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Trip to Castle Island, 1915, from the East End Union Collection (023) , Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.

Cambridge’s East End Union is one of the oldest settlement houses in the Boston area.  The East End Union, founded in 1875, promoted outdoor activities like Fresh Air Week where their members – most of whom were recent immigrants – could take a respite from city living and working to enjoy the country.  Picnics were held in Newton (then considered rural) as were outings to Castle Island in Boston.  The photo above features some of the East End Union’s younger members enjoying an afternoon at the beach.

The East End Union is now called the East End House and is still very active in Cambridge.

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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.

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

See the original here.

 

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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.

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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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From the Annual Report of the School Committee and the Superintendent of Schools, 1954, p. 7.

We recently stumbled upon this photo spread of young women in the Cambridge Public Schools, “preparing for Marriage and Family Life.”  It’s from the 1954 Annual Report of the School Committee and Superintendent of Schools.  This is a really interesting example for anyone interested in the history of gender and education.

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Originally posted on Books, Health and History:

By Christina Amato, Book Conservator, Gladys Brooks Book & Paper Conservation Laboratory

How simple is a box?

It is often overlooked, but creating appropriate enclosures, or housing, for collection materials is an important part of the work of a library conservation lab. A well made box can have a huge impact on the longevity of a book. Conservators have to weigh many factors when deciding what kind of enclosure is appropriate to use. When is a clamshell box the best choice, and when would a phase box be better? Scroll down to see some examples of typical enclosures made at the Gladys Brooks Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory.

First, the clamshell box. This type of enclosure is one of the most traditional you will find in a library. Each one is custom made for each book. They provide an enormous amount of protection to the book, and can be very…

View original 530 more words

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Invitation to the Graduation Exercises for the Class of 1865, Cambridge High School.

On July 14th, 1865, 43 students graduated from Cambridge High School.  The next day the Cambridge Chronicle covered the ceremony in detail.  Read all about it here.  After the ceremony, a dance was held.  The Cambridge Room recently acquired the invitation pictured above as well as a dance card.  See if you recognize any of the dances that all the 18 year olds knew in 1865.

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Cambridge High School, Class of 1865 Dance Card, 14 July 1865.

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