Happy American Archives Month! The Othmer Library is a proud partner of Archives Month Philly, a local celebration of archives, special collections libraries, and cultural institutions around the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley region. All this month, check out some great events and ongoing exhibitions at ismarchives, hspdigitallibrary, hagleyvault, and many others.
How are you celebrating American Archives Month?
The Othmer Library’s space cat says Congratulations to the Legacy Serial Team for the completion of a major serials cataloging project. Rumor has it over 12,000 serial item records were added to our holdings! Well done. (space tiger courtesy of Edward Topsell and the great beyond courtesy of Nasa)
Happy Birthday to Hans Geiger who was born today in September 30, 1882. The Geiger counter is one of the most recognizable images of the nuclear age, countless movies and television shows depicted the horror of radiation using the iconic box and hand held wand clicking away over rocks or mysterious objects from outer space just dripping with cosmic radiation. This book from 1955 called Atomic Radiation Detection and Measurement by Harold S. Renee includes a chapter on a fun hobby for would be scientists Uranium Prospecting but you can also use it on any meteors that fall from outer space into your back yard just be sure to cuff your dungarees and wear your protective cool guy shades. Safety First!
A sea captain early in life, James Emerson of Willimansett, Massachusetts, went on to make key contributions to the turbine industry. Emerson established the Holyoke Testing Flume in Holyoke, MA, in 1870. Here he carried out tests of various water wheels. His tests in turn helped builders construct more efficient turbines. Emerson detailed his work with turbines in his Treatise Relative to the Testing of Water-Wheels and Machinery – the 4th edition of this book (published in 1892) is shown above.
Interestingly, Emerson didn’t confine his book solely to a discussion of turbines. Throughout the work, Emerson shared his feelings (sometimes quite passionately!) on a myriad of topics including:
- The medical profession – if a doctor is to be called, it should only cost “twenty-five cents per visit” (p. 125)
- Marriage - “The marriage laws are unequal and unjust…Marriage by equitable contract should produce equality and continued effort to please. Give both the same right to propose such partnership” (pp. 140-141)
- Poetry - “For myself, admiration for poetry only comes as it touches my feelings, and it may be found in prose as well as in verse…” (p. 169)
- Diet - “First, my diet has always been spare, at the same time I have invariably eaten anything that I have desired and at any time without any regard to regular hours, often at midnight or later if restless…Hot biscuit, hot doughnuts, pies of all kinds, puddings, strawberry short cakes, buckwheats, fruit, and a few of the ordinary vegetables constitute my ordinary meals, with hot tea or coffee, no liquor, beer, or tobacco in any form” (p. 173)
- Prohibition - “Prohibition interferes with the rights of all, and with very doubtful effects” (p. 381)
- Mind Reading - “Mind reading is now so generally accepted that I do not care to go into particulars in proof, though it would be easy to furnish positive evidence of the fact, and that it begins with the very young even before the child can talk” (p. 474)
…27 September 1962. Her book is credited for creating the environmental movement, the Environmental Protection Agency and 1972 ban on the pesticide DDT! The impact of her book had a global reach.
In the Othmer Library we have a rare Japanese graphic novel about Ms. Carson and Silent Spring.
Cats and chemistry?! As this charming photo from the Gabor Levy Image Collection illustrates, our Image Archives chronicle not only the professional work of scientists, but also the personal context in which that work occurs. We look forward to sharing our collection of images of BBQs, family vacations, holiday celebrations, and so much more on this blog and our other social media platforms.
Caption: Friedel and Margaret Levy with some feline friends circa 1950. Gabor B. Levy Image Collection (object ID 2001.04.093a-b).
We’ve been trying to think of a reason to reblog these adorable kittens, but then we realized they’re adorable kittens. What other reason do you really need, right?
Welcome to the family, stranger. The Othmer Library recently added a few of the remaining items from the Neville Collection to the opac. One of these stragglers is a 1493 Latin edition of the Liber Chronicarum known quite famously as the Nuremberg Chronicle. Ours is an uncolored edition but it is still quite a sight to behold and we are quite proud of it, as the Boss says “Hey you ain’t a beauty but hey you’re alright, oh and that’s alright with me”!