Archive for Holiday

Vintage Valentine Day Cards

From the Smithsonian Institution comes this collection of Valentine Day cards and images from handmade to commercially produced. Some are simply done while others are very elaborate in their fabrication; many pre-date 1900. Hundreds of comic valentines are available from Pennsylvania State University; additional collections are at the Library of Birmingham, the Museum of London, New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress.


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Happy National Science Fiction Day!

It is held annually on January 2, the birthday of the prolific author, science fiction master, and fellow Brooklynite Isaac Asimov. Please review our previous science fiction postings for apposite readings in this genre.

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Christmas Postcards

From the New York Public Library’s extensive collection of postcards, here is a subset depicting Christmas from the early 20th century; here is a sub-section with Santa as the main theme.

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Thomas Nast’s “Christmas Drawings for the Human Race”

Nast was a political cartoonist whose work helped expose the corruption of New York City government as typified by Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall; he was also a prolific chronicler of the Civil War for Harper’s Weekly. In addition, he is credited with the creation of our modern depiction of Santa Claus. His Christmas Drawings for the Human Race collect his many seasonal sketches; you can see in these pages the Santa Claus we now know appear.

Additional work by Nast can be found at: The Thomas Nast Collection (Princeton); and Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (Ohio State).

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Christmas Through the Centuries

“I hope the next Christmas will prove happier than the present to you…”. So wrote George Washington to Robert Morris on December 25, 1776. To view examples of Christmas writings contained in diaries over a span of hundreds of years, please visit Diary Days from Christmas Past.

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How Santa Claus Has Been Depicted Over the Years

For a pictorial journey over the years, please come here.

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Christmas Menus

The following sites feature menus both past and present, from onboard ships to railroad cars: Holiday Menus: Christmas (Culinary Institute of America) featuring a menu from the 1928 Atlantic Coast Line; Menus: The Art of Dining (University of Nevada at Las Vegas) containing dozens of 19th century menus from such famous dining locations as The Plaza in New York City and the Café Restaurant de Paris; and What’s on the menu? (New York Public Library) holds almost 200 Christmas menus spanning over a century. People then, like now, really overate at this time of the year!

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