The Molly Maguires were an Irish-American secret society based in anthracite coal country Pennsylvania in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Known for allegedly murdering several mining bosses, policemen, and other officials during the Long Strike of 1875, the group holds a reputation as one of the fiercest in American history.

The Mollies apparently served their victims with notes called “coffin notices” warning them of their impending murder. Here are some examples received by bosses working for the Coxe Brothers Mining Company in July 1875, just after the not-so-underground violence of the Long Strike ended. The handwriting may not be the best, but the illustrations sure get the point across.

For more information about the Mollies, the Long Strike, and violence in mining-country, head over to this essay.

Scenes from Camp Wanamaker, circa 1927. While it might look similar, Moonrise Kingdom this wasn’t. In 1901 John Wanamaker began a summer camp offshoot of his successful Wanamaker Commercial Institute in Island Heights, New Jersey, which functioned as a military-style boot camp for his youngest employees—some as little as 10 years old. The children, who needed their jobs at Wanamaker’s to scrap together a living, would have otherwise been unable to attend school or camp if their employer hadn’t supplied it for them.

In between military training exercises, the kids swam, participated in competitive sports (hence the trophies), and played in marching band.

Check it out on our Digital Library, here.

Watercolor of the ideal cot set-up before barracks inspection, as painted by Army Captain M. Nixon-Miller during World War I. Check it out on our digital library!
If you’re in the area, come out tomorrow night to see this painting and many other items related to Philadelphia during World War I at HSP’s launch party for the World War I online centennial exposition, “Home Before the Leaves Fall” at wwionline.org. Here’s more information about tomorrow’s event and our ongoing document display.

Watercolor of the ideal cot set-up before barracks inspection, as painted by Army Captain M. Nixon-Miller during World War I. Check it out on our digital library!

If you’re in the area, come out tomorrow night to see this painting and many other items related to Philadelphia during World War I at HSP’s launch party for the World War I online centennial exposition, “Home Before the Leaves Fall” at wwionline.org. Here’s more information about tomorrow’s event and our ongoing document display.

A very happy Juneteenth to everyone!
This is an illustration by Thomas Nast, lithographed by King & Baird Printers, Philadelphia. It appeared in the January 24, 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

A very happy Juneteenth to everyone!

This is an illustration by Thomas Nast, lithographed by King & Baird Printers, Philadelphia. It appeared in the January 24, 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

That John Wanamaker collection is full of surprises. Today we came across a full box of cigarettes, deemed “Wanamaker’s Own Blend.” Each one has his initials imprinted, and advertises on the bottom of the box that you, too, can have your initials stamped on all of your cigarettes at no extra cost—as long as you order more than a thousand.

The box is undated, but I’m guessing the blend was at least created in Wanamaker’s lifetime? He died in 1922. Does anyone out there have a clue regarding the date of this cigarette box?

Also note: the cigarettes smell AMAZING, like black currant tea, and not at all like today’s chemical hazards.

New on HSP’s Digital Library: ephemera from the Thelma McDaniel collection relating to the Black Power and Civil Rights movements in Philadelphia.

This Free Angela Davis NOW poster was one of many produced by the New York Committee to Free Angela Davis and was probably designed by Félix Beltrán. It uses a popular photograph of Davis taken by F. Joseph Crawford. The same New York Committee produced this bright bumper sticker for the cause.

For more about the history and uses of Angela Davis ephemera this Collector’s Weekly article is great.

On a 1920s tour of the furniture department at Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia, you would have come across three separate rooms: one for grand pianos, one for upright pianos… and one for phonographs. Vintage surround sound!

Photos from the John Wanamaker collection [2188], Historical Society of Pennsylvania, circa 1920.

Here’s a Shanley’s Restaurant menu from July 6th, 1916. An artistically-minded diner doodled the scene on the back!

From the John Wanamaker papers [2188], Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

timestribunelibrary:

Helen Tabarrini handles the cash register while Lisa Roberts serves another “good cheer” at the Silhouette Lounge in 1968. Scranton. Times-Tribune File
In the Sunday Times, columnist Erin Nissley wrote about a little known Pennsylvania law that barred women from making mixed drinks in Scranton, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for about 28 years. 
To read more about this law, its repeal and vintage mixed drinks recipes visit: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/local-history-bar-maids-banned-in-scranton-for-nearly-30-years-1.1687591

timestribunelibrary:

Helen Tabarrini handles the cash register while Lisa Roberts serves another “good cheer” at the Silhouette Lounge in 1968. Scranton. Times-Tribune File

In the Sunday Times, columnist Erin Nissley wrote about a little known Pennsylvania law that barred women from making mixed drinks in Scranton, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for about 28 years. 

To read more about this law, its repeal and vintage mixed drinks recipes visit: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/local-history-bar-maids-banned-in-scranton-for-nearly-30-years-1.1687591

wwionline:

othmeralia:

For all those interested in World War I history, keep your eyes on this developing project: Home Before the Leaves Fall.

Hey, that’s us! Thanks for the shout-out, Delaware Valley Archivists Group! Also, a special thanks to the Othmer Library of Chemical History for sharing this on Tumblr.