New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: Ephemera

James Vick and his Illustrated Floral Guides

Spring fever was as common 150 years ago as it is now, and for many winter-weary souls, the illustrated seed catalogs that began appearing in that era are still the closest thing to a cure. Among the many fine examples of early seed catalogs in our collections, my personal favorites were produced by James Vick, [...]

A Short, Incomplete History of American Traditional Tattooing

This post is written by Joe Festa, Print Room Reference Assistant As my colleague Ted pointed out in his previous blog post, the electric tattoo machine revolutionized tattooing at the end of the 19th century. However, it wasn’t just electric current that propelled the industry; another factor can be attributed to the circulation of what’s [...]

Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card

This post was written by Marybeth Kavanagh, Print Room Reference Librarian. It’s widely accepted that the  first Christmas card was printed in London in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends. But it was Boston-based printer Louis Prang who introduced [...]

From Kilted Soldiers to Scottish Poets–The New York Caledonian Club

This post was written by N-YHS intern Alison Shore Dundy. The recently acquired New York Caledonian Club Records (MS 2923) are a gateway to gemstones from the history of Scottish immigrants in New York City.  The records of the Caledonian Club document the work, activities, and membership of this society dedicated to the preservation of [...]

“Meet Me at the Double R Coffee House”

Coffee’s big in the “city that never sleeps”. And it’s not a new thing either: a great little snapshot of this love affair has popped up in the form of a menu and an advertisement for the Double R Coffee House. Sure, you’ve never heard of it but the venture’s partners were none other than [...]

NYC 2012: Imagining the Olympic Games in New York City

  From 2000-2005, New York planned a bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic games. It was New York City’s first bid to host an Olympics and was managed by Daniel Doctoroff and his private non-profit organization, NYC2012. New York City was one of five candidates for the games but came in fourth behind London, [...]

Who really created the Teddy (Roosevelt) Bear?

Brooklyn is justly known as the borough of churches and the rightful home of the Dodgers — but did it also give birth to the Teddy Bear? Credit for inventing the teddy bear is generally given to Morris Michtom, a Russian immigrant who is said to have opened a candy store at 404 Tompkins Avenue [...]

Golf and the Gilded Age at Newport Golf Club

It’s probably no consolation for last week’s heat wave but if you were a well-heeled New Yorker living in the late nineteenth century, you would probably be spending the sultry days of summer living it up in Newport, RI. Not surprisingly, the story of Newport and New York’s richest dwellers is well documented at the N-YHS. [...]

New York cyclists and the “Orange Riding District”

It’s National Bike Month again, and it so happens that Albert B. Barkman’s Road-Book of Long Island (1886) recently crossed our path. It’s an unassuming book at best, but like a great deal of our collections, when given a dose of context it turns out to be an interesting little piece of bicycling and mapmaking history. The Road-Book contains [...]

The Promise and Loss of the Hindenburg

Post written by Mariam Touba This spring we have heard much that commemorates the disaster that befell the ocean liner Titanic, but it is not the only mournful anniversary of the destruction of a beautiful, efficient and luxurious way to cross the Atlantic. Seventy-five years ago, on May 6, 1937, the airship Hindenburg caught fire [...]

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