An Architectural Comparison

I flew to Los Angeles recently, and during my visit I bore witness to many things: overpopulation, smog, urban sprawl, pollution, overpriced Hervé Villechaize-sized studio apartments and traffic… lots of traffic. So, one afternoon while I’m stuck in traffic, I decide I want to see something to take me away from this concrete jungle… Enter The Bradbury Building.  Perhaps best […]

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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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THEN AND NOW

Having recently concluded a tour of some of the pioneer stations in Jefferson County, a “then and now” comparison between an early 20th century photo and one taken recently seemed appropriate. Floyd’s Station on the Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek, in present St. Matthews, was established by John Floyd in November of 1779. It is generally acknowledged to be the first […]

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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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Then and Now

This begins a new feature of The Filson’s Blog. Historical images of buildings or a location from our collection will be juxtaposed with images from that same site today. The site and view might have changed little or it might be entirely different, with a new building, parking lot, etc. now there. Some of the changes might be for the better and in […]

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Images of paradise: Earth Day, 2010

The love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had the eyes to see. – Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire The following […]

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The Theatricals of Louisville Male High School

There is a long history of cross-dressing in theatrical productions.   Ancient Greek dramas, Japanese Kabuki theater, and Shakespeare’s plays all have a tradition of males performing female roles, as women were not allowed to appear on stage in these milieux.  In the 19th and early 20th centuries, both men and women engaged in cross-dressing in vaudeville halls and the […]

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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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PSA: Easter Egg Hunts

Using your dog to win an Easter egg hunt is not allowed, kids! Easter Egg Hunt, Al Blunk, 4 April 1947, Louisville, KY Or perhaps she is simply auditioning for the role of the Cadbury Easter Bunny!

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