Archaeological excavations are underway at Fort Plain Museum on weekends through August 27, 2023 with the goal of seeking archaeological information to help in the reconstruction of ovens and a bakehouse that are believed to once have stood at the Revolutionary War era fort. [Read more…] about Archaeological Excavations Underway at Revolutionary Fort Plain
Many people have heard of and enjoyed Haagen-Dazs ice cream, but the story of its beginning is equally cool. A headline in JGirls+ Magazine from 2022 says it all: “Haagen-Dazs: A Jewish Story of Immigration, Entrepreneurship, and Ice Cream.” The story began with Reuben Mattus (originally Nifka Matus), born in Grodna, Poland in 1913 who arrived in New York City in 1921 with his widowed mother and older sister. [Read more…] about The Story of Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream
The new book Here in Manhattan: A site-by-site guide to the history of the world’s greatest city (Sutherland House Books, 2023) by Tom Begnal tells the story of Manhattan, ranging from Fort Washington to Wall Street, bridging important history and pop-culture moments. Here in Manhattan is a site-by-site guide to the wonders of the city. [Read more…] about Here in Manhattan: A New Pop-History Guide
A loophole is an ambiguity or inadequacy in a legal text or a set of rules that people identify and use to avoid adhering to it. Exploiting loopholes in tax legislation by big corporations or wealthy individuals is a preoccupation of our time. The authorities fight a losing battle trying to plug them as lawyers specialize in finding new and profitable flaws. [Read more…] about Raines Law, Loopholes and Prohibition
The term sandwich bread (loaf) started circulating in the United States during the 1930s. It followed a revolution in the manner the product was presented to customers, no longer homemade but mass produced. After a decade of trial and error, the bread slicing machine was introduced and soon widely used. The sandwich was about to conquer the American and European markets. Grabbing a sandwich came to symbolize the rush of an urban society. [Read more…] about An English Gambler, A Jewish Butcher & The History of Pastrami on Rye
In the mid-20th century, Americans had a great enthusiasm for all manner of keepsakes and mementos cast in bronze. On October 17, 1960, the National Hot Dog Council presented a life-size hot dog cast in bronze on a marble base to Republican vice-presidential candidate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr (1902-1985).
In the blur of events during the hard-fought presidential campaign, Lodge came to mistakenly believe that he had received the unusual gift during a visit to Nathan’s, the famous hot dog emporium in New York City. [Read more…] about Henry Cabot Lodge’s Bronze Hot Dog
In 1895 New York City’s newly appointed reformist Mayor William Lafayette Strong nominated engineer and Civil War veteran Colonel George Waring to take on the demanding post of Sanitation Commissioner.
A native of Pound Ridge in Westchester County, Waring had fine-tuned his skills as a landscape and drainage (sewage) engineer having been involved with the construction of Manhattan’s Central Park. [Read more…] about New York Pork: A Porcine History of the Big Apple
The first known Chinese restaurant in America, Canton Restaurant, is believed to have opened in San Francisco in 1849. Today, according to the Chinese American Restaurant Association, more than 45,000 Chinese restaurants operate across the United States, more than all the McDonald’s, KFCs, Pizza Huts, Taco Bells and Wendy’s combined.
Their story begins with Chinese immigrants to California in the mid-nineteenth century — mostly from Canton province — drawn by the Gold Rush of 1849 and fleeing economic problems and famine in China. Though some headed to the gold fields, most Chinese immigrants to the San Francisco Bay area provided services for the miners as traders, grocers, merchants and restaurant owners. [Read more…] about Chinese Restaurant History in New York City
The initial Sugar Act of 1733 — also known as the Molasses Act — was designed to secure and encourage the trade of British colonies in the West Indies by placing prohibitive duties on the products of competing foreign colonies. The dramatic revision to that act in 1764 imposed duties for both revenue and trade regulation, in addition strengthening the laws of trade so as to tighten the connection between Great Britain and the colonies. [Read more…] about The Sugar Act and the American Revolution
The coffee habit was introduced into Western Europe in the mid-seventeenth century. The emergence of the London coffeehouse transformed various aspects of intellectual and commercial life. Lloyd’s insurance, the postal system and the auction house are some of the institutions that trace their origins back to the coffeehouse.
At a time that journalism was in its infancy, the coffeehouse provided a center of communication and news dissemination. It served as a forum of discussion, often becoming a hotbed of political strife and faction. Coffeehouse culture helped shape the public sphere of the Enlightenment. [Read more…] about The Queen of Greenwich Village: Romany Marie Marchand