New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: Ephemera

Carriers’ Addresses: The Holiday Gratuity, With a Little Flair

Written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian It still happens at this time of year, a holiday greeting is slipped under the door from a service provider offering good wishes and a subtle hint to be remembered with an end-of-the-year gratuity.  The practice is an old one, but was, in the 18th and 19th centuries, carried […]

Selling for a song

Peace on earth and good will to men may be in short supply, but there is no time like Christmas to appreciate that nowadays advertising is everywhere.  Billboards, newspapers, magazines, television, the Internet, cell phones . . . advertisers will try any means available to get consumers to buy their products.  So it’s hardly surprising […]

Early Vampire Celebrations

It appears that New Yorker’s love for vampires began before the rise of gothic rockers or even the publication of Bram Stoker’s book Dracula in 1897. The N-YHS library  collection includes invitations and programs for dinner parties from 1892-1893 called a “Death Watch” sponsored by an organization entitled “Order of the Vampires” or sometimes simply called […]

Laudanum: A Dose of the Nineteenth Century

Coroner’s report for the suicide of Richard D. Hamilton, 18 August, 1822. BV New York City Coroner’s Reports, MS 1957 A great primary source often elicits a visceral sense of what it meant to live in the moment of the document’s creation. It’s difficult not to have this reaction when reading through two manuscript volumes […]

Taking the Plunge: Pools of New York City

It may come as a surprise that the so-called concrete jungle of New York City has no fewer than 54 outdoor pools maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Astoria Park Pool.  Geographic File, PR 020. New Yorkers have been taking the plunge in the Big Apple since the late 1800s, when the state […]

East Hamptons Hooch

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Happy Mother’s Day!

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Paul Gillespie’s 1939 New York World’s Fair Collection

Just in time for the 72nd anniversary of New York’s 1939 World’s Fair — which opened on April 30th, 1939 — the New-York Historical Society has received an extensive collection of photographs and other memorabilia documenting this momentous event. President Roosevelt’s official dedication at the Fair’s opening ceremonies. Although Paul Gillespie was only 12 years […]

"Lands of song and sunlight"

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