Inside the CHS

CHS Buzz

He’s a Fixer Upper

May 12, 2014 · CHS Buzz

Ron Tanner is a do-it-yourselfer, whether he’s fixing up his historic Baltimore row house or embarking on a book tour. We’re eagerly awaiting his arrival here at CHS in his camper van with his trusty sidekick, his Bassett hound Cleo.

An Olympic medal, a G. Fox Bracelet, and a Katharine Hepburn Costume

April 25, 2014 · CHS Buzz

So, yesterday, on behalf of the Connecticut Historical Society, I attended the Connecticut Conference on Tourism in Hartford. Firstly, it is inspiring to see the number of wonderful institutions across Connecticut that are so passionate about what they are doing. There was lots of learning opportunities with workshops about social media, using video content, reaching…
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Fancy Pants

April 14, 2014 · CHS Buzz, Exhibits

Pants running. Pants standing. Best of all, pants doing a handstand. Pants are a perfect symbol of Katharine Hepburn’s unconventional approach to fashion and her exceptional Hollywood career. Decades before mainstream American women would dare to wear pants to work, Hepburn wore jeans on the studio lot in the early 1930s. The story goes that…
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Keeping Track of History

April 7, 2014 · CHS Buzz, Education

In the next few weeks I will be teaching a great deal of programs about immigration. The museum and outreach program focus on the stories of the people who have left their homes looking for a better, or different, life here in Connecticut. Being the son of an immigrant, the program has special meaning for me, and…
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Quiltmakers at Work, or Hey, There’s a Menagerie on my Petticoat

March 10, 2014 · CHS Buzz

A mermaid, a lion, a griffin (or is it a leopard?), a fish, two stags, three rabbits, three different birds and what might be a dog. That’s the list of intricately stitched figures found around the border of Sarah Halsey’s amazing quilted petticoat.

Celebrating Birthdays at the CHS!

February 14, 2014 · CHS Buzz, Education

This past week I celebrated my 31st birthday (not a milestone year at all!) – at home, in my pajamas all day, glued to hour after hour of non-academic television shows, and watching the snow fall outside. By the end of the day, my Connecticut yard was blanketed with about 10 inches of snow. I…
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Got Style?

February 10, 2014 · CHS Buzz

My fashion-show debut was in the juniors department in Macy’s. It was the culmination of several weeks of classes in style and etiquette, and I strutted down the make-shift catwalk in a yellow polka-dot outfit. I don’t remember the details, except I think there was a vest and I know my collar was up (hey,…
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What it was like 50 years ago.. when the Beatles came to the US

February 9, 2014 · CHS Buzz

Once again, I’m compelled to write about one of the events that changed our culture and had a major influence on the 60’s- the British invasion! At the time, kids like me listened to scratchy music on a little transistor radio with an ear plug. My favorite AM station was WDRC. We heard some Motown,…
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Peek Behind the Scenes All Year Long!

January 13, 2014 · CHS Buzz

It is time to unveil the 2014 line up of Behind-the-Scenes Tours. We’re offering even more access to the hidden treasures of Connecticut history that are normally behind closed doors, and with the option of buying a Season Pass, you can get that sneak peek at a great 20% discount!

Sending Holiday Wishes is Changing

December 27, 2013 · CHS Buzz

Communication has been changing much quicker in the past few years. Letters have been replaced with emails, phone calls replaced with texts, and Christmas cards and birthday cards replaced with Facebook wall posts.

G. Fox Was Way Ahead of Amazon

December 9, 2013 · CHS Buzz

Long before Jeff Bezos imagined drones delivering packages to your door, G. Fox & Co. built their business on world-class service and home delivery—and even air delivery. So many Hartford residents have warm memories of visits to the iconic downtown department store, but the truth was that you didn’t have to set foot in G….
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History is Sweet!

December 2, 2013 · CHS Buzz

What comes to mind when you think about chocolate? If you’re a chocoholic (like me), just thinking about it makes you happy – and hungry. I’ll take it in almost any of the various forms and flavors that are available today, but for nearly 90% of chocolate’s history, it was consumed primarily as a beverage….
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Open Studio Hartford Comes to CHS

November 11, 2013 · CHS Buzz

For artist Vicente Garcia, form and scale are crucial elements of his artistic production. On the beautiful fall day when he installed his large outdoor sculptures on the CHS grounds, he also needed strength and dexterity and some really good climbing skills. For those of you strolling past the CHS along Elizabeth Street or Asylum…
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What is a Nut?

November 4, 2013 · CHS Buzz

At CHS, we’re chock full o’ nuts; history nuts, that is. We’re so nutty about history, that I even began to wonder about the history of the word nuts. Finding the origin of nut(s) and the historical development of its meaning turned out to be a tougher nut to crack than I thought; but here…
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Forget the Futon, It’s Time for Grown-Up Furniture

October 15, 2013 · CHS Buzz

Ok, I’ll admit that we still have a futon in our basement. But that’s not our greatest source of furniture shame. I remember vividly the hot afternoon we set out to get a new desk for my husband. I was a graduate student at the time and money was short, so we headed to a…
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“F/8 and Be There!”

October 7, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Exhibits

History of photography enthusiasts might recognize the quote above, generally attributed to Arthur Fellig, a photojournalist in the 1930s and ‘40s. His advice – half technical, half philosophical – was based on the method he found worked best for him, when all cameras were manually operated. The first half refers to the aperture setting on…
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Witches are Coming!

September 16, 2013 · CHS Buzz

I’ll admit I was depressed when my local supermarket started putting Halloween candy out before my kids went back to school, but I’ve actually been thinking about the creepiest season of the year for months now. Thanks to CHS trustee Richard Tomlinson (author of Witchcraft Prosecution: Chasing the Devil in Connecticut), we’ll be hosting a…
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Merry Memories

September 9, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Collections

Last year, for the holiday season, the CHS store featured a reproduction ornament based on an original in our collection: Winter Wonderland, Old G. Fox Building, Hartford, designed by Richard Welling, 1995, and G. Fox & Co. This product was so popular, by the end of the season, it sold out.

Focusing on Furniture

August 12, 2013 · CHS Buzz

Entering the furniture storage on the third floor still feels like I’ve stumbled upon a secret treasure trove every time I get off the elevator. Visitors on our monthly Behind-the-Scenes Tours sometimes get to experience this feeling, too, but we know that more members and visitors would love a way to learn more about this…
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Cell phone covers – necessity, design, and history in one product. C’est merveilleux!

August 5, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Collections

It all started when one of our many amazing CHS volunteers (Samantha Ozzone) offered a great idea for a new store product: cell phone covers featuring fabrics from the Textile Collection. Initially we planned individually packaged hard covers, each featuring a piece from the CHS needlework or fabric collection. Some of you might have purchased…
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Whaling in Connecticut

July 26, 2013 · CHS Buzz

Congratulations to @MysticSeaport and the numerous volunteers who, after five years and $7 million, restored the last wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan to majestic status and re-launched her back into the water on the 172nd anniversary of her maiden voyage. Inspired by this recent accomplishment, I decided to take a quick walk around…
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Calling All Yankee Craftsmen!

July 8, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Collections

If your workshop isn’t air conditioned, find a perfect respite from the rising temperatures at our Behind-the-Scenes Tours “CHS Toolbox” on Saturday, July 20 at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. With collections expert Rich Malley, visitors will explore vintage tools from awls to wrenches (ok, I couldn’t come up with a tool that started with…
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Shop Here, Away From Traffic

July 1, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Exhibits

As my co-worker Ben Gammell pointed out in his recent blog about the CHS exhibit, Behind the Wheel: Vintage Automobile Safety Posters, “Automobile safety is no joke” – and neither is shopping!

Kids + Summer: A Secret Formula for Parents

June 28, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Education, Exhibits

Ah, summer. The time for all those summer kid activities: Camps, amusement parks, pools, education—SHHH! Bite your tongue, it’s summer! Well, just because kids are on summer vacation, doesn’t mean their minds need to shut down either.

Mr. Veeder’s Neighborhood

June 10, 2013 · CHS Buzz

As if secret panels and an in-home car wash weren’t enough to delight visitors on our monthly Secrets of the Veeder House Tours, we’ve now added new information on the rapidly developing West End neighborhood that Mr. Veeder chose as the site of his home.  Before he began building the stone colonial revival home for…
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Shop the CHS Store: It Won’t Hurt a Bit (Either)!

June 3, 2013 · CHS Buzz

The current exhibit, This Won’t Hurt a Bit: A History of Pain Relief provided some unusual inspiration for new store products. The CHS ephemera collection was a great source for trade cards, once used to advertise remedies to soothe or eliminate pain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An assortment of images for plasters, witch…
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Connecticut Globeskirters: Gertrude Barnum’s Travel Diary

May 13, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Collections, Manuscripts

“With the first day of my journey, I commence this first page of my diary; hoping that the whole jaunt will be as favorable to my compositive powers as this beginning:” So begins the travel diary of sixteen-year-old Gertrude Barnum, who left Danbury, Connecticut for a trip across the Atlantic to Paris and London with…
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What’s Looming at the CHS Store?

May 6, 2013 · CHS Buzz, Collections, Exhibits

New exhibitions bring new opportunities to explore objects and connect to the stories they tell—in the galleries, through programs and in the store.

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