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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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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The Whimsical Figures of the Derby Clock

Being new to The Filson, I frequently find intriguing bits of history winking at me from an office or hallway, perched on a mantelpiece, or looming on the stairs. But the whimsical figures of the Derby Clock are particular standouts – playful sculptures that evoke both the varied history of this state and the imaginative spirit of their creator, Barney […]

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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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183 and Counting

The Filson’s volunteers find their way to us through a variety of ways. It might be a lecture they attended, a book they read, or an interest in Kentucky history. But whatever the reason, they bring a set of experiences and talent with them to us that can be used to help The Filson fulfill its mission. Professor Laurence A. […]

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Fashion Icon Mona Bismarck

As New York’s Fashion Week draws to a close, The Filson pays homage to style icon Countess Mona Bismarck.  Mona Bismarck, née Strader, was born in Louisville in 1897 and raised in Lexington.  She married five times but it was her third marriage to multi-millionaire utilities executive Harrison Williams in 1926 that propelled Mona to the highest social circles, and […]

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Roses are red, violets are blue…

This post marks the beginning of a new, exciting series on our blog: “Courtship, Love, & Lust.” This series will explore items in The Filson’s collections concerning all matters of the heart.  Check back for future posts on romance, heartache, and the occasional perversion. Second only to Christmas, Valentines is the largest card sending day of the year. The custom […]

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