Archive for April, 2010

the Day in the Life of a Teenager #19

Friday, April 30th, 2010

First entry is May 1

hepatica

The wildflower Hepatica could signify “confidence” or “anger” in the Victorian language of flowers depending on which dictionary was consulted. Which sentiment do you think Oliver intended?

Tues. Received a letter from Clara Brown.  Beautiful day.  Went to walk with Hattie Baker down to Indian Ridge.  As we were coming home we met Miss Palmer and some of the girls.  We walked back with them and while I was getting some Red Spring water for Miss Palmer I stuck my foot into a hole full of the iron.  Miss P. sent me directly home.  I started and was fortunate enough to meet Edie, Mary and Alice and the greatest of good luck was that my boot did not rust which I confidently expected.  In the evening went to dancing school and danced every round dance with Willie Perry.  Oliver came home with me and I had a delightful time. Coming home talked of the sentiment he gave me “for a May Day present.”  He said a bunch of Hepaticas.  Long live May days when every one is as pleasant as this has been.

 WedRainy in the morning.  Pleasant in the afternoon.  Went to ride with Hattie Baker.  Frank Clarke and W. Frye came in the evening.

Thurs.  School all day.  Went to ride a little way after school and [went] to the depot

Fri.   Pleasant and warm.  Mother went to Boston.  I did not go to school in the afternoon.  Went to ride with Mary Morton down to the mill.  The evening to dancing school.  Wore a blue skirt, white waist & blue ribbons.  Danced with Willie and Oliver Perry, Mr. Page, Frank Clarke & Bob Means.  Willie Perry [partnered] me in the Hop Waltz and Schottische.  Mr. Page came home with me.  I did not dance with Oliver but once and I was real sorry.  Had a very pleasant time but I should have had better if Lelie had been there and had I danced with Oliver more.  Mr. P asked me to go to walk. 

Sat.  School.  Georgia Ray walked home with me.  Met Oliver Perry on horseback.  He looked real handsome.  The dining room was finished today.  It looks very nice.  The only thing that [bothers] me is that it won’t last so long. 

Sun.  Beautiful warm day.  Walked up the lane before church.  Got some blue violets and innocents.  Went to church in the morning.  Text 102nd Psalm 25:26.27 verses.  W. Frye came up in the afternoon and we went over to the Spoffards.  He came in and took tea with us. 

  (more…)

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The day in the life of a teenager #19

Friday, April 30th, 2010

First entry is May 1

The wildflower Hepatica could signify “confidence” or “anger” in the Victorian language of flowers depending on which dictionary was consulted. Which sentiment do you think Oliver intended?

Tues. Received a letter from Clara Brown.  Beautiful day.  Went to walk with Hattie Baker down to Indian Ridge.  As we were coming home we met Miss Palmer and some of the girls.  We walked back with them and while I was getting some Red Spring water for Miss Palmer I stuck my foot into a hole full of the iron.  Miss P. sent me directly home.  I started and was fortunate enough to meet Edie, Mary and Alice and the greatest of good luck was that my boot did not rust which I confidently expected.  In the evening went to dancing school and danced every round dance with Willie Perry.  Oliver came home with me and I had a delightful time. Coming home talked of the sentiment he gave me “for a May Day present.”  He said a bunch of Hepaticas.  Long live May days when every one is as pleasant as this has been.

Wed.  Rainy in the morning.  Pleasant in the afternoon.  Went to ride with Hattie Baker.  Frank Clarke and W. Frye came in the evening.

Thurs. School all day.  Went to ride a little way after school and [went] to the depot.

Fri.   Pleasant and warm.  Mother went to Boston.  I did not go to school in the afternoon.  Went to ride with Mary Morton down to the mill.  The evening to dancing school.  Wore a blue skirt, white waist & blue ribbons.  Danced with Willie and Oliver Perry, Mr. Page, Frank Clarke & Bob Means.  Willie Perry [partnered] me in the Hop Waltz and Schottische.  Mr. Page came home with me.  I did not dance with Oliver but once and I was real sorry.  Had a very pleasant time but I should have had better if Lelie had been there and had I danced with Oliver more.  Mr. P asked me to go to walk.

Sat. School.  Georgia Ray walked home with me.  Met Oliver Perry on horseback.  He looked real handsome.  The dining room was finished today.  It looks very nice.  The only thing that [bothers] me is that it won’t last so long.

SunBeautiful warm day.  Walked up the lane before church.  Got some blue violets and innocents.  Went to church in the morning.  Text 102nd Psalm 25:26.27 verses.  W. Frye came up in the afternoon and we went over to the Spoffards.  He came in and took tea with us.

(more…)

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Summer Reading List

Friday, April 30th, 2010

A book I’ll be adding to my summer reading list: Aroma: The Cultural History of of Smell.

Heard at the Historical Society this morning:  “There’s nothing wrong with a little stink.  The kids can handle it!”

As part of the Society’s third grade education program Andover at Work, students visit the kitchen exhibit where they learn about housekeeping, food preparation, and food storage in the pre-refrigeration era.   The kids especially like the part where they get to grind spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.  The smell of freshly grated cinnamon is most welcome these days!

When the guide talks about food preservation and storage, he or she shows the kids the whole dried cod hanging on the kitchen wall.  And, oh, such a big stink from such a little fish.

Our good friends at Old Sturbridge Village graciously supply the Historical Society with a dried cod for the program.  During the off season and in between programs, the fish is stored in a plastic cooler in the barn.  The cooler protects the cod from any critters that might like to make a meal out of it –  more importantly for those of us who work here every day during the coming warm months — it keeps the stink contained.

The dried cod quietly makes its presence known as it hangs on the wall of the kitchen exhibit during Andover at Work.
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Nerdy Talk or ADEPT Conversation

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

It’s inevitable that we chat while we work.  We always find something we need to share, whether it’s something in the collection, something in the files, or just the fun and frustration of life in general.  One thing leads to another and we wind up talking about it all.

After listening to the rest of us, someone recently mentioned that our conversations are kind of nerdy.  Was this so?  We decided to track them, just to see.

Below is a short list of some our quotes and conversation topics.  It’s a very revealing look at a day in the life of ADEPT.

- Men with long hair save money on haircuts.

- A conversation about the League of Women Voters morphed into a conversation about Constitutional amendments.

- You don’t chat about politics if you grow up in Washington D.C.

- The law schools of New England.

- “This sounds like music from a Valentino film (while listening to the classical music station).

- Year-round grilling.

- After we learned that the MOMA had “acquired” the @, we started talking about the ampersand.

- Bacon flavored vodka.

- Witches (the historic ones usually).

- Bodices, fichus, and décolletage.

- “You guys are just white noise in the background.”

- “I can only spell with my eyes closed.”

- “My favorite cartoon is ‘Get Fuzzy.’”

- Alexander Hamilton – a good or bad Founding Father?

- The death and necessity of newspapers.

- Elmore Leanard’s goddaughter.

- “When did she die?”  “Shortly before they buried her.”

- “The world can be divided into two kinds of people – those who do and those who do not like black licorice.”

- Regarding New England spring storms: “all this rain!  Why didn’t they build one less college and pave everything?”

- “How do you spell reticulum?

- “Antimacassars go on the chairs of arms” (written as said).

- Coming from the Boston area, living and working in New York City, and coming back to the Boston area.

- “Is the root of the word ‘history’ Greek or Latin?”

- “Why would you push a dead guy through an airport?!”

- “You’re a font, not an oracle.”

- Historical tattooing practices.

- “Clowns are scary.”

- A radio tax.

- Tommy Bahama shirts.

- “So, who got kicked off Dancing With the Stars last night?”

- After taking the Facebook quiz: “Guess which Founding Father I am.”  “Ok…Caesar Rodney?”

- “I share many things, but not strawberries.”

- “The only problem with National Treasure II is the lake under Mt. Rushmore…Come on!  Google maps would’ve seen that!”

- How to start a career as a make-up artist.

- “Nurses are tough to eat with; they’re always trying to gross each other out.”

- “…so I performed CPR on the hamster…”

- “You can’t have 1995, I want 1995!”

- “You’re not going to put that on the blog too, are you?”

I’d like to say these are some of the more amusing or outrageous moments, but they’re not. (of course the same person who called us nerdy just said it’s a shame that some of the more “interesting” conversations won’t make it, and I don’t know what that means!)

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The day in the life of a teenager #18

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Abby Locke’s diary continues

First entry is April 19, 1866

Thurs. Quite warm and pleasant.  Mother went to Boston today.  W. Marland came up in the evening to engage me for the dancing school but I couldn’t see it, Frank having offered us a season ticket.

Fri. It rained last night quite hard and this morning the grass looked so green and bright.  School all day until six o’clock at night.  Mother came home and brought me a new dress.  It is very pretty.  Blue and white.  I did not go to the dancing school, my pins and needles hindered.  Mother also exchanged the ring W. Frye gave me for a new flat gold one for herself.  It is very handsome and she says she will get something for me sometime.

Sat. Cool and pleasant.  Rode up to the school with Frye in the afternoon, recited poetry.  “Child on the Judgment Seat.”  Gave in my topic, very well they tell me.  Father & Mother went to Newmarket today with the span & buggy for Grandmother is sick.  Frye stayed up all night and this morning we talked back and forth.  We had such a time.  He wanted to know why we didn’t put some clothes on that [thing] over the sink.

Sun.  I did not go to church all day.  F. Bates was up to dinner and Frye came up again in the afternoon.  Louise went to bed about 8 o’clock and left me alone with Frye.  We did not go to bed till after ten.  We had a real cosey nice time.

Mon. Got up at five to call Frye but he did not choose to get up til [later].  It was too bad for me to get up for I needed the sleep.  I went to school in the morning.  It rained in the afternoon and I stayed at home.  Father and Mother got home in the morning.

Sat.

20th anniversary of Ma’s marriage and Mother’s birthday.  Father gave her an album, Louise a silver napkin ring, and myself the ring she bought from the one Frye gave me.

(more…)

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Working the Printing Press at AHS

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

At AHS we stay busy educating local youth and adults about the history of Andover and its people.  Many area Cub Scouts and Girl Scout troops have enjoyed the activities here at AHS and we enjoy having them here as well.

Last week a Troop of Cub Scouts joined us for a Printer’s Workshop.  With a tour from our expert guide Jim Redmond, the children were able to learn about printing in Andover during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Together we made Printer’s Caps and each child made his own print on the printing press. 

These kids really liked making their own printers caps.

 The History of the Printing Press is a unique Andover Story.  Ames and Parker had set up a printing press in Andover by 1798.   Galen Ware worked on a press on Main Street in 1810.  And the founding of the Andover Theological Seminary in 1808 created a center for writing, printing and binding of theological texts.  At the Theological Seminary religious tracts were printed in many foreign languages.    One of the founders of the Theological Seminary, Dr. Eliphalet Pearson, established the Seminary printing press.  Trained printers were needed at the Seminary.  Dr. Pearson asked William Hillard, a printer in Cambridge, Masschusetts to send him two of his trained apprentices.   Abraham Gould who had been an apprentice by the age of 14 arrived in Andover in 1812.  Timothy Flagg came in 1813 when he was 21.  Flagg and Gould joined together and by 1830 the Flagg and Gould press was flourishing in Andover.

The Cub Scouts learned about what Flagg and Gould did in their own print shop.   The discussed apprenticeships, set type, and ran the printing press.   The children’s eyes lit up when each took their turn at the press.  It was a great program and lots of fun!

Everyone got a turn to try the printing press.

We are always expanding and developing our programs here at AHS.  If you are interested in bringing a group of children for a history workshop or would like to develop a program around a specific subject please contact Debbie DeSmet at ddesmet@andoverhistorical.org or call 978-475-2236. 
Look for information regarding our upcoming “Farmer Boy” program scheduled for May 20th 3:30-5:30 for boys K-3 on our website!
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Lost in the Shuffle

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Is the post-it asking where the card or the object should go?  If it’s the card, it should have gone into the appropriate card catalog in numeric order.  If it’s the object, that’s written on the bottom left of the card.  So why the post-it?

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You Gotta Know When To Hold ‘em, Know When To Fold ‘em

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

As our regular reader knows, the Society has long used card catalogs, like the one below, to organize and archive our collections information.

All together the Society has four sets of cards, totaling 22 boxes.  Since we have 15,159 three dimensional objects (many of which have from one to four cards) there are literally thousands of index cards.  We’ve spent the last month and half combining the four sets, culling duplicates, and archiving the remaining cards.  It’s a lot of cards but it’s also a lot of valuable information for the data entry project.

However, not every card has valuable information.  Some left us with more questions than answers (which happens when lots of people work on the same project over a long period of time without a how-to manual) and some have been downright amusing.  Here is an assortment of some of the more interesting cards we found so far:

Who is Jane and what doesn’t she know?

_____________________________________________________________

Must have been a shallow bowl.

______________________________________________________________

A nightdress: outerwear or underwear?

_____________________________________________________________

A child’s old lady bonnet?

______________________________________________________________

Sometimes the cards aren’t all that helpful.

______________________________________________________________

And sometimes they offer “helpful” advice (we did find the card by the way, and it was more useful than this one).

______________________________________________________________

When did it change from being a portrait, to a painting, and back to a portrait again?

______________________________________________________________

Was it a fresh witch or can you use dried?

______________________________________________________________

There have been days when we knew when to walk away and knew when to run.

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The day in the life of a teenager #17

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Abby Locke’s diary continues.

The first entry is April 14, 1866

Sat.  Went to a grammar exercise in the morning by Miss Palmer.  W. Frye came up in the evening but Wesie and I didn’t see him.  Emie Coffin came up after school.  He (W.F.) came and sat on the stairs and talked but after a while I went down.

Sun.       Went to church in the morning.  Text “Take care of him.” W. Frye was up in the afternoon.  He looked real handsome.

Mon.     School.  In the evening, for a wonder we were alone.

Dr. B.G. Northrup, 1817-1898

Tues.  

School.  Hattie Baker walked with me after school.  In the evening went to dancing school.  Danced with Oliver Perry and Bob Means.  Came home with Frank.  I was sorry for I might have had more agreeable company.  Mr. Bates stayed all night for Father didn’t come home.  We also had a lecture by Prof. Northrup on “Observation.”  It was very good.

   Wed.     Very cold in the morning but at noon the sun came out and it looked quite pleasant.  Hattie Baker came up after dinner and we went down and had some tintypes.  They are very good.  Mother, Hattie and I went to ride afterwards.  We had a very pleasant ride.  Father and Mother went down to the “Teachers Institute” and Frank Clarke and W. Frye came in the evening.  F. was quite elated at some money he had made. (more…)

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A Three Dollar Bill?

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

During our Andover at Work program school children visit several stations with the assistance of an expert tour guide and learn about the history of Andover.  While visiting the barn and store station, students gather eggs and bring them to the store to trade or barter for goods.  Students take away from the store a copy of a three dollar bill. 

Three dollar bill??  I’m sure your saying, “but that doesn’t exist.” And No, its not monopoly money, but it is money and it does exist.  It was used right here in Andover.

It wasn’t until 1913 that the Federal Reserve Bank finally adopted a paper currency system with set standards that could meet changing business needs.  The use of paper currency began back in 1690 bythe Massachusetts Bay Colony.  After years of depreciation, inconsistency, and limitations paper currency was not highly thought of and was even forbidden in the U.S. Constitution.  As time passed, Congress eventually authorized the The First and Second Banks of the United States to issue paper currency.  After those banks closed, panics occured and notes issued by state-charted private banks became the most popular form of currency between 1836 until 1861.

Notes issued by thousands of different banks varied in size, color, and appearance.

The Andover Bank was estabalished in 1826 and produced its own bank notes.  The Andover Historical Society’s collection houses many of these interesting forms of paper currency and they are worth taking a look at.

The Andover at Work program is a great opportunity for children to learn about the unique stories that took place right here in Andover.   We will start the school program on April 27th and run until June 9th.  Any individuals interested in shadowing or becoming a guide, please contact Debbie DeSmet at ddesmet@andoverhistorical.org or call 978-475-2236.

***Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers signed up already, we are looking forward to having you and the children here at the Andover Historical Society.***

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