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  • Treasure of the Month
    a family raising a toast at their dining table The greeting A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to You was printed in the center Surprisingly early Christmas cards rarely showed seasonal or religious themes as they do today Instead historic designs often featured floral motifs Images of animals and children at play were also popular Over time cards began to include traditional characters such as Santa Claus elves and snowmen or familiar objects like Christmas trees Nativity scenes white doves and the Star of Bethlehem became more common during later years Christmas Cards in America Christmas card from the 1870s In 1874 the concept of ready made Christmas cards was introduced to the American public by Louis Prang a Boston based printer and lithographer Using the color printing process which he invented Prang s company produced the first commercially printed holiday greeting cards made in America By the early 1880s Prang reportedly printed five million Christmas cards annually Also during this time Prang sponsored art competitions offering cash prizes for top card designs Eventually less expensive cards imported from Germany flooded the market causing Prang to focus on other publishing ventures Elaborate expensive Victorian era Christmas cards were eventually replaced by cheaper imitations and by the turn of the century postcards became preferred over cards with envelopes Christmas card from 1907 However the production of Christmas cards continued to be a profitable venture throughout the 20th century Designs evolved with changing tastes and advancing print technology During the First and Second World Wars patriotic themes were featured on Christmas cards Christmas card from 1908 Christmas Greetings in the Modern World The popularity of Christmas cards has waned in recent decades due partly to advances in communication technology such as email and text messaging which allow for more frequent

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2014/12-cards/cards.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    History During the first several years of operation various rooms in the old frame building were used for classrooms living quarters for the Sisters and a chapel The school which accepted girls of all religious faiths could only accommodate day students though there was a growing demand for a dormitory to house boarding students A dormitory and a rectory wing were later added to the school In 1854 a fire damaged a portion of the original wooden structure and it was decided that a larger brick building should be constructed This three story Greek Revival stucco building sat on the east end of the property In 1871 an adjoining Gothic chapel and bell tower were added In 1874 St Angela s Hall was built to conduct religious education classes for African American women and children This building stood until 1882 when it was badly damaged by a fire Salvaged lumber was taken to Dickinson and was used to build a small Catholic church and school these were later lost in the 1900 Storm Expansion continued in 1891 when the Ursulines hired Galveston architect Nicholas J Clayton to design a new building for the growing academy Completed in 1895 it became one of the most magnificent examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture in Texas and in the United States Of Clayton s countless notable architectural achievements the Ursuline Academy is considered his most spectacular work With its massive walls towers turrets lofty roofs and flying buttresses it was a visual masterpiece The building provided space for classrooms and sleeping quarters for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 A Beacon of Hope During War and Disaster Though trained as educators the Ursuline Sisters in Galveston volunteered as nurses at various times in the city s history When a yellow fever epidemic struck the island in 1857 1858 students were sent home so that the school could be converted into a hospital for sick patients During the Civil War classes at the Ursuline Academy were again suspended so that the wounded from both sides could be cared for there Wrought iron architectural details from the 1895 academy During reconstruction the Ursuline Sisters resumed their teaching duties and the academy saw a sizeable boost in attendance However the school s funds were depleted after the Civil War and tuition payments made using depreciated Confederate currency did little to cover the school s operational costs Students continued to flock to the highly reputable institution however and eventually the financial health of the school improved Just two days before the fall semester of 1900 was scheduled to begin a devastating hurricane struck Galveston Island The enormous academy structure designed by Nicholas Clayton stood as a beacon during the 1900 Storm providing life saving shelter to some 1 500 victims who rode out the storm inside the walled fortress Hundreds more found refuge there in the days and weeks following the storm The Ursulines were once again plagued by financial troubles after the 1900 Storm The debt

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2013/01-ursuline/ursuline.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    like the Artillery club continued to host private events In 1949 the City reinstated Mardi Gras but participation during this period was sporadic and pricy so it was again shut down in the mid 1950s In 1982 local krewes started to organize small events By 1985 with the support of George and Cynthia Mitchell Larry Del Papa and other local business leaders Galveston kicked off its modern Mardi Gras celebration which continues today 1949 was a significant year for Mardi Gras in Galveston It was the first time it had been celebrated since 1941 and would be one of the last major seasons until the 1980s The Galveston Daily News from February 25 1949 declared that It s Mardi Gras Time When Galveston Exemplifies the Real Spirit of Freedom and ran proclamations from both Governor Beauford Jester and Galveston Mayor Herbert Cartwright to ring in the season Eleven international beauties from Europe and Latin America came to the island for the celebration and the front page was dominated by Mardi Gras news for most of the season It culminated at the coronation of the royal court when Mr Harry Black won the title of King Frivolous XXV and Miss Margie Beth Spiller was made his queen Traditionally the royal court was announced during Fat Tuesday celebrations The Galveston Daily News from Wednesday March 2 1949 described the royal court breakfast at the original Pleasure Pier s Marine Room as a grand event that featured flags from across the world and other lavish decorations The festivities reached a fever pitch just before the arrival of the royal court when Joe Relechman and his orchestra played clowns paraded exotic flowers were brought in and a ballet group danced The theme of the 1949 Knights of Momus coronation was a Good Ship Carnival

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2013/02-mardigras/mardigras.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    Zahn This artifact collection was donated by Ethel B Buckley and includes Zahn s pince nez eyeglasses an antique stereo graphoscope an engraved cane head from the Edelweiss Club and an award pin from the St Louis Photo Convention of 1894 An assortment of vintage photographs and business ads were also on display Justus Zahn was born in 1847 in Marburg Germany His father Franz Zahn was a Supreme Court Judge at Cassell Zahn attended schools in Marburg and Cassell before enrolling in universities at both Marburg and Leipzig At age 22 he travelled to America for the first time to visit his maternal grandfather in Hoboken New Jersey Zahn returned to Germany briefly to fight in the Franco Prussian War but later relocated to Chicago and established a photography business He eventually moved to St Louis and then to Belleville Illinois where he met and married Elise Kreppelt In the late 1880s the Zahns moved again this time to Galveston Texas Justus Zahn went into business with Philip H Rose a well known local photographer In 1888 Zahn bought out his partner and opened his own studio at 418 Tremont 23rd Street For the next fourteen years Justus Zahn was considered the foremost society photographer on the island Both Paul Naschke and Joseph Maurer were apprenticed to Justus Zahn early in their careers Each went on to open his own successful photography studio Sadly the 1900 Storm had devastating impact on Zahn s life and business After selling out to Joseph Maurer in 1902 he moved his wife and two daughters back to St Louis where he reopened a photography studio In 1909 he relocated to Bowling Green Montana and continued to live there until his death in 1918 The Zahn family Zahn left an incredible record of Galveston

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2013/03-zahn/zahn.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    and professionals alike pulled in spectacular large game fish but regretfully such catches have become much less common To help celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness of conservation efforts the Rosenberg Library Museum displayed its collection of smalltooth sawfish Pristis pectinata rostra singular rostrum donated by Julius Puccetti by the estate of Dr J O Dyer and by Captain Fredrick Sexson as the April 2013 Treasure of the Month Sawfish are in the same family of marine animals as sharks and rays called Elasmobranchii They can grow to be eighteen feet long and reach sexual maturity from anywhere between 10 and 33 years of age Their most striking feature is their snout called a rostrum It has saw like modified tooth structures called denticles which are actually scales on each side which help the sawfish hunt The rostrum works like a metal detector as the sawfish hovers over the ocean floor looking for hidden food It is also used as a digging tool to unearth buried crustaceans Sawfish catch their food by waiting for a fish to swim by before slashing at it with the saw usually stunning or injuring the prey In addition to hunting the rostrum is also the sawfish s primary means of protection from predators However the rostrum has proven to also be a liability as it is easily tangled in nets and has been coveted as a trophy by fishermen for many years Sawfish liver oil has been used in folk medicine and like shark fins sawfish fins are considered a culinary delicacy by some Galveston Sawfish circa 1934 1939 photograph of Gus Pangarakis with his record 788 pound sawfish courtesy of seafavorites com Galveston was once a hotspot for sawfish Galveston Daily News articles from as early as the mid 1880s document numerous catches In 1886 a fifteen foot specimen was pulled from the Gulf and placed in a large tank near the Beach Hotel where visitors could pay ten cents to view the oddity Sadly it lasted only about a week before it died That year also saw a twenty foot specimen pulled in by fishermen The largest documented sawfish ever caught in Texas via hook and line 788 pounds was landed by Gus Pangarakis of Houston in 1939 near San Luis Pass Other large catches included a 700 pounder caught on the west end after it was injured by a ship in 1935 a 1000 pounder caught near High Island by a shrimp net in 1938 and a seventeen foot long specimen caught in 1967 that was brought to Sea Arama where it lived less than a day Today smalltooth sawfish are found in tropical and sub tropical areas around Africa America Australia and the Caribbean During the early 20th century the species was common from New York all the way to Texas but is now found primarily in Florida Sawfish can live in both fresh and salt water and often hunt in murky shallow water This habitat is fraught with many

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2013/04-sawfish/sawfish.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    were no longer in line with one another resulting in numerous court battles As a result Galveston cotton merchants formed their own association as did cotton growers in the island However the creation of these separate entities proved an unfavorable solution and it was recognized by both parties that a joint organization was needed In an effort led by Col W L Moody a special committee was named to draft by laws for this new association The primary goals of the group were three fold to address pricing disputes between buyers and sellers to establish fair trade principles and to collect and disseminate information concerning the crop and market conditions On May 6 1873 the Galveston Cotton Exchange was born Within three years the group purchased a site at the northwest corner of 21st Street and Avenue C Mechanic which had formerly been the site of the Washington Hotel The ornate three story brick building designed by Gibbs and Moser was one of the most spectacular buildings in Galveston at the time Completed in December 1878 its opening was marked by a grand ball in the exchange hall a vast space measuring 83 feet by 63 feet The floor was inlaid walnut and oak as was the interior woodwork Decorative brackets featuring designs of the cotton plant in its various stages of growth adorned the perimeter of the room The opening of Galveston s Cotton Exchange even made the national news with an illustration of the elite preview party appearing in Frank Leslie s Illustrated Newspaper The final cost for the building and site was 102 000 a substantial sum for its time Ball at the Opening of the New Cotton Exchange Galveston Texas Frank Leslie s Illustrated Newspaper 48 March 22 1879 39 reproduced from Engraved Prints of Texas

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2013/05-cotton/cotton.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    the World Series all star Beau Bell and other major leaguers Made of white ash the wooden bat was produced by the Louisville Slugger company in Louisville Kentucky and has James Kelley s name Jim Kelly branded on it The autographed bat was on display as the June 2013 Treasure of the Month Photograph of the triumphant 1934 Galveston Buccaneers image courtesy of the Galveston and Texas History Center 1931 photograph of Manager Derrill the Professor Pratt Note the uniform s skull and crossbones logo The first Galveston baseball franchise called the Galvestons the Giants and the Sandcrabs at various times was founded in 1888 when the Texas League was formed Like most teams during the early years of professional baseball the Galveston squad faced many challenges The first was finding talented players who often had to come from out of state and commanded high salaries Selling tickets was also problematic given the high prices of players As a result sales were sporadic and the team changed hands often In 1924 they moved to Waco but in 1931 Shearn Moody purchased the team and moved them back to the island Wally Moses 1937 Wheaties box After playing for the 1934 Galveston Buccaneers Wally Moses won three World Series in the Major Leagues and was a two time all star Under Moody s ownership the franchise flourished He started fresh by creating an edgy new logo with a Jolly Rogers style skull on the left breast of the team jersey coupled with bombastic orange and black checkered caps and orange and white striped socks The uniforms made quite an impression on a Beaumont reporter who ridiculed Evidently the Buccaneer moguls picked em in the dark or else got em with soap coupons After three years the skull was replaced by a

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2013/06-baseball/baseball.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    destroyed countless structures on the island Nicholas L Nick Ballich a native of Austria immigrated to Galveston in 1890 At the age of twelve he went to work at a local restaurant called the Bon Ton Café on Market Street He earned 8 per month and his primary duties were killing chickens and washing dishes Ballich later went to work as the night pantryman at another nearby restaurant and his monthly salary increased to 20 In 1892 Ballich began working for the Pick Wick Café followed by the Starr Restaurant Shortly after the 1900 Storm using money he had saved during his ten previous years in the restaurant industry Ballich made the decision to go into business for himself He opened the Elite Café at 2208 Market Street Within a few years the restaurant moved across the street to 2211 Market where it remained until the late 1930s Photograph of the Elite Café lunch counter 2211 Market Street image courtesy of Galveston and Texas History Center Engraved flatware from the Elite Café gift of Mrs Vinnie Nesbitt Nick Ballich took pride in maintaining high standards for the food and overall appearance of his restaurant The Elite was regularly remodeled to reflect changing tastes and was outfitted with the most modern and efficient equipment for its time An extensive renovation in 1934 included the addition of then state of the art electric refrigerators and dishwashers as well electric toasters and mixers In 1903 Ballich married Mary Ella Vidovich The couple had two children Their daughter Mary Ella Ballich was a local music teacher Their son Nicholas Ballich was a physician After three prosperous decades the Elite Café relocated from downtown to Seawall Boulevard at 35th Street in 1938 Nick Ballich s success as a restauranteur continued and he became involved in

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2013/07-elite/elite.htm (2016-04-26)
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