New Wine in Old Bottles

By Michael Kenney   Sunday brunch time and weekday happy hours, the courtyard at the corner of Broadway and Hampshire Street is a lively place, with hipsters and families enjoying the bars and restaurants grouped around the open brick-paved space. Hard to believe, but it was even more bustling a century ago, when shifts of workers came and went at … Read More

The Downside of Progress

By Doug Brown   Cambridge has made a lot of things over the centuries, not all of them valuable. Our manufacturing history has its dirty, dangerous downside, and dealing with the hazards and by-products of production has always been a challenge in this jam-packed, 7.1-square-mile city. By the end of the 19th century, the technological advances of the Second Industrial … Read More


by Ruth Hobeika “Planting community” is how the century-old Swedenborg Chapel’s Reverend Sage Cole describes a year-long outreach set to launch in January, joining visions from opposite sides of the country. Anna Woofenden – currently a visiting consultant – is exploring the question of what it means to be a church today, when so many congregations are dwindling. She is … Read More

Early Glass Making In East Cambridge by Doris Hayes-cavanaugh

Early Glass Making In East Cambridge By Doris Hayes-cavanaugh Read 5 June, 1926   M​uch​ has been said recently about the business growth of Cambridge, and a number of publications have stressed the fact that Cambridge, and particularly the section known as East Cambridge, now stands very high in the scale of New England manufacturing centres. Imposing schedules of plants … Read More

Elias Howe, Jr., Inventor Of The Sewing Machine (Part 2)

[Continued from last week] The Victory Over Labor Mobs   Starvation near his door and the $500 of George Fisher exhausted, Howe could now manufacture his machine for sale — if it would sell. To do this, he asked a practical Boston tailor to Cambridge to test it by sewing. All at once the whole company of tailors in Boston … Read More

Elias Howe, Jr., Inventor Of The Sewing Machine (Part 1)

Elias Howe, Jr., Inventor Of The Sewing Machine 1819-1919 A Centennial Address Born In A Cradle Of Invention   The succession of master minds in a particular locality compels us to believe in the spiritual consanguinity of genius. It is an heredity much greater than that of blood. It is an heredity of spirit, that second birth that is not … Read More

The Romance of Brick by G. Burton Long

B​rick ​is something that has been with us for centuries. There is an old maxim which says, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” and this might well be applied to brick, because it has been used as a building material throughout the ages, and we are prone to accept it without regard to its antiquity or to its continued use or to the … Read More

Printing In Cambridge Since 1800 by Norman Hill White, Jr.

Printing In Cambridge Since 1800 By Norman Hill White, Jr. Read January 27, 1920   From 1692, when Samuel Green retired as manager of the college press, there was no printing done in Cambridge for over a hundred years, except that done by the brothers Samuel and Ebenezer Hall in 1775, under the direction of the Committee of Safety. The … Read More