Actor Tony Curtis, 1965, Associated Press.

To answer last week’s challenge, the customers at Simeone’s must have been thrilled to be dining in the midst of Tony Curtis, who signed the place mat below.

Enlarged image of Tony Curtis’ signature on Simeone’s Italian American Restaurant Place Mat.  

See the original here.


George Fowler, from Cambridge, died in World War I, 1918. 

The Cambridge Room in collaboration with Digital Commonwealth has digitized and made available a collection of memorial plaques depicting World War I soldiers from Cambridge who died.  The plaques were dedicated in 1928 by Edward W. Quinn, Mayor (1918-1929) and put on display in the War Memorial Athletic Facility in Cambridge, Mass. Each plaque bears an image of the solider on a copper alloy plate, a name plate (also copper alloy), the date of the year s/he died, and the following text: “In grateful remembrance of her War Dead, Presented by the Cambridge City Government, 1928, Edward W. Quinn, Mayor.” A memorial plaque to the soldiers was dedicated on May 30, 1936, by Edward W. Quinn and John D. Lynch, Mayor (1936-1937). The plaques were made by Imperishable Arts, Inc. in New York City. Also included with the collection is a temporary charter granted by the American Legion under Enos Sawyer on June 10, 1919.

Search the Cambridge World War I Memorial Plaques here.

Lena M. Sylvester, from Cambridge, died in World War I, 1918. 

James W. Mahan, from Cambridge, died in World War I, 1918. 

Simeone’s Italian American Restaurant Place Mat from a recent Cambridge Room acquisition.

Simeone’s Italian American Restaurant was located at 21-29 Brookline Street in Cambridge.  The restaurant was known for drawing a celebrity or two.  The Kennedy family (both John and Ted) stopped by Simeone’s while on the campaign trail.  This recent acquisition features a place mat from the restaurant signed by a famous American actor.  Can anyone decipher whose signature it belongs to (upper right hand corner in pencil)?  Hint:  he’s not from Cambridge.  Bonus points for anyone who ordered a Simeone’s Venetian Sling.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Native American Arrowhead, made of Cambridge slate or Argillite, found at Fresh Pond by Charles Walcott, 1966 from the Charles F. Walcott Archaeological Collection (029).  

The Charles F. Walcott Archaeological Collection

Exhibition Location: Entrance and 2nd Floor, Glass Building

Cambridge native Charles F. Walcott (1904-1989) spent his days as a physician at Mount Auburn Hospital. In his spare time, Dr. Walcott had two passions: birding and archaeology. As a member of the Massachusetts Archeology Society, he spent years discovering and collecting flint stone pieces. He was particularly fond of inspecting newly plowed fields in Concord, Massachusetts for Native American arrowheads.   He also searched the banks of Fresh Pond for archaeological finds.

Dr. Walcott donated his archaeological collection to the Cambridge Public Library some time in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These items were on display for a time at the library’s former Observatory Hill Branch on Huron Avenue.

The Library’s First Book Mobile, circa 1970.  From the Cambridge Public Library Collection (011).

The CPL designed its first book mobile on the frame of a golf cart.

CPL Book Mobile 2.0., circa 1970s.  From the Cambridge Public Library Collection (011).

The second iteration of the CPL book mobile was more traditional.

Does anyone remember seeing either version of the book mobile?  Better yet – has anyone ever been to the Mug n Muffin Restaurant pictured in the first photo?


Our Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection was featured on the front page of last Thursday’s Cambridge Chronicle.  Thank you Cambridge Chronicle!

From the 1964 Annual School Report.

We love this photograph of Cambridge High Schools’ Driver’s Ed class.  We especially love that the car used came from Porter Chevrolet.  Does anyone have a great story from 1960s Driver’s Ed classes in Cambridge?  Does anyone remember Porter Chevrolet?  Better yet – did you (or your parents) buy a car from Porter Chevrolet?


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