History

By - 9/19/16 - 10:35 am
Street watering division hard at work in old Boston

This photo shows the Boston Street Watering Division hard at work. The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out where and when. See it larger (the sign on the second floor of the left house reads "Table Board").

By - 9/12/16 - 11:05 am
Old scene in old Boston

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

By - 9/7/16 - 11:17 am
Tall telephone poles in old Boston

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

By - 9/1/16 - 9:12 am
First trolley to go through the Tremont Street subway

Shortly before 6 a.m. on Sept. 1, 1897, this car moved out of a car barn and towards Park Street, where it would officially open North America's first subway service. It was not late.

Photo from the Boston City Archives. Posted under this Creative Commons license.

By - 8/31/16 - 10:10 am
Benjamin Franklin statute put back at Boston's Old City Hall

WalkBoston reports Ben Franklin's looking pretty good for a 310-year-old guy who got knocked to the ground in a wind storm back in May.

By - 8/29/16 - 12:32 pm
Making tracks in old Boston

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

By - 8/28/16 - 11:14 am
Old house in South Boston

The folks at Boston City Archives share this view of Marine Road and I Street in South Boston in 1915. See it larger.

By - 8/27/16 - 5:03 pm
Old passenger car parked at South Station in Boston

Geep9 snapped this old passenger car, the Babbling Brook, parked at South Station today. New England States was the New York Central's flagship train on the Boston-Chicago route.

By - 8/26/16 - 10:46 am
Pearl Street tracks

Ari Ofsevit has been watching workers rip old trolley tracks out from under Pearl Street in Cambridge as part of rebuilding the street. He shows us some of the tracks, last used around 1925. Also, he got a souvenir brick.

By - 8/22/16 - 10:22 am
Trolley in old Boston

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

By - 8/21/16 - 9:33 pm

The Globe today posted a photo from 1955 by Boston-based photographer Ted Polumbaum showing guys jumping into the Charles River - from the far side of the then "modernized" Storrow Drive, which had become part of the river.

Also see a more bucolic Embankment Road in 1929.

By - 8/18/16 - 12:34 pm

I’ve always wondered how Sir Isaac Newton, one of the smartest men that ever lived, lost a fortune in the stock market. I went back to school early this year and found out.

By - 8/17/16 - 3:47 pm

Soviet propaganda from the 70's using our fair city!

Translation & description here:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/this-is-a-treat-don-t-miss-it

By - 8/16/16 - 10:55 am
Potter's Hotel in Old Boston

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

By - 8/5/16 - 7:29 pm
Boston cop with machine gun in 1919

Over the years, news photographer Leslie Jones took a number of photos of Boston Police officers with guns.

The above photo, which he took on July 3, 1919, at the height of the Red Scare, was captioned: Read more.

By - 8/5/16 - 12:47 pm
Newsstand in the old Sullivan Square station

Sullivan Square didn't always feel like a depressing afterthought to the construction of an interstate in the middle of a horrible rotary. The original station, built at the turn of the last century, featured a soaring vaulted ceiling, elegant architectural touches - and tracks for trolleys. Remember trolleys? The only thing it didn't have was Donut and Donuts. Read more.

By - 8/3/16 - 4:50 pm

Industries have a life cycle just like humans . Like a person’s childhood, teenage years, adulthood and golden years, industries have distinct life stages. A local example is the Nantucket whaling industry. Let’s review the lifecycle.

1659: Nantucket settled.

1752: Start up stage. Whaling voyages begin. The market for clean burning whale oil is small but growing. Industry profits are negative and large amounts of capital are required to build ships and train mariners.

1760-1789: Growth stage. In this stage capital requirements are still high, but sales grow rapidly and profits are positive.

By - 8/2/16 - 11:35 am
Sailors in Charlestown during World War II

The National Archives and Digital Commonwealth have posted more than 1,000 photos from the First Naval District, which was headquartered in Boston, taken between 1939 and 1947. About 650 of the photos are from the Boston area (on that link, click on the 976 at the bottom of the map, then on the 652) and show aerial views of naval installations in Charlestown and South Boston (some marked "CONFIDENTIAL"), workers building and repairing things and lots and lots of navy-yard buildings. Also, the two sailors above, from the USS Mason - "the first predominantly Negro ship comissioned" - at the Charlestown Navy Yard.