Revisiting the Washington That Never Was

You haven’t lived until you’ve digitally clipped mid-19th-century cursive from a scan of a faded and dirty print. This is B.F. Smith’s landscape of Washington, showing projected improvements in the capital city — the Washington Monument, a stone bridge across the Washington City Canal — from 1852. I found this on the Library of Congress … Continue reading Revisiting the Washington That Never Was

The Washington That Never Was

While looking through the Library of Congress’ website yesterday, I found this vintage 1852 image of Washington, DC, done by the same company that did the map of Baltimore of 1868. “Oh, wow,” I said. “This is cool. There’s the Smithsonian Castle, designed by James Renwick. There’s Trinity Episcopal, also designed by Renwick. There’s the … Continue reading The Washington That Never Was

My Armistice 100 Adventure

In mid-September it dawned on me that November 11, 2018 would mark the 100th-anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Intellectually, as an historian, I knew this. I knew it in the same way that I know that water freezes at 32 degrees and objects fall to the earth at 32 feet per … Continue reading My Armistice 100 Adventure

One World, One Sky

A few weeks ago, I attended the open house at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Air and Space Museum at Dulles. As part of the open house, people were allowed to go into various restoration areas where they show how they conserve and restore various materials, including things like John Glenn’s Mercury capsule, wings and … Continue reading One World, One Sky