What does the banjo have to do with Baltimore?
So much! So much! Listen to this interview with Pete Ross and me about the origins and early history of the banjo, plus the connection to Baltimore. There's even a little reference to Baltimore's red light district, the Block.
In 1954, a make-up artist named Milicent Patrick drew the costume for an iconic monster. She never received credit, and may have even quit the industry after her boss, Bud Westmore, gave her a hard time about taking credit for the Creature from the Black Lagoon's creation. She really was the beauty behind the beast.
To read more about Milicent Patrick and the history of the Creature from the Black Lagoon films, check out Tom Weaver's The Creature Chronicles.
On May 1, 1950, Communists took over a small town in Wisconsin. Except that every part of it was totally fake, a stunt meant to scare and warn Americans about what communism was really like. Newspapers, photographers, and newsreels (like the video below) captured the day and make the story a nation-wide news phenomenon.
Friday the 13th has enough scary stuff, so here are some cute photos of kids celebrating Halloween festivities!
This whole post was inspired by this one photo, from the Upshur County Historical Society in Buckhannon, West Virginia. In a collection of thousands of glass plate negatives, this gem appeared. The photographer Fred Brooks was a naturalist working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, so many of the photos in the collection are of diseased trees or insects. But since he had the camera, he also took photos of his children (like this one) and the travels he took around the United States. (I'm pretty sure this is his daughter Dorothy and the photo is from 1920-22.)
Halloween is coming, which means the spooky archive finds come to light!
Let's start by exploring this amazing print from 1510 of a bunch of witches doing witchy stuff!
Midwife Problems, and Solutions, part 4
This is part four of a series on midwifery in Sweden and the United States. To read part one click here, part two click here, part three click here.
Come in, the stacks are open.
Away from prying eyes, damaging light, and pilfering hands, the most special collections are kept in closed stacks. You need an appointment to view the objects, letters, and books that open a door to the past.