Friday, June 13, 2008

The Fun of Research

There is much to like about research, but my absolute favorite part is the fun of coming upon something unexpected.

For instance--this evening I was looking for something specific on the Massachusetts Historical Society's website. I found what I was looking for, and then I took a quick look around the site. I discovered the "object of the month." June's object is a broadside offering the services of a dentist. The broadside is dated 1796. Here's just one of the things the dentist, Mr. Josiah Flagg, offered to do:
Lines and plumbs Teeth with virgin Gold, Foil, or Lead.
Lead? Lord, I hope not many people took him up this particular service!

Intrigued, I started looking at some of the past "objects of the month." Last month's object was a letter which talks about Mary Dyer, one of the women Mur mentioned in an earlier post.

The object from last July was a menu for a "City Dinner on the Fourth of July, 1844, at Faneuil Hall." Since the 4th of July is rapidly approaching, you may want to compare 21st century holiday fare to what was served 164 years ago. It ain't hot dogs and hamburgers! But, you'll find that the old summer standby, ice cream, is on the menu.

My favorite object, of the ones I looked at, is a portion of the diary of 11 year old, Sarah Gooll Putnam. Sarah chronicled her visit to the Boston Aquarial Gardens. What is an aquarial garden? Click here to find out.

There is SO MUCH wonderful stuff in the object archives, I could spend many fun-filled days!


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