Boarding House Blues

Tag: 1920

1 December 2022
Mmm Mmm Good, Campbell’s soup is Mmm Mmm Good!

What does that jingle evoke in your mind? Chicken noodle soup and a tuna sandwich (my fave as a teenager)? Tomato soup and grilled cheese? Whatever your favorite, you have John T. Dorrance to thank. Dorrance, Pennsylvania-born and an MIT graduate, received his PhD from the University of Göttingen, having specialized in chemistry, mathematics and […]

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15 November 2022
1920s Unsolved Mysteries - “Diamond Jim” Colosimo

Italian immigrant Vincenzo Colosimo was gunned down on May 11, 1920. Between his arrival in the US at age seventeen, and his death, Colosimo — aka James "Big Jim" or "Diamond Jim" for his obsession with the gems — carved out a criminal empire in Chicago built on prostitution, gambling, and racketeering. He also led […]

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1 November 2022
Best in Show

Once upon a time, there was a group of hunters who met regularly at the Westminster Hotel at Irving Place and 16th Street in Manhattan. The men, perhaps after an evening of drinking, decided to create a kennel club — an organization for canine affairs that concerns itself with the breeding, showing and promotion of […]

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6 October 2022
Flapper Couture

You’ve received an invitation to a Roaring 20s costume party. If you’re a woman, you will immediately start scanning the Internet for an above-the-knees, fringed flapper dress, as well as a feather boa, long cigarette holder, and flapper headband. Great outfit. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be accurate, at least not the dress. For the most part, […]

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14 September 2022
Books that defined the 1920s — Wooster & Jeeves

Historical Fiction is a story that takes readers to a time and place in the past. The "past" could be 1260 or 1960. Today, readers think of historical fiction as something written in one time, but depicting another. But what about writers who depicted their own time, but are being read 50 years later? Personally, […]

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15 July 2022
From Sex Worker to Real Estate Mogul

Many fortunes were made (and lost) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Names such as Andrew Carnegie, George F. Baker, William Rockefeller, and Henry Ford readily come to mind. But what about women? What about Black women? Hannah Elias is not exactly a well-known name, but by the early 1900s, she had built […]

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10 May 2022
Mysteries on the Small Screen

When I say “TV series set in the 1920s,” what comes to mind? Most people would immediately respond Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. Some might add Peaky Blinders. As a mystery writer, my list is a little different: Murdoch Mysteries, Miss Fisher Mysteries, and Frankie Drake Mysteries The Roaring Twenties, aka the Jazz Age, were […]

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16 February 2022
 Traveling the Nostalgia Road

Motel (n.) an establishment which provides lodging and parking and in which the rooms are usually accessible from an outdoor parking area. First used in 1925, coined from motor + hotel. Originally a hotel for automobile travelers. For those of us of a certain age, the sight of an orange roof, cupola, and weather vane […]

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13 July 2021
Flappers Weren't the Only Fashionistas of the 1920s

Women's fashions may have stolen the headlines during the 1920s, but men's wear flourished nonetheless. In 1818, Henry S. Brooks opened a clothing store on the corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in Manhattan, which was the early 19th century garment district where some of the first textile wholesalers in Manhattan were located (Lord & […]

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18 May 2021
New York's Love Affair with Brownstones

Brownstones are an essential part of New York's DNA. From the mid-1900s all the way to today, New Yorkers have enjoyed a special relationship with these stately single homes and their special architecture. Way back when, my grandparents owned a NYC brownstone, as did their parents. In fact, my mother was born in my great-grandmother's […]

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