Delivery, Ritual and Discretion: Discovering the Past in an Early Pennsylvania Midwife’s Register

Hoofbeats on the dirt path announced the arrival of the midwife, who traveled on horseback from her home at Lower Salford in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County to attend a birth at the residence of the Haag family in nearby Franconia Township on August 1, 1770. Johannes Haag was the first delivery attended by Rosina (Krauss) Heydrich (1737–1828) when she began her Hebamme Büchlein, or midwife’s...
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The Pennsylvania Germans’ Gentle Art

One of the most distinctive and colorful forms of early Pennsylvania art was manuscript illumina­tion or, as it’s commonly called today, fraktur-schriften. Al­though this genre of folk art was a derivative of European prototypes, those produced in Pennsylvania by the German settlers during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries showed an intensity not nor­mally found in their European...
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The Man Who Bought Alice in Wonderland

On April 3, 1928, a slightly tipsy world, still reeling through the heady Twen­ties, focused its attention on Sotheby’s in London, where one of history’s most famous and beloved of all books was about to be auctioned. Through Sotheby’s dark pas­sages, an excited throng tum­bled into the large auction gallery to see who would offer the winning bid for Lewis Carroll’s...
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