forgotten, figures prominently. Here's a selection of Puck's Thanksgiving covers from around the turn of the 20th century, courtesy the Library of Congress. That's prominent New York politician David B. Hall, who we'll see again in 1902. He lost the NY gubernatorial race in 1894 to Levi P. Morton. Tammany Hall was a frequent target for ...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 3 — Joining of Waters, Cape Cod (1914)

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 3 — Joining of Waters, Cape Cod (1914)

Vintage Photo Wednesday
While the idea of building a canal between Cape Cod and what is now mainland Massachusetts dates back to the early American colonial period, a workable plan didn't come to fruition until the early 20th century. Construction on the Cape Cod Canal began on June 22, 1909 and was fully completed in 1916. It opened on a limited basis on July 29, 1914, but was immediately plagued with issues concerning cost and accessibility. This week's photo is dated April 21, 1914 and was published in The New York Times the next day. It shows August Belmont, Jr., president of the Boston, Cape Cod & New York Canal Company, and other dignitaries at Foley's Dock/Dike, Massachusetts. From the Times article of April 22: BUZZARD'S BAY, Mass., April 21. - In the presence of August Belmont, President of the C