Bowne & Co.: Letterpress Printing in 19th-Century New York | Episode 110

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Bowne & Co., Stationers opened their doors at the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975, 200 years after Robert Bowne founded his shop across the street on Queen Lane. Today Bowne & Co., continues the tradition of 19th-century letterpress printing. This virtual program with Art Director Rob Wilson – co-hosted with Stefan Dreisbach Williams from the home of Robert Bowne’s ancestors, the 1661 Bowne House in Flushing, Queens – investigates the changing role that stationery and printing offices played in New York City, and the ways in which Bowne & Co., uses its collection of 34 printing presses, and more than 2,400 cases of movable type in contemporary ways today.

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Three Generations of Conservation: The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park | Episode 109

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Vermont is known for its natural beauty, but the National Park Service has only one property in the state, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. Established in 1992, the park tells the story of three men who occupied the same piece of land over time in the small town of Woodstock, and each had a unique impact on preserving the restoring the natural landscape: diplomat and writer George Perkins Marsh, railroad tycoon Frederick Billings, and scion Laurance Rockefeller. This virtual program will look at the history of conservation as told through this site, and explore some of the features of the park in and around Woodstock.

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A Conversation with Think!Chinatown | Episode 105

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Manhattan’s Chinatown has been a destination for visitors from around the world seeking exotic food and curiosities for more than 100 years. Think!Chinatown works to demystify this neighborhood, while connecting people and resources to Chinatown businesses and organizations. Co-founder Yin Kong will share some of Think!Chinatown’s most recent projects, discuss their work with the community, and talk about how the neighborhood is working through this difficult time. We’ll explore how the organization uses design, community, and civic engagement as a way to connect visitors and locals alike with a sense of place in one of NYC’s most dynamic and vibrant immigrant neighborhoods. Chinatown is so much more than a culinary destination!

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In Service to Seafarers from Titanic to Today: Seamen’s Church Institute | Episode 103

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The day that news of the Titanic’s sinking reached New York, dignitaries assembled at 25 South Street on the tip of Lower Manhattan to lay the cornerstone. That building would stand tall among the icons of the Port of New York and vastly improved the lives of the seafarers who helped build this port city’s commerce. In this program, the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Senior Archivist and Queens College Assistant Professor Johnathan Thayer discusses SCI, its iconic building at 25 South Street, and its ongoing commitment to the unseen workforce on our oceans and inland waterways.

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Lighter Life with David Sharps of the Waterfront Museum | Episode 102

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The Lehigh Valley No. 79 covered barge shuttled cargo around New York Harbor from 1914 until sometime around the mid-1970s. David Sharps rescued this wooden barge in 1985, digging it out the mud, floating it, and renovating into a museum, performance space, and the home where he and his wife raised their daughters. We take an inside look inside this remarkable vessel and the remarkable institution that is The Waterfront Museum.

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Waterfront Workers: Finding the Harkins Family with Julie Golia | Episode 88

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The waterfront has long been the epicenter of Brooklyn’s economic and cultural life, yet the stories of ordinary workers in the once-bustling piers and factories can be difficult to locate. In this program, historian Julie Golia will share how one small newspaper item – a 1873 notice of the untimely death of dockworker Michael Harkins – allowed her team of researchers at Brooklyn Historical Society to uncover generations of history along the waterfront. Julie is formerly the Vice President of Curatorial Affairs and Collections at Brooklyn Historical Society and oversaw the creation of the exhibit “Waterfront” and BHS DUMBO, and she is currently Curator of History, Social Sciences, and Government Information at The New York Public Library.

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Flash and Clang: Aids to Navigation with the Historic Lighthouse Tender Lilac | Episode 85

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Unlock the mystery of maritime navigation with Mary Habstritt of the Lilac Preservation Project. At night many of our waterways become constellations of flashing lights. These Aids to Navigation (or AtoNs) keep our marine traffic moving safely, but most of us have only the vaguest idea what they mean or what it takes to establish and maintain them. The Lilac, a steam-powered United States Lighthouse Service (later US Coast Guard) tender introduces the public to the world of AtoNs and helps us see our waterways with new insight.

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Virtual Accessibility: Challenges and Opportunities | Episode 84

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During the pandemic, our daily routines have largely shifted from the physical world to virtual platforms, from school and work to social gatherings and religious ceremonies. This virtual program will engage disability advocates in a roundtable conversation about the ramifications of this shift and their observations and insights on this moment’s impact on the future of accessibility and universal design. Moderated by Cindy VandenBosch, panelists will include Hearing Loss Association of America-NYC board member Ruth Bernstein, autism advocate, consultant, and author Michael John Carley, Nefertiti Matos Olivares from the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library of the New York Public Library, and Meredith Wong, Manager of connect2culture at CaringKind, a community resource for Alzheimer’s and dementia care in NYC.

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Struggle and Resilience on Manhattan’s Lower East Side | Episode 83

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In celebration of Lower East Side History Month, this virtual program will explore how the neighborhood has weathered difficult times, including stories of mutual aid, charity, and resilience shared from the Museum at Eldridge Street’s archives and by historian Sarah Litvin. At the end of the program, we will interview staff from the LES Partnership about their current efforts to bring together government, business, and community-based resources to support the needs of local residents. This program is hosted by Turnstile Tours in partnership with the LES Partnership, the Museum at Eldridge Street, and Dr. Sarah Litvin, Director of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History.

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“Mind the Light, Kate”: New York’s Most Famous Lighthouse Keeper with the Noble Maritime Collection | Episode 70

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“Mind the Light, Kate.” From 1890 to 1919, Kate Walker honored this request from her dying husband as he was taken from their home, the lighthouse on Robbins Reef just off Staten Island’s North Shore in New York Harbor. Megan Beck, Curator at the Noble Maritime Collection, joins us to share the story of this remarkable woman who saved dozens of shipwrecked sailors while raising a family alone on a tiny island in the middle of the world’s busiest port. We’ll also get a peek inside this rarely visited site for a glimpse at the Noble Maritime Collection’s ongoing restoration project.

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