Inside the CHS

Conversations with Pablo Delano: Part 4

October 2, 2014 · Exhibits ·

Documentary photographer Pablo Delano talks about the challenges of photographing the urban environment. His show opens here on Friday…

Connecticut Digital Archive

October 1, 2014 · Collections ·

Do you remember the 5″ floppy disc, 8-track tape and VHS? The technology that created these and other forms of media is now obsolete. That is why we are moving our digital assets to the Connecticut Digital Archive hosted by the University of Connecticut.

(Re)Building Bridgeport

September 30, 2014 · Collections ·

Bridgeport was originally a parish of Stratford and only became a separate town in 1821. An 1824 map shows its streets lined with houses—including several sea captains’ houses—and a few small businesses.

Conversations with Pablo Delano: Part 3

September 25, 2014 · Exhibits ·

I’ve spent the last couple of days helping Pablo Delano lay out the photographs for his upcoming show…

Benjamin Talcott account book needs a new spine, among other things.

Talcott record books off for treatment

September 24, 2014 · Collections ·

Two Talcott account books, and several manuscript maps and documents went with archivist Barbara Austen to North Andover, Mass. for conservation.

“Nutmegger” Newsworthy

September 22, 2014 · Collections ·

Connecticut has used radio and television to cover everything from Americans on the moon to treasures “from the vault” in a fun and historic way.

Textiles: Where Science and History Meet

September 18, 2014 · Collections ·

Home School Day is nearly upon us. A new offering this year is a workshop discussing the point where textile history and textile science converge!

Conversations with Pablo Delano: Part 2

September 17, 2014 · Exhibits ·

Documentary photographer Pablo Delano talks about the process behind organizing his upcoming show, “Hartford Seen: Photographs by Pablo Delano”

The Artist and the Connecticut Landscape

September 16, 2014 · Collections ·

One of the things I like best about my job at CHS is the opportunity to network with other museum professionals throughout the state….

Musings on “Things”

September 15, 2014 · Collections ·

Listening to an episode of Radiolab while cooking dinner a couple of weeks ago, I started angrily defending the importance of “things” out loud to my cat, and thus, a blog post was born.

How to Play with Whirligigs

September 12, 2014 · Education ·

Children and parents got to experience what it would be like to go back to school during colonial times at our family program last Saturday.

Detail of the casting data on the Hartford fire alarm bell. CHS 1931.14.0

Sounding the Alarm…in a Big Way!

September 11, 2014 · Collections ·

In an age when apps are increasingly becoming a way to alert people to important news, it can be both fun and instructive to look at how emergency information could be transmitted a century ago.

American soldiers at the Battle of Long Island, August 27, 1777.

Still fighting the Revolution

September 10, 2014 · Collections ·

For the month of August I kept telling my husband nearly every day that I had been fighting the Revolutionary War all over again. And in a way, I was.

What is this?

September 9, 2014 · Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts have highlighted an object from the exhibit and explored its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

What if I lost this?!?

September 8, 2014 · CHS Buzz ·

To make sure I have my bad pictures for all eternity, or at least until I send them to Awkward Family Photos, I’m going to pay attention to the experts at Save Your Photos Day on Saturday, September 27 10:00 am — 12:00 noon here at CHS.

Conversations with Pablo Delano: Part 1

September 5, 2014 · Exhibits ·

I’ve been working with documentary photographer Pablo Delano as we prepare to install his October show. Pablo has been photographing Hartford since 2008…

Uncompleted Work

September 4, 2014 · Collections ·

As school starts back in session, I am reminded of many instances in my own childhood of the excitement that leads to that first day: the school supply shopping, the nerves regarding whether or not you would get the “good” teacher, and the wonderful idea of learning something new.

The Heartbreak that is Weighted Silk

July 31, 2014 · Collections ·

We have a number of fantastic volunteers at CHS for the summer, and I am lucky enough to have a few working with me up in the costume collection.

In a chicken coop like place

In a chicken coop like place

July 30, 2014 · Collections ·

I’ve seen movies and television shows that were set during World War I, but it still amazes me how relatively primitive things were in the early 20th century.

What is this?

July 29, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

I Love New York

Artist Richard Welling loved to drawing buildings, especially very large buildings. He was therefore drawn to cities, and his two favorite cities were Hartford, Connecticut and New York City. His drawings chronicling the construction of the World Trade Center are today at the New-York Historical Society, but some of his other New York drawings came…
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Teeth and Innovation

July 28, 2014 · Collections ·

On this day 149 years ago, the American Dental Association established their code of ethics. In Connecticut, compared to Horace Wells’ anesthesia of the 1840s, other innovations may prove lesser known but just as intriguing.

Strike Up the Band(box)!

July 24, 2014 · Collections ·

In recent years the issue of waste materials being sent to landfills has become a concern. Excessive packaging, involving paper, cardboard, plastic (don’t get me going on those impossible to open blister packs) and other materials, seems to be the norm now. And at home, we have large plastic bags filled with smaller plastic bags,…
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How many copies does it take?

July 23, 2014 · Collections ·

Sometimes you just don’t realize what you are looking at. I was reviewing the Wolcott papers to make sure I put the right volume- and object-numbered document in the correct “folder” of the finding aid (just one step in the project funded by NHPRC to get our manuscripts online through Connecticut History Online). I kept…
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What Does this Photograph of the Farmington River have to do with Downton Abbey?

July 22, 2014 · Collections ·

Inscriptions on the back of this 1930s photograph of the Farmington River provide quite a bit of information about it. The dam in the foreground is said to be in the same location as the dam for the first gristmill on the river, established in 1701. In the 1930s, there was still an active gristmill…
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Linocuts and an Apology

July 21, 2014 · Collections ·

Last time I wrote a blog post, I wrote it about Richard Welling’s linoleum blocks. I mistakenly wrote that we don’t have prints made from the blocks. I would like to formally apologize for that. We actually do have linocuts of most of the Welling linoleum blocks. I just got through cataloging them, and they…
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Adventures in Exhibits

July 18, 2014 · Collections ·

I just received a few emails from people congratulating me on LinkedIn for my fifth year work anniversary. That was news to me! I started in the summer of ’09 as the Interpretive Projects Assistant and had a lot of memories working at CHS since. So of my favorite adventures in exhibits…   When I…
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A Change of Plans

July 17, 2014 · Collections ·

I was quite literally in the middle of writing up today’s blog post, all nerdily excited to teach you a thing or two about weighted silk, when I was interrupted by some young researchers.  So, instead, I’m going to tell you about one of the reasons I love my job (don’t worry, you’ll hear about…
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Just what is on those tapes?

July 16, 2014 · Collections ·

On  Saturday, volunteer VivianLea Solek and I launched a project that will take years to complete, but which I think is very exciting.

What is this?

July 15, 2014 · Collections, Exhibits ·

Our newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

Who Were the Harvard Five—And What Do They Have to do with Connecticut?

When most people think of Connecticut architecture, they most often think of Colonial saltbox houses or white steepled churches nestled in green hills. They usually don’t think of the International Style of modern architecture, and they certainly don’t think of Harvard University. But in the 1940s, five architects from Harvard settled in the green hills…
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What made Katharine Hepburn Nervous?

July 14, 2014 · CHS Buzz ·

Not many things made Katharine Hepburn nervous, but the prospect of meeting French fashion icon Coco Chanel had her worried.

Summer Time= Recharging Teachers

July 11, 2014 · Education ·

I usually talk about my past teaching experiences in the blog posts; so I thought I would switch it up and talk a little about the work here in the museum. Since I will doing a good deal of editing and writing for our new website this month, I decide to just to a quick…
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The Colonial Revival in Art

July 10, 2014 · Collections ·

Over the years that I have worked at CHS I have noticed that some items seem to have a particular appeal as illustrations. Sometimes it is clearly understandable, as with the flag that decorated Lincoln’s box at Ford’s Theater, or Amos Doolittle’s engravings of Lexington and Concord. But in other instances the attraction is less…
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John Trumbull, artist

July 9, 2014 · Collections ·

John Trumbull (1756-1843) was the son of Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull and first cousin of M’Fingall poet John Trumbull. John the artist graduated from Harvard in 1773 and served as an aide to General Washington during the Revolution. In 1784 he went to London to study with the painter Benjamin West.

Who Was Hartford Louise?

July 8, 2014 · Collections ·

The gentleman driving the sulky is John A. Pilgard. The horse is Hartford Louise. Pilgard had come to Hartford as a poor immigrant boy and became a successful merchant, banker, and civic leader. A butcher and grocer by trade, Pilgard greatest love was fast horses, especially those that he bred and raced himself. He was…
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Celebrate America at Muzzy Field

July 4, 2014 · Exhibits ·

If you’re looking for something to do this Independence weekend (between barbecues and World Cup games that I do not authorize you to skip), what could be more appropriate than visiting one of this country’s oldest baseball parks, right here in Connecticut? Today kicks off Bristol’s 100th Anniversary Celebration of Muzzy Field, a family event…
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The Connecticut Landscape…in our entrance hall

July 3, 2014 · Collections ·

As some of you may already know, this year we are teaming up with FoxCT and the Hartford Courant to celebrate the Courant’s 250th anniversary.  Part of that partnership is a segment on FoxCT every first Thursday of the month called From the Vault where we bring a few items out of storage and give…
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Blue cloth coats with red facings and white lining

July 2, 2014 · Collections ·

As we prepare for the July 4th holiday and enjoy the fireworks celebrating American independence from Great Britain, it is hard to realize that our country faced a rather treacherous beginning. I thought about that when reading a series of militia brigade orders from the 1790s.

A Moment in Time

July 1, 2014 · Collections ·

It’s the Fourth of July. An American flag is flying from Fort Trumbull, and a stately procession of tall ships is leaving New London harbor. The monument commemorating the Revolutionary War Battle of Groton Heights is visible in the background. It could almost be a snapshot taken during OpSail, but this drawing was made by…
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