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By adamg - 12/4/20 - 9:43 am
Ray Flynn, Santa and mystery guests

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can ID any of these folks posing with Ray Flynn and Santa. See it larger.

By adamg - 12/3/20 - 9:32 am

The Boston Sun details a recent hearing of the Boston Landmarks Commission on a proposal to replace a bench dedicated to Civil War veterans between Arlington and Berkeley streets on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Read more.

By adamg - 11/30/20 - 4:33 pm
A Boston mail trolley

Extended mail trolley in 1900, which carried both mail and riders. From the National Postal Museum.

As the 20th century approached, Boston was choking on its own success - its streets were just too crowded. Today, the Green Line is a reminder of the innovation it took to deal with the problem - the nation's first subway and all, opened in 1897.

But putting trolleys, and eventually longer subway cars, underground wasn't the only way Boston tried to overcome its over-clogged streets. Dedicated mail streetcars and pneumatic tubes also played a key, if ultimately just short-term, role. Read more.

By adamg - 11/27/20 - 1:54 pm
Rhyming ad for Salom's Great Bazaar and Old Curiosity Shop on Washington Street downtown

In 1860, Mark Salom had this ad printed for his shop on Washington Street at West Street (333 Washington, to be exact, a number that is now assigned to a building several blocks up Washington, near Milk Street). Read more.

By adamg - 11/26/20 - 10:39 am
Abigail Adams

J.L. Bell recounts Abigail Adams's Thanksgiving in 1798, when husband John was off presidenting in Philadelphia (Thanksgiving then being just a New England thing, not a national holiday), her children were far away (sons John Quincy and Thomas Boylston being the farthest, in Moscow, where John was his father's minister to Russia and Thomas was along for the ride) and her nearby relatives were ill. Two neighbors did join her, as did Phoebe Abdee, originally her father's slave, who continued to work for the family even after she was freed.

Ad:
By adamg - 11/20/20 - 12:12 pm
Nova Scotia tree on Boston Common

The mayor's office released this photo of our annual gift tree from Nova Scotia safely arriving on Boston Common this morning. It'll officially be lit up on Dec. 3, come hell, high water or tree pattern baldness. Read more.

By adamg - 11/16/20 - 10:43 am
Young scientist at work

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out when this was taken and what event the kid is participating in. See it larger.

By adamg - 11/9/20 - 11:31 am
People waiting to make phone calls in a downtown Boston subway stop

Waiting to make a call at a downtown subway stop. Source.

Around 5:20 p.m. on Nov. 9, 1965, Boston blinked out as a quickly spreading blackout that started with a failed relay on a transmission line in upstate New York just five minutes earlier cascaded across the Northeast. Lights, radios and TVs went out, subway trains slowed and stopped. Read more.

By adamg - 11/6/20 - 12:10 pm

Richard Auffrey introduces us to a Chinese teenager known only as Chou, who signed on with a Boston sea captain, who brought him back to Boston in 1796. Two years later, Chou fell to his death from the mast of the captain's ship. He's buried in the Central Burying Ground.

By adamg - 11/4/20 - 11:14 am
Three nuns in a classroom

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.

By adamg - 11/2/20 - 10:20 pm

A federal judge ruled today that a historic letter from Alexander Hamilton to the Marquis de Lafayette that disappeared from the Massachusetts State Archives sometime in the 1930s or 1940s belongs to the state, not to the family that was trying to sell it at auction decades after the family patriarch bought it. Read more.

By adamg - 10/26/20 - 10:14 am
Kids in an unfinished sandbox

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.

By adamg - 10/8/20 - 1:42 pm
Two guys at a workbench

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.

By adamg - 9/30/20 - 10:38 am
Climbing men

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out what's going on in this picture, and when.

By adamg - 9/16/20 - 10:04 pm
Dukakis and White at Logan Airport

On Sept. 17, 1970, Boston Mayor Kevin White and Brookline State Rep. Michael Dukakis boarded a small plane at Logan for a campaign trip around the state during White's run for governor and Dukakis's for lieutenant governor. Read more.

By adamg - 9/8/20 - 12:58 pm
Frank Bellotti

Back in the day, politicians who'd won elections would often invite the press in the next morning to watch them bask in the glow of being a winner. Read more.

By adamg - 9/7/20 - 11:33 am
An afternoon at the South End branch of the Boston Public Library

An afternoon at the South End branch of the Boston Public Library in 1931. From the BPL photo collection.

Posted under this Creative Commons license.

By adamg - 9/4/20 - 10:00 am

Richard Auffrey continues his look at Boston's former Little Syria, today with a look at the final example of proof that it ever even existed - the Sahara Syrian Restaurant, the sign for which sill beckons the hungry more than 50 years after the place actually closed.

By adamg - 9/3/20 - 11:18 pm
World War I and Korean and Vietnam War memorial in Adams Park in Roslindale
Irving W. Adams

At one end of Adams Park in Roslindale Square is a mournful memorial to local service members who died in battle in World War 1, the sort of men we learned today the president scorns as "losers" and "suckers", men he's not even sure fought on the right side in that war. Read more.

By adamg - 9/1/20 - 9:26 am

Richard Auffrey, who has been chronicling the history of Chinatown, turns his attention to the neighboring Little Syria, where thousands of Syrian immigrants once lived. If you haven't heard of it, it's because the tiny neighborhood was demolished to make way for the Southeast Expressway, in particular, the ramp down into Chinatown.

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