Could customs collectors, the tax men of early America, be the unsung founders of the early United States?
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the creation of the United States customs service and its contributions to the establishment of the federal government with Gautham Rao, an Assistant Professor of History at American University and author of National Duties: Custom Houses and the Making of the American State (University of Chicago Press, 2016). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/098
David Byars’ new book, Our Time at Foxhollow Farm a Hudson Valley Family Remembered (SUNY Press, 2016) is a pictorial history of a wealthy Hudson Valley family in the early decades of the twentieth century. Illustrated with the family’s extensive collection of personal albums compiled during the nascent years of photography, it provides a fascinating insight into the regional, social, and architectural history of the era. Continue reading
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow will receive the 2016 Empire State Archives and History Award from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust at a public program on Wednesday, November 2 at 7 pm.
Chernow is the author of Alexander Hamilton, the 2004 biography adapted by Lin-Manuel Miranda for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.
The public is invited to hear Chernow speak about his career as an author, biographer and historian with prominent Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Continue reading
A 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
Author 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
Ever 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
One 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
For 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
Bruce 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
After 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