Friday, May 18, 2012

Printers Honor Ben Franklin in 1906

In December of 1906 it seems that anyone who was involved with printing in the City of Scranton participated in a banquet to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth. As one might expect, the accompanying program, available in the from Lace Makers to Coal Miners collection, is not your run-of-the-mill two page affair. Instead, it is an elaborate, beautifully designed, and expertly printed monograph. The dinner was held at Elk's Hall, and there were plenty of toasts from dignitaries. The menu page contains a quote from Franklin: "Better to go to bed supperless than rise in debt." Given the menu of oyster cocktail, salmon patties, Niersteiner wine, tenderloin of beef, roast turkey stuffed, brick ice cream, Polish nectar, and cigars, the attendees certainly did not go to bed supperless. One can assume from the quote that the bill was satisifed by the end of the night.

Friday, May 4, 2012

First Library Patrons

From what we can tell, this photograph, which is part of the From Lace Makers to Coal Miners collection, dates from 1893 when the Albright Memorial Library was first opened to the public. On the back of the photo are the names Stanley Sassiewicz and Shenko Patnovich. We cannot confirm that these were indeed the first patrons and if the names are even correct, but it is interesting to note that the names are Eastern European in nature. These ethnic groups were not widely represented in the power struture of Scranton at the time, and the inclusion of the names, whether staged or genuine, demonstrate how the library was intended to serve everyone regardless of class and ethnicity.