In a-question-of-tastefulness category

Menu for an August 14, 1935 “Rag and Tatters” Dinner aboard the S.S. Haiti.

A menu from our collection that we have because it featured “Music by the Cosmopolitan Orchestra, Hoboken.” A dinner party aboard this combined passenger and freight vessel of the Cosmopolitan Line was held when it was in the Caribbean thus a theme related to ‘pirates’ and ‘rag and tatters” (which, of course, is how pirates always seem to be dressed?) But eighty years ago in 1935, America (along with most of the world) was suffering in the economic calamity known as the Great Depression. For too many people, rags and tatters were real, not costumes or to be found entertaining.

Although humorous treatment of the less fortunate was a part of popular culture such as could be found onstage or in films, a better name for the dinner may have been more appropriate. A “politically correct”-style judgment on the event name 80 years in the future would not have been on the minds of the passengers back in 1935. See a larger view in our online catalog, enter keyword: tatters

An Uncommon Photograph

Photograph of woman taken by Charles Day.
Photograph of a woman taken by Charles W. Day, Hoboken, ca. 1896-1898. 2015.015.0020

The woman in this charming photo wears what is probably an ethnic German-style dress. She is believed to have been a member of the Sanntrock family of Hoboken. The round cut print of her is mounted diagonally on a small (3-3/4″ square) decorative mount with a scalloped edge. Uncommon because of its mount as well as the man who took the photo. We have only a handful of photos done by Charles W. Day who operated a studio here for about three years. The photo is from a group of 26 photographs donated by the Steinhaus Sisters of Long Island, N.Y., in memory of the Sanntrock Family. The Sanntrocks and relatives are the subjects of this lot, many of which were from 19th C. or early 20th C. Hoboken photographers. To see them all in our online catalog, enter keywords: sanntrock family OR 2015.015.* The Sanntrocks include first and second generation German-Americans and the group relects their heritage in dress and demeanor as well as locations that the photographs came from.

Hoboken History, an invitation to armchair exploring

From 1991 to 2000, Hoboken History was published by the Hoboken Historical Museum. The twenty-five issues covered a lot of history as well as Museum news. Loads of pictures and illustrations, it can give you a way to explore our city’s heritage from your chair. Not a scholarly journal – just a pleasant introduction to our storied past. All of them are in our online catalog as either page images or PDFs which you can download, enter at keyword (copy & paste entire boldfaced text): “hoboken historical museum” AND “hoboken history”

(Suggestion: after pasting in the keywords, select the box at left “Only records with images” before doing the search.)

First African-American Priest in the United States

Father Augustine Tolton article in The Josephine Harvest.

Father Augustine Tolton is considered as the first African-American priest in the U.S. and apparently offered his first Mass in the United States at Saint Mary Hospital, Hoboken, on July 6, 1886. This 1986 issue of The Josephine Harvest has a four-page illustrated article about him celebrating the centennial of his return to America as a priest. Donated by Mel Kiernan, it is one of hundreds of items recently received from him. To learn the whole story, go to our online catalog, enter keyword: 2014.025.0420 or tolton (You can see the pages, read the transcribed text or download a PDF.)

capcha: Sesquicentennial + 10 = ______ (or how many years ago did Hoboken first elect a Mayor?)

1855 lithograph of Hoboken's first Mayor & City Council.

One hundred sixty years ago on March 28, 1855, Hoboken was incorporated as a City. A short time later the first election was held and Cornelius V. Clickener was elected as the first Mayor (along with the first City Council, George Brampton and James K. Brush.) This commemorative lithograph was created on the occasion of Mayor Clickener’s first address to the Council on May 7th.

A wonderfully detailed black-and-white lithograph, this copy was a gift of Gregg Hammerdorfer, it is not just early Hoboken leaders that make it interesting. It was a Hoboken artist that created it. Immigrant artist Otto Knirsch (then 24 years old) briefly lived in Hoboken and signed this work at the lower right (detail shown above); he was later highly regarded for his engraved work seen on the covers of 19th C. sheet music and music albums. Learn more in our online catalog, enter keyword: 2014.052.0001