Pronunciation Conundrum Solved

Returning to Louisville to rejoin the Filson staff, I found it both fitting and appealing that my initial cataloguing work was on a collection of Filson Club letters – what better way to re-immerse myself into the history of Louisville and Filsoniana?  Little did I know that within these letters I would discover the Filson’s definitive answer to that age-old […]

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Norman Kohlhepp, Renaissance Man

Currently being processed in Special Collections are the papers and photographs of Louisvillian Norman Kohlhepp (1892 – 1986).  Kohlhepp was a multi-talented individual who excelled in the fields of science, art  and education.  A graduate of Louisville’s Manual Training High School, he went on to obtain a degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Cincinnati.   After graduating, he […]

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Postcards – Summer Pastimes

The Filson recently produced a set of six postcards with the theme of “Summer Pastimes.” These postcards celebrate the season with scenes of enjoyment of the outdoors and relaxation, all set in the Kentucky area, and all from The Filson’s Special Collections. They are available for purchase for $5.oo, either at The Filson or online, at http://www.sagepayments.net/eftcart/product_detail.asp?part=044. This first postcard […]

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Dr. Richard Price – Observations on Airplanes

One of our oldest works is entitled Considerations on the Order of Cincinnatus, which was printed for J. Johnson in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, London in 1785. Included in the book is an abstract of Dr. Richard Price’s Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, with notes and reflections upon that work.  Dr. Price was a fellow of the Royal Society […]

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John J. Crittenden and Narciso López’s 1851 Expedition to Cuba

I have had a long-standing interest in American filibustering expeditions to the Caribbean and Latin America during the 1850s, and to my delight, I recently stumbled across a letter from Kentucky governor, U.S. Senator and Representative, and cabinet member John J. Crittenden, then serving as U.S. Attorney General, discussing the aftermath of Narciso López’s failed 1851 expedition to Cuba.  In August 1851, […]

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Pish posh

“Pish posh said Hieronymus Bosch.” – Nancy Willard I recently stumbled upon an arresting print in The Filson’s Special Collections. This brilliantly tinted picture is something of a mystery, since the signature of the artist is too faint to read. There is also German writing on the back of the print. However, written in English are the words “Herman Gunter […]

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Bloomers and Bicycles

Everyone has heard the old adage “sex sells”.  The use of risque  advertising was already well established by the 19th century.  This amusing turn-of-the century handbill advertising the Meyer Cycle Co., a bicycle sales and repair shop, employs the image of an attractive woman and her ‘revealing’ clothing to catch the customers’ eye.  The folded advertising card has the company information on […]

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Loretta Lux at 21c Museum and the Surreal Luster of the Past

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the 21c Museum on West Main Street for the first time. The Museum has modern written all over it, from the high white walls to the steel accents to the high-gloss wood floors. Loving contemporary art as I do, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the plethora of images in which to bask in […]

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Health Care in the 1950s

Sometimes while cataloging, one will find items that relate directly to current events.  That was the case last week when I discovered a 1962 letter discussing the British health care system.  In 1958, Thomas E. and Quinlan H. Quisenberry, an Illinois couple with Kentucky roots, traveled to Great Britain.  In the “International Airport,” now Heathrow, Quinlan suffered a heart attack […]

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Reading Between the Lines…

A few days ago, I stumbled across a group of letters in the Marshall Family Papers written to and from John H. Marshall, a Kentuckian involved in William Walker’s brief rule of Nicaragua in 1856-1857.  Marshall’s letter home from Nicaragua, rich in detail about Walker’s government and conditions in Latin America, inspired an article that will appear in the next […]

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