Teeny tiny tintype

This is Emily Burt Bradford, grandmother and namesake of Emily Burt Holmes Marvin, from whose family papers it comes.

Emily Burt Bradford, no date
Emily Burt Bradford, no date

It is a tintype, an early form of photography.  The images on tintypes, like daguerrotypes and ambrotypes, were unique photographs captured directly, meaning there was no intervening negative. The underlying support for the image is also different: tintypes were “printed” on thin pieces of iron or steel, darkened by paint, enamel or lacquer. Also called ferrotypes or melainotypes, they were more durable than other early photographic images, which were produced on glass.

This particular image has no date, but tintypes were common from the1850s into the 1930s.  And this one is small.  How small exactly?

Emily Burt Bradford, with stamp, no date
Emily Burt Bradford, with stamp, no date

This small.

School’s out!

Students on the steps of the old Kingston High School, May 6, 1892
Students on the steps of the old Kingston High School, May 6, 1892

The spring is sweet for many reasons, not least of which is the end of the school year. These Kingston High School students, posed on the steps of that august institute of learning, probably looked forward to three months off as much as their counterparts today.

The old high school stands no more; the site on Main Street is now occupied by the Kingston Police Department.   Dedicated on May 10, 1867, KHS served generations of students until replaced in 1955 by the brand new Silver Lake Regional High School. The school-age population had long outgrown the old building, which according to one newspaper account “was inadequate and unsound…in a state of condemnation by the State building inspector.”  The KHS building stood vacant until October 1962, when it was demolished.

“The Public Bedammed”

Plymouth & Kingston trolley headed north to Cobb's Store, circa 1890
Plymouth & Kingston trolley headed north to Cobb's Store, circa 1896

Kingston, Mass. Oct. 29th, 1896.

To the Selectmen –
Kingston, Mass.
Gentlemen: –

Is it not about time that some attention was given to the operation of the Plymouth & Kingston Street Railway and better accomodations demanded for the use of more than half the main highway in the town?  The cars do not connect with the trains either one way or another and on the so-called local cars running between Cobb’s Store and Jabez Corner they demand two fares (ten cents) to ride the whole distance, about four miles, and give a check allowing you the privilege of waiting three quarters of an hour to take the next car for Kingston, which of course no one wants to do.  If it does not pay to operate this end of the line let us have the rails removed and the street free for driving.  It seems to me if a little severity is shown at first that the company will be more considerate in the future.  I think their mottoes for our town are “Bleed the People” and “The Public Bedammed”.

[signed] Fred B. Cole

Source: Kingston Highway Department Papers, JRVHS Lantern Slides.

Dog blog and dog exhibit!

The new exhibit is up, and to help celebrate the 4th Annual Library Pet Show, it’s all about the dogs of Kingston. See snapshots of Library staff members’ pooches! Marvel at the hounds and terriers of bygone days! Wonder at the family portrait with the dog front and center! Enjoy the dog days of summer!

Unidentified woman with several dogs, no date
Unidentified woman with several dogs, no date