Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Shopping in Central Square in the 1980s

Copyright, Jeffrey Dunn.

We’re excited to give you a preview of our newest acquisition, photographs by longtime Cambridge photographer Jeffrey Dunn.  Once the collection has been made available online, we will let you know.


Throwback Thursday: Smocks for Library Pages

Library Page in the former metal stacks of the pre renovated Cambridge Public Library, ca. 1970s-1980s, from the Cambridge Public Library Records (011)

The Cambridge Public Library Pages of 40 years past could be identified in the building by their bright orange or blue smocks.  We have two smocks on display right now on the second floor of the main library.


TBT: Answer: What’s this Historical Piece of Clothing?

001 005

We have the answer to yesterday’s Throwback Thursday:  a nursing bib worn by a student attending the Cambridge City Hospital nursing program in 1948.  The bib, signed by classmates, nurses, and doctors, belonged to Elizabeth A’Hearn Dorety Conway.  We have a wonderful collection of Conway’s memorabilia in the Cambridge Room.



The Mystery Continues: Charles H. Fosgate Grocery and Provision Store

Article about Fosgate’s Grocery and Provision Store from the Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection, Cambridge Chronicle 6 May 1911.

Thank you to Robert Winters and Dan Sullivan for helping us locate Charles H. Fosgate Grocery and Provisions on Massachusetts Avenue.   As it turns out, there are hundreds of hits for Fosgate, including many advertisements, when searching the Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection that we overlooked!  (It happens sometimes…)  Fosgate’s, located at 1876 Massachusetts Avenue, opened in 1899 and always had the advertising slogan, “right at the bridge.”  It later moved to 1853 Massachusetts Avenue, which is essentially across the street, where the Commonwealth Lock Company is currently located.

Advertisement From the Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection, Cambridge Tribune, 15 June 1912.

Today, 1876 Massachusetts Avenue houses Bruegger’s Bagles.


As you can see, the original building looks nothing like Fosgate’s in 1911 nor like the building today.

Fosgate’s Groceries and Provisions, circa 1904-1909, From the Glass Plate Negatives, circa 1904-1909 (002).

And, what is this bridge Fosgate’s advertisements mention?  The mystery continues…



TBT: Charles Fosgate Groceries and Provisions, circa 1904-1909

Charles Fosgate Groceries and Provisions, Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts, circa 1904-1909.  From the Glass Plate Negatives, circa 1904-1909 (002).

We need your help for today’s Throwback Thursday.  Does anyone know where on Massachusetts Avenue this grocery store was?

Throwback Thursday Answer: Mayor Al Velluci

Mayor Al Vellucci was the Cambridge politician who threatened to pave over Harvard Yard to create more public parking in Cambridge.   The Cambridge Historical Society published a great tribute to the former Mayor in the Cambridge Historian (Spring of 2013), by Gavin Kleepsies titled “Al Vellucci: Political Maverick.”  Read Vellucci’s rise to political fame here.



Hint for Throwback Thursday: Name the Famous Cantabrigian


Can anyone name the man in the center of this ribbing cutting ceremony?

Hint:  He famously and publicly stated that the best way to solve Cambridge’s public parking problem was to purchase Harvard Yard by eminent domain and pave it over.

“We will cut all their trees and all their landscape after confiscating their land by police force if necessary.”