All posts in category Historical Research

Mrs. Douglas MacArthur’s Tablecloth (idea) and Me

Tablecloth, Mrs. Douglas MacArthur's tablecloth, famous signatures, hospitality, General Douglas MacArthur, embroidery, Sharpie markers, memories

I don’t actually own Mrs. Douglas MacArthur‘s tablecloth, but I own one like it. What is that tablecloth? It’s a white tablecloth she used whenever she served dinner to foreign dignitaries. Whenever everyone finished eating, she handed them a pen and asked them to sign the tablecloth. She then had it embroidered. Can you imagine the […]

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Can a Researcher Ever Stop Researching?

“Does the researching instinct ever end?” I’ve been asking myself that question for a couple years now. The thrill of the hunt never ends–even when it seems like I’ve mined all the data out there. But you never know . . . And that’s what keeps me going. Researching like a puzzle builder While on […]

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Privacy and the Biographer

How does a biographer deal with privacy issues? As in, what if you stumble on something intimate, do you share or do you shield? Or perhaps, side-step? What would you do if you found a comment like this by your subject’s only child: “She was always very hesitant, you see, I mean a lot of […]

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A Fascination with Historic Color Photos

Historic color photos, old photographs, 1900s,photographer to the Russian tsar, WWI, reaction to historic color photos, what was life like 120 years ago?

“Historic color photos from Tsarist times,” read the Seattle Post-Intelligencer headline. I read the article with interest. I’d always been a Russophile. An art museum in Seattle held an exhibit many years ago of work by “the photographer to the Tsar,”   Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. It featured several dozen color photos from the early 1900s. I’d never […]

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Happy Birthday, Biddy Chambers!

It’s birthday week for Biddy Chambers as I write this post. Born July 13, 1883 in Woolwich, Kent, England, Gertrude Annie Hobbs grew up to become Biddy Chambers. Henry and Emily Gardner Hobbs gave their third of three children a popular and conventional first name and a family name for the middle. Coming in at […]

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