Category Archives: Books

New Book Focuses on Western New York’s Aries Press


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the aries pressA small private press located in a Western New York village has left behind a rich legacy in printing history.

Typographer, printer and print historian Richard Kegler uncovers an almost lost history of the Aries Press in his new book, The Aries Press of Eden, New York, (RIT Press, 2016.)

Spencer Kellogg Jr., a businessman and book designer, founded Aries Press during the 1920s with a vision to produce high-quality book designs. Kellogg hired talented workers with a passion for printing, including a craftsman connected to the nearby Roycroft campus. He also commissioned type designer Frederic Goudy to create a typeface for Aries Press. While the press was only open for four years, it produced many fine standard-setting examples of printing. Continue reading

New Book: Spring Trout And Strawberry Pancakes


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spring trout and strawberry pancakesAuthor William J. “Jay” O’Hern’s new book, Spring Trout & Strawberry Pancakes: Quirky Cures, Camp Recipes & the Adirondack Characters Who Cook Them Up, looks at some old Adirondack folks, their stories, and how their favored recipes brought mouthwatering meals to Adirondack tables.

With vintage photographs, Spring Trout & Strawberry Pancakes highlights hand-picked camp recipes, background stories of old camps and characters, historic photos, tales, time-tested household cleaning tips and old-fashioned remedies for common ills. Continue reading

The Origins of Racial Segregation in the United States


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ben_franklins_worldEver wonder how the United States’ problem with race developed and why early American reformers didn’t find a way to fix it during the earliest days of the republic?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Nicholas Guyatt, author of Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation (Basic Books, 2016), leads us on an exploration of how and why the idea of separate but equal developed in the early United States. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/096

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A New Biography of Basketball Legend Bob Davies


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bob davies a basketball legendOne of the most influential basketball players is remembered in Barry S. Martin’s new book, Bob Davies: A Basketball Legend (RIT Press, 2016). Davies’s contributions to modern basketball include the introduction of the behind the-back dribble, the penetration and transition styles of play, and several innovative passes.

The book recounts Davies’ time with the Rochester Royals, today’s NBA Sacramento Kings. Sports Illustrated named Davies as one of the eight most infuential players in the frst century of college basketball. The NBA selected him as one of the ten best players in its first quarter century. Author and Rochester native Barry Martin narrates the Davies story and the athlete’s impact on the sport from experience watching Davies play. Continue reading

Beer of Broadway Fame: The Piel Family of Brooklyn


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beer of broadway fameFor more than a century, New York City was the brewing capital of America, with more breweries producing more beer than any other city, including Milwaukee and St. Louis.

In Beer of Broadway Fame: The Piel Family and Their Brooklyn Brewery (SUNY Press, 2016,) Alfred W. McCoy traces the hundred-year history of the prominent Brooklyn brewery Piel Bros., and provides an intimate portrait of the company’s German-American family.

Piel Bros. grew from Brooklyn’s smallest brewery in 1884, producing only 850 kegs, into the sixteenth-largest brewery in America, brewing over a million barrels by 1952. Continue reading

Knickerbocker Commodore: Life and Times of John Drake Sloat


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knickerbocker commodoreBruce Castleman’s new book, Knickerbocker Commodore: The Life and Times of John Drake Sloat 1781-1867 (SUNY Press, 2016) chronicles the life of Rear Admiral John Drake Sloat, an important but understudied naval figure in US history.

Born and raised by a slave-owning gentry family in New York’s Hudson Valley, Sloat moved to New York City at age nineteen.

Castleman explores Sloat’s forty-five-year career in the Navy, from his initial appointment as midshipman in the conflicts with revolutionary France to his service as commodore during the country’s war with Mexico. Continue reading

A New Collection of Essays About Adirondack History


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adirondack archangelsAfter more than a 25 years of protecting New York State’s alpine zone, the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program is being recognized in a new publication.

Adirondack Archangels: Guardians of the High Peaks, (Adirondack Mountain Club, 2016), is a collection of essays by and about individuals who have worked to protect the Adirondack Park and its highest peaks.

The collection is a tribute to the late Edwin H. “Ketch” Ketchledge, Ph.D., who in 1989 led the creation of the Summit Stewardship Program. It comprises thirty-nine essays and includes a foreword by celebrated writer Bill McKibben and over 250 photographs. Continue reading

A New Biography of Dr. E. L. Trudeau


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a rare romance in medicine book coverHistoric Saranac Lake has announced the release of a major biography of Dr. E. L. Trudeau by Mary B. Hotaling. The book, entitled A Rare Romance in Medicine: The Life and Legacy of Edward Livingston Trudeau, is now available to purchase from Historic Saranac Lake, and will soon be for sale in local bookstores.

The new biography expands upon Dr. Trudeau’s autobiography, published posthumously in 1915. The doctor’s great-great-grandson, Doonesbury Cartoonist Garry Trudeau, wrote the Foreword. Dr. Andrea Cooper, former Francis B. Trudeau Chair in Tuberculosis and Related Research at the Trudeau Institute, and Dr. Ian Orme, professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University, contributed the closing chapter. The final chapter sets Dr. Trudeau’s work in the context of the continuing study of the cellular immune response to TB. Continue reading

Jay O’Hern’s New Book On Adirondack Logging


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adirondack logging book coverJay O’Hearn’s new book, Adirondack Logging: Life and Time in the Early Years of Logging’s Mechanization (Versa Press 2016) portrays the timber-logging lives of lumberjacks in the “Glory Years” following the introduction of Linn log hauling tractors.

The book includes interviews with loggers, remembrances of lumber camp life, accounts of river drives, the passing of old-style logging with horses, remembrances of yesterday’s lumberjacks, and stories that accompany appetizing recipes.

Rare photographic images capture the scenes once common around lumber camps, centers of the logging industry built exclusively for the lumberjacks. Continue reading

Rumors, Legends, and Hoaxes in Early America


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ben_franklins_worldDid you know that George Washington’s favorite drink was whiskey?

Actually, it wasn’t.

Washington preferred Madeira, a fortified Portuguese wine from the island of Madeira.

Why the false start to our weekly exploration of history?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Gregory Dowd, a Professor of History and American Culture at the University of Michigan, leads us on an exploration of rumors, legends, and hoaxes that circulated throughout early America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/091

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