10.8.14_feat
Yellow Fever: the Ebola of earlier centuries
October 8, 2014

The current Ebola crisis is by no means the first time a viral  haemorrhagic fever (“VHF”) has terrorized the inhabitants of America.  Throughout the 18th century and into the 19th, epidemics of another VHF — yellow fever — spread fear and panic across the United States.  N-YHS is fortunate to hold a number of rare…

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10.1.14_feat
It’s electrifying! Medical uses of electricity
October 1, 2014

This blog was written by Alice Browne Nowadays we are more likely to associate electricity with execution than with healing.  But in nineteenth-century New York, sellers of electric belts and proprietors of electric baths promised relief from many diseases, especially those that were chronic, embarrassing, or neglected by conventional medicine. Both claimed to relieve symptoms…

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9.24.14_feat
Climate and Protest: The Letters of Reverend James MacSparran
September 24, 2014

We hadn’t even started changing the climate, and Wall Street could only be understood in a literal sense, but the title page of a tract published in 1753 captures the spirit of this week’s protests perfectly, viz: America Dissected, being a Full and True Account of all the Colonies, showing the Intemperance of the Climates;…

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9.16.14_feat
The Half Moon Club
September 16, 2014

Few people are aware that the Half Moon Club even existed and this probably wouldn’t have bothered its members very much. Although it wasn’t a secret society, its surviving club “log” suggests that it was on par with other leading Progressive Era social organizations — elite, sophisticated and enormously selective. Beginning in 1906, the Half…

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9.9.14_feat
“The Star-Spangled Banner” Watched O’er the Ramparts of Fort McHenry
September 9, 2014

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections  Frank Key, as his friends knew him, had little use for this war, particularly as he viewed the War of 1812 as an aggressive one directed at Canada.   The Georgetown lawyer’s patriotism kicked in, however, with the threat of the British invading the…

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9.3.14_feat
New Amsterdam Becomes New York, and Peter Stuyvesant Gets Over It: It’s Been 350 Years
September 3, 2014

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections It was once an occasion worth marking—when, on September 8, 1664, the English took the city.  The bicentennial of the event was toasted with an elaborate New-York Historical Society dinner at the Cooper Institute, a welcome way to set aside the strains of…

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8.26.14_feat
In honor of Labor Day: a photographic tribute to New Yorkers at work
August 26, 2014

While historians still debate who first proposed a labor day holiday, there is no question as to where the first Labor Day celebration took place. Like most other important events, it happened right here in New York City. On September 5, 1882, a parade organized by the city’s Central Labor Union marched up Broadway, past…

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8.20.14_feat
“Lamenting the Disgrace of the City”: The 1814 Burning of Washington, D.C.
August 20, 2014

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. “Our preparation for defence by some means or other, is constantly retarded but the small force the British have on the Bay will never venture nearer than at present 23 miles,” First Lady Dolley Madison wrote to her friend in her letter of…

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8.12.14_feat
Love and Other Dishes: Harvey Rosen’s El Borracho
August 12, 2014

This blog post was written by Megan Dolan, intern in the Archives Department at N-YHS Throughout the 1920’s, prohibition-induced underground speakeasy clubs were major social destinations for dining, drinking, dancing, and listening to live music, generally jazz.  But with the end of the prohibition era, the speakeasy gave way to a new type of establishment:…

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