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

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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.



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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.)

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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.)

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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


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Postcard - Schuetzen Park, Union Hill. Gift of Patricia Conklin.

While our collections are basically Hoboken, here is a postcard from outside our borders.
Schuetzen Park in Union Hill (later to become park of Union City) was a place well known to Hoboken residents especially those of German ancestry. The site of many festivals, parties, sporting events and political gatherings (it is still around), Hobokeners were frequent attendees. It is a useful item to hold as background for the many references to the Park in relation to those social, ethnic, political and athletic activities.

Patricia Conklin donated this card from circa 1907-1914 along with two others of the era. See them all in the online catalog, use keyword: 2015.006.*


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1910 calendar plate. Gift of Beverly Matthews.

A nice addition to Museum collections in this genre. Issued by a Henry Sherry of 564 First St., Hoboken, and whose type of business has not been determined. It is a typical item produced in the era presumably as a holiday gift to customers or clients.

Donor Beverly Matthews searched us out to find a home for this special item. Sometimes these items get swept up into the box to go to the charity thrift shop, but she took the time to contact us and inquire about our interest. We are gratified by her diligence and effort to send it on and let us share it with everyone.  Take a closer look at it in the online catalog, enter keyword: 2015.005.0001

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The newsletter below is one of two we recently received as a gift from the Bernheim Family along with several hundred other items related to the former Neumann Leather Company. It is the first we have seen of this newsletter, but we are sure more will come to light. To read it, go to our online catalog and use keyword, 2014.070.0001, where you can see all pages, read all text or open and save a PDF to read at another time.

Second issue of the Neumann News, 1946

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A 1990 parking sticker. Gift in memory of Helen Nitschke by Laurette Whittle.

Yes, a parking sticker. A minor item for the Museum, but parking is a big issue for the community. Recently we added some stickers from 1990 to 2005 to the collections. A gift in memory of Helen Nitschke (once lived at 1242 Garden) by Laurette Whittle. It is remarkable that they even exist as those who have used them know how difficult it is peel them off, nevermind keeping them intact. Just a very small piece of ephemera that can be useful in imparting to future residents how parking control was dealt with in our time. Will these stickers soon disappear from view along with coin meters that are now gone? See this small group in our online catalog, keyword: 2015.007.0001

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We know that hearing about baseball means that spring is near (winter has to be so over), but here is Hoboken born-and-raised Tom Carey (left in photo) playing ball in the fall of 1931 with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. No, not the World Series. Just an exhibition game in West New York, but it was a nice moment for Carey. His niece, Mary Anne Tweed, recently donated some photos and memorabilia about him. He actually started his pro career as a minor leaguer with the N.Y. Yankees, but went on to play major league ball for several seasons with other teams. Learn more about him in our online catalog, use keyword:  2015.010.*

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