History Mystery

The first mystery item – our portrait of James Wilkinson by John Wesley Jarvis – was easy. That was a warm up. Now they get tougher. The item pictured here was commonly found in households well into the 20th century – and some are most likely still used today. This item is 11.5″ long and 5″ wide (tappering to 1.5″). It […]

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Genealogical Resources in The Filson Library: Ancestry Library

The Filson Historical Society Library has one of the most extensive Kentucky genealogy related collections in the region. Genealogists come from all around the country to sift through our collection in hopes of either finding that one missing piece of the puzzle, or to simply begin family research on ancestors who lived in Kentucky. Genealogy research can be a frustrating […]

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The Filson Bourbon History Series – Week Four

For the final week of the Filson Bourbon History Series, the subject of the history portion was the post prohibition bourbon world and bourbon in the 21st century. The tasting segment of the night was the “final exam” where the students were asked to take notes on two unknown whiskeys. When prohibition ended in 1933, the distilling industry wanted to […]

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Happy Birthday, Enid Yandell

Today we celebrate the birth of one of Kentucky’s finest sculptors, Enid Bland Yandell, an artist ahead of her time.  She pursued a career in sculpture, a medium dominated by men during the early twentieth century, rather than choosing a life of domesticity.  Although Yandell was from a prominent Louisville family, she relied on her talent rather than her social standing […]

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The Filson Bourbon History Series – Week 3

The third week of the Filson Bourbon History Series started with the discussion of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, a precursor to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. The law simply states that the whiskey was all made by the same distiller, in the same season (Spring is from January to June and Fall is from July to December), […]

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Mr. Thruston Visits the National Parks

Many of us will be tuning in to PBS this week to watch Ken Burns’ film on America’s National Parks. The cinematography of Burns and his crew is often breath-taking in its beauty. Viewers also might be struck by the beauty and quality of the historical photographs. These images have frozen the parks in that moment in time when they were […]

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The Filson Bourbon History Series – Weeks 1 & 2

It is not often that The Filson has an opportunity to combine fund raising with public service, but the Filson Bourbon History Series fits the bill on both counts. The Filson Bourbon History Series is aimed at educating local bartenders and others involved in the service industry in heritage and use of Kentucky’s favorite distilled spirit – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. At […]

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When Billiards Meant Trouble, 1866

Ya got trouble, folks, right here in River City With a capital “T” and that rhymes with “P” And that stands for “pool” -“Trouble,” The Music Man In the 1962 film version of Meredith Willson’s musical, The Music Man, con man Harold Hill convinces the townspeople of River City that a new pool hall is a scourge on their community […]

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Mystery Item #1

This entry marks the beginning of a new series of posts on the Filson blog: the Mystery Item.  From time to time, a Filson staff member will choose an item from the society’s collections and challenge the blog readers to identify the item.  The first person to give the correct answer will win an item from the Filson’s bookstore.  Today, […]

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Browsing in Our Archives: Kentucky Fee Book, 1787-1788

A large part of our work in Special Collections is helping researchers access manuscript materials.  Over the years, an archivist notices patterns in research topics, and it is interesting to observe which collections are frequently used and which are not.   Some collections are used by a variety of researchers working on any number of topics from the eighteenth century to […]

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