Friday, July 29, 2016


Hi Dear Folk,

Smith Flatbed Press Made by the R. Hoe Co of New York, circa 1830.  These presses were in general use and superseded by the cylinder press in the 1860's.  As late as 1910 they were used to print broadsides.  Three hundred sheets per hour was exceptional production.

In 1916 this press was given to the Museum by Frederick Constantine, editor of The Bucks Count Mirror and The Express and Reform (German) both of which had been printed on it when he was a "printer's devil."  It is said that at one time it also printed The Doylestown Democrat.

I did enjoy seeing these blocks and imagining long benches with pieces of fabric for black printing, or wallpaper, as is shown here.

Printing has so changed in my thirty-five years of work in the industry.  You might enjoy reading these articles Printing Yesterday and Today , The World Beyond , Gutenberg's Legacy , Books Before Gutenberg  , Early Writing


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Iron Stoves

Hi Dear Folk,

More thunder and rain, maybe, just maybe it will break the heat and humidity.

One stove I really liked and didn't seem to take a photo of was quite small and looked like a Gothic Cathedral.

Stoves really changed the lives of women in America, to go from a smokey open fireplace to an enclosed fire with an oven and cooking surface, plus heat was almost revolutionary.  I can just see a pioneer woman pouring over the Sears catalog choosing her stove.

Many people world wide still cook using wood, charcoal and dung, over an open fire.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kitchen and Pottery

Hi Dear Folk,

Well a little peak into more window rooms at the Mercer Museum.  I do love my pottery and china as all my family and friends will attest to.

Now I do think these pans on three legs are great, don't you think they would be the best thing for camping?  But rather tricky to pack.  Would work so well over a camp fire.

I'm looking for a nice mortar and pestle, how about one to stand on the ground?

The garden has been well and truly watered with two giant thunder storms and one most of the night saturation of rain;  which is on the whole good.  However my colocynthis do not like it, they became water logged and are now shedding leaves like crazy, so disappointing, I never got out there in time to give them a hand.

Heat and humidity are meant to drop today, let's hope so.  Allergies have kicked in even earlier than usual which is mid August, so what's up with that?  Allergies are like a full frontal attack on the body and you feel attacked.  Landed up with a sinus and nose infection and am now on antibiotics and nasal cream, but feeling a tad better for taking them, four more days to go.

Felt so exhausted yesterday, so left work early got to the doctors just on time as is a busy time of day. Drove over to the drug store to pick up prescriptions and found out they had not run them through my insurance, so out to the car, get my medical insurance card, back in, more time spent running that through.  Did make good use of the time by finding a new summer nightdress on sale which I needed.  By the time I got home I was ready to collapse, ate dinner and went to bed.


Tortoise Shell

Hi Dear Folk,

This was rather an amazing collection of tortoise shell; which of course is illegal now, but I was standing next to a lady who said she bought a lovely mirror, brush and comb set in Mexico, so it must be allowed down there, although wouldn't it be illegal to bring it into the county? I don't know.

I do have an old set from my grandma, just mirror and brush.  I know you can buy hair combs on the internet but they are usually made out of water buffalo horns.

Look at all those hair pins and inlay work.

These mantilla combs are lovely.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hat Maker

Hi Dear Folk,

The Mercer Museum was built with all these little window lit rooms, I especially liked the light throughout the museum and in my photos.

I thought I'd start off  with the Hat Maker.  I did like the hat blocks used for felted hats and would love to get my hands on a couple, I know you can buy them but they are quite expensive, there probably are other ways to get around not having a hat block.

Not sure how all these tools were used in hat making.


PS.  My book Miss Grief came to grief when I left her out on Sunday night.  It thundered and torrential rain came down. I woke up with a start and realized that I had left her outside and it had been raining for a while now, I ventured out in the rain to rescue her, but oh too late. She did receive TLC but is suffering from acute PTSD, as Miss Grief is a library book and not even from my library, I will have to replace her, or pay for her.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mercer Museum, Doylestown

Hi Dear Folk.

We have been in a heat wave last Saturday got up to 103F.  The previous Saturday we decided to visit the Mercer Museum, they were having an open house, which always helps the pocket book.  It was very hot and inside was even hotter as made entirely of concrete and no AC.  Except in the new museum extension a rather controversial piece of architecture.

Henry Chapman Mercer built this to house his collection of pre-industrial USA tools anything of interest that a working man or woman used in their everyday life or trade.

We climbed all the stair cases up, if we had realized we could have taken the lift to the top and come down all the staircases.

This is the structure of the building inside, made of all poured in place concrete.

These photos remind me of  M. C. Escher's works.

Looking across to the Michener Art Gallery.

Here you can see some of the Moravian Tiles incorporated into the architecture, from his Moravian Tile Works in another part of town.  Personally I would love a few of his picture tiles set into an old farm house kitchen floor, just a dream of mine.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk

Hi Dear Folk,

Reliving happy days at Aldeburgh Beach.

Painting by Algernon Talmage - Silver Morning, 1932 Aldeburgh Beach

1997 Aldeburgh Beach, not a summer day, probably March.  Rob got a soaker and we had to Beg, Borrow and Buy items from the charity shop to kit him out.  I loved the little blue leather boots. lined with a green tartan, we found for him, he wore those for a while.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

James Michener of South Pacific Fame

Hi Dear Folk,

James Michener was a prolific writer he had over six books that became number one best sellers over a fifty year period of time.  I think he is most famous for South Pacific, because of being made into the musical and then the film.

I have never read any of his books and he is definitely on my book reading list, starting with his autobiography.  He thought very deeply about discrimination, he was raised a Quaker.

This is a reconstruction of his Buck's County Office, where he wrote Tales of the South Pacific.  The room features the desk, chair, typewriter, dictionary and other objects from the office in James A. Michener's Bucks County home, where he live and worked for more than 35 years.

At this desk he wrote some of his best-known fiction and non-fiction works, including Sayonara, The Floating World, Caravans and Sports in America.

Other objects on his desk include two autographed baseballs from the Baltimore Orioles, a dog license issued in 1965 for his 9-year-old terrier, his Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards, and his Doylestown High School T-Shirt.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Michener Museum - Summer Weekends

Hi Dear Folk,

A few Saturdays ago we visited the Michener Museum.  They had a special exhibit on Fashion that came out of Philadelphia.

Looking across to Fonthill Castle

The Mercer Museum buildings used to be the old prison, above you can see a piece of the prison wall.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Old Record Players - Connecting With The Past

Hi Dear Folk,

Isn't it fun to connect with the past, especially when it's ones own family.  For years we have had Mr. B's dad's record collection as I'm sure so many do.  In any case while I was up at Ithaca visiting a stereo store with Mr. B., I fell in love with this old record player in a case, circa 1955 I think, so as a splurge I bought it, a girl toy.

Here we are Mr. B. is pulling out of the garage many of the old records his dad had.

Fast forward, two months,  Mr. B. phones me at work and says there is a surprise in the sitting room for you, and here at the thrift he found this.  A Crossley Stack O Matic a reproduction made in 2005 of an old style.  This is a little easier to work as it is automatic and you can stack several records to play one after the other.

We're having a lot of fun just listening to what his dad listened to from the forties to the seventies, that's the time span of these records.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Valley Forge Park and French Pastries, Summer Weekends

Hi Dear Folk,

Summer weekends just fly by, but here is one Saturday a few weekends ago.  The Boy was away and and gave us permission to to use his Miata, so we decided on a picnic to Valley Forge Park and then onto a French Patisserie that we hadn't visited in a few years.

Time to rake out crocheted blankets and camping blankets, plus the picnic basket, flasks and my Haleakala water bottle/hot drink flask love that with the moon-scape picture on it.  Baskets, are a passion, I also brought along my Amish basket, with journaling papers, pens, etc.

We like this spot with a view across the valley.  Swifts were flying in and out of the doorway of the cabin, they had nests in there, nice and dry.

Nothing like a convertible on a summers day, I don't need to have one but access to one now and again is fun.

We somehow forgot where the French Patisserie named Aux Petits Delices was and wandered along the strip of shops we thought it was in, in fact we gave up and I said "Oh just let me look in that Moroccan shop" and there it was right beyond that, a happy find.

Our tuck.

With a nice cup of tea.

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