The First

The Rebel — Benjamin Franklin: America’s Founding Inventor

THE FIRST PODCAST The story of Benjamin Franklin at the end of his life — at the birth of a new nation. Part Three of The Invention of Benjamin Franklin. Check Part One (Franklin Gothic) and Part Two (Lightning Strikes) to catch up on his extraordinary story! Benjamin Franklin was the most famous American in… Read More

The First

The Invention of Benjamin Franklin Part One: Franklin Gothic (1706-1748)

THE FIRST PODCAST   Benjamin Franklin did more in his first forty years than most people do in an entire lifetime. Had he not played a pivotal role in the creation of the United States of America, he still would have been considered an icon in the fields of publishing, science and urban planning. How… Read More

American History Podcasts

New York City and the Inauguration of George Washington

PODCAST Part One of our two-part series on New York City in the years following the Revolutionary War. The story of New York City’s role in the birth of American government is sometimes forgotten. Most of the buildings important to the first U.S. Congress, which met here from the spring of 1789 to the late… Read More

Amusements and Thrills

Wanamaker’s Airship: That one time in 1911 they launched a hydrogen balloon from Astor Place

A view of the balloon launch, looking north towards the Metropolitan Life Tower, which can be seen jutting up in the background. The Met Tower was the world’s tallest building in 1911. Philadelphia retailer John Wanamaker turned an abandoned train station in Philadelphia into the lavish department bearing his name in 1876, just in time… Read More


‘Arctic blasts’, union rousers and hunchbacks: Ten bits of trivia about Ebbets Field’s opening day, 100 years ago today

Inside Ebbets Field, 1913, Library of Congress The first-ever regular season baseball game at Ebbets Field was played 100 years ago today.  The legendary field, once located in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 until the team left for Los Angeles in 1958. Here are ten interesting facts… Read More

Those Were The Days

Six ways to celebrate 100th anniversary of the Armory Show this weekend

A study in madness:  a view inside one room of the 1913 Armory Show This Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art — aka, the Armory Show of 1913 — which stunned New Yorkers and revolutionized the direction of American art in the 20th century. So… Read More

Staten Island, by way of Cezanne?

I was in Philadelphia this weekend checking out the outrageously popular ‘Cezanne and Beyond’ show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a diverse program sitting some of Paul Cezanne’s greatest paintings next to works they inspired. Near one of Cezanne’s many depictions of the Bay of Estaques is a rather surprising view of old Staten… Read More

Philly’s New York nude treasure

I was in Philadelphia for the holiday but couldn’t leave the Bowery Boys behind, stumbling into an attractive nude lady with a connection to old New York. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, known less for its collections of Thomas Eakins than for its usage in the movie Rocky, holds an old piece of Stanford White’s… Read More