Recap – The Basket Club and Mask-Making: The Fabric of Mending in Cambridge

The Basket Club and Mask-Making

Each year, the Cambridge Historical Society chooses a theme for our programs, which we phrase in the form of a question to invite Cantabrigians to come along with us as we explore our collective past. This year we are asking, “How Does Cambridge Mend?” We chose the word “mend” rather than “heal” because, whereas healing often leaves little trace of … Read More

Businesses Well Lived

Businesses Well Lived GFX

As part of our ongoing work to capture Cambridge history, we partnered with Cambridge Local First to reach out to local small business owners and find out how the pandemic has affected their livelihood.

Who Is Essential Cambridge? Part 4: COVID-19

In our last installment, we examined the role of nurses as essential workers in Cambridge and beyond, exploring the ways in which gendered notions of caregiving and self-sacrifice both elevated nurses in the public opinion and limited their ability to advocate for better pay and working conditions. In this, our final installment, we look at the current COVID-19 pandemic and … Read More

Who Is Essential Cambridge? Part 3: Nurses

In our last installment, we examined the role of Cambridge teachers as essential workers during the twentieth century. As it involved nurturing young children, teaching was viewed by many as a natural outgrowth of women’s caregiving responsibilities within the family, and education, especially at the elementary level, was considered a profession to which women devoted themselves for noble and selfless … Read More

Good Riddance 2020

Good Riddance 2020 Event GFX

On Sunday, December 13, drop by Cambridge Historical Society to write down the things you wish to leave behind from 2020. Your thoughts will be run through a shredder and recycled. Then write down your hopes, dreams, and wishes on a piece of seeded paper – all that you have learned and gained from 2020 that you want to take with you into 2021. Take home your fresh perspective and plant it.

Who Is Essential Cambridge? Part 2: Teachers

In the first part of our series, “Who Is Essential Cambridge?,” we examined the role of Cambridge women in the industrial sector during and between the World Wars. Women played an important role in industrial production in the years before the outbreak of World War I—a role that continued and intensified over the coming decades. As such, these industrial workers … Read More

Fall Conversation 2020: Who Is Essential Cambridge?

Read Part 1 of our series: Cambridge Women in War and Industry. Over the past year, the Cambridge Historical Society has been exploring the question “Who Are Cambridge Women?” Our theme for 2020 was inspired by this year’s centennial celebrations of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Although this is certainly a milestone to … Read More

Who Is Essential Cambridge? Part 1: War and Industry

The first installment of our four-part conversation delves into the World Wars and the inter-war period to examine the role of Cambridge women in industrial production, a sector considered essential to the nation’s efforts to win both World War I and II and to maintain its global leadership position between and after the wars. At the beginning of the 20th … Read More

Brief History of the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House and Enslaved People

In July 2019, the Cambridge Historical Society formed a task force to examine the Society’s institutional history and make recommendations about how to confront the organization’s white privilege going forward. One of the first steps was to research the history of the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House (HLN) (currently the Society’s headquarters) and its owners. Did the owners of the HLN own slaves? … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Women Activists of Riverside 50 Years After Suffrage

Stop 1: Begin the tour in Central Square With the passage of the 19th Amendment one hundred years ago this past August (2020), American women won the right to vote. Rather than a culmination, this event marked the beginning of a long fight for equal treatment and equity that is still far from over. Fifty years after suffrage, classified ads … Read More