Antique engraving of a view of the State Street, Boston. Mid 1800s.

The Birth of the Modern American Debt Collector

In the 19th century, farm loans changed from a matter between associates into an impersonal, bureaucratic exchange.
Club Zara Boston postcard

When “Middle Eastern” Nightclubs Swept America

In the 1950s, nightclubs featuring "Middle Eastern" music and belly dancers mixed and matched cultures, serving white audiences an exotic experience.
Bobbi Gibb

The Woman Who Crashed the Boston Marathon

In 1966, Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. Gibb had a bigger mission, however: to overcome prejudice against women in sports.
Elise Hooper The Other Alcott

Discovering the Real Little Women: Researching The Other Alcott

Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" is a cultural touchstone. But what about the women behind the "Women," Alcott's real-life sisters on whom she based her characters? An interview with novelist Elise Hooper considers the life of "The Other Alcott."
Thompson's Temperance Spa

When the Temperance Movement Opened Saloons

Charles Sumner Eaton's “Temperance Spa” served alternative adult beverages like coffee, egg phosphates, and "Moxie Nerve Food," all in the name of health.
Saturday Evening Girls Club

The Saturday Evening Girls’ Guide to Helping Immigrants Succeed

The “Saturday Evening Girls" was a Progressive-Era club that afforded urban, Jewish and Italian girls and women a chance at coveted social mobility.
Richard Rummell's iconic landscape watercolor view of Harvard University, 1906.

How Harvard Became Harvard

Older than the nation, Harvard has always been elite, but it was only in the 19th Century that it became the school of the Boston ruling class.