All Was Not Lost: Architectural Plans of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad

By Johna Picco, Boehl Intern On the morning of July 18, 1905 Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company’s President, Milton Hannibal Smith, sent a grim telegraph to the L&N chairman: “Union Station Louisville burned last night […] Loss almost total.” Milton estimated $200,000 in damages, not including the records forever lost from the offices of the Chief Engineer and Machinery Superintendent. […]

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Who Do You Think You Are – Find Out at the Filson!

Written by Laura Wheaton. The genealogy research phenomenon has taken on a new life with the production and broadcast of TLC’s season five of their famous show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” The first episode featured actor Cynthia Nixon, who discovered her ancestor was an axe murderer! To find out if you have an axe murderer, (or governor, homemaker, […]

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Sewing in The Filson’s Collections: The McCurdy Manufacturing Company

After my last post on political quilts, Heather told me that she stumbled across a collection of sewing machine ads, photos, and memorabilia. Naturally, I had to take a look, and what I found was fascinating. The McCurdy Manufacturing Co. made and sold sewing machine parts, sewing machines, bicycles, and sporting goods. The Filson’s collection spans from the 1880s to […]

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Heart on Sleeve, Soul in Pocket: Objets trouvés dans les poches du General de Charette, 11 Octobre 1911.

What might a French Baron who was also a General, a veteran of the Papal Zouaves, and a decorated hero of the Franco-Prussian War keep in his pockets? While you may never have thought to ask this question, we can nonetheless answer it, using the Filson’s Charette de la Contrie – Susanne de Charette Van Stockum Collection. Baron General Athanase-Charles-Marie […]

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An Englishwoman visits Mammoth Cave: The Travel Narrative of Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley

In preparation for my upcoming Filson Friday presentation, I have been reading some travel narratives written by early visitors to Kentucky. The predominance of early travel accounts are written by men, so I was delighted to come across a woman’s account of her travels in antebellum Kentucky. Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley was an English writer and poet.  She was a […]

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Quilting in The Filson’s Collections: The Political and Campaign Quilt

In the past, I have written about quilting as a means of expression for women, but I never thought that it would lead to politics. I suppose it’s because I’ve grown up in an era where women have the right to vote and where people proclaim their political leanings quite publically (I’m looking at you, Facebook). I’ve got elections on […]

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“This Hateful War”: A Kentucky Mother and the Mexican War

Although a Whig stronghold, Kentucky proudly sent many of her sons off to fight in Mexico in 1846. In fact so many volunteers rallied to the flag that many companies were turned away by Gov. William Owsley. Yet, the war with Mexico was far from being a widely popular conflict. A young Illinois congressman named Abraham Lincoln was among those […]

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Bicycling in 1896: Good, Clean Fun or Dangerous Fad?

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With a nationwide surge in the popularity of bicycles for use in leisure and transportation, the city of Louisville, along with cities across the nation, has in recent years turned more attention to bicycles and bicyclists when planning our urban infrastructure. But this is not the first time the city, or the nation, has planned around bicycles. The first great […]

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Quilting in The Filson’s Collection – The Irish Chain Quilt

In my last several blog posts relating to quilts, I’ve mainly focused on our library holdings on the subject and my own adventures in quilting. However, what The Filson has in the library is only the tip of the iceberg. While I was perusing PastPerfect, I stumbled upon several listings of quilts held in our museum collection. In the coming […]

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