Before Black Friday…there was G. Fox


For decades now, the day after Thanksgiving has been referred to by many as “Black Friday”, the first day of the holiday shopping season. It’s a day of transition from a season of autumn and Thanksgiving to a season of holiday shopping and festivities; a day of drastic sales, crowds and madness at retail stores. As with many aspects of history common folklore often dictates people’s beliefs, falsely.  So, what is the history of “Black Friday”? What does it mean? Where did it come from? How long has it been around and what on earth was it like before “Black Friday”? Continue reading

“Hey, you turkey!” and Other Random Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving pstcd 1002If anyone is reading this, chances are you are still sleepily digesting the remains of Thanksgiving dinner*—or perhaps you are in line waiting for stores to open their doors this evening…  In any event, Thanksgiving, one of the major national holidays, is upon us once again. Based on travel statistics this holiday sees more people on the go than any other. Going where? Why, home, of course!! Maybe it’s just me (and I don’t think it is) but people seek out the face-to-face comforts of home and family—and friends–even in this seemingly always-connected world. Don’t believe me? Try to find a seat on an airplane or train in the days leading up to the fourth Thursday in November. Continue reading

What is a Nut?

At CHS, we’re chock full o’ nuts; history nuts, that is. We’re so nutty about history, that I even began to wonder about the history of the word nuts. Finding the origin of nut(s) and the historical development of its meaning turned out to be a tougher nut to crack than I thought; but here it is, in a nutshell…. Continue reading

Shop Here, Away From Traffic

Connecticut Road O'Foto HolderAs my co-worker Ben Gammell pointed out in his recent blog about the CHS exhibit, Behind the Wheel: Vintage Automobile Safety Posters, “Automobile safety is no joke” – and neither is shopping! Continue reading

Shop the CHS Store: It Won’t Hurt a Bit (Either)!

tradecards013The current exhibit, This Won’t Hurt a Bit: A History of Pain Relief provided some unusual inspiration for new store products. The CHS ephemera collection was a great source for trade cards, once used to advertise remedies to soothe or eliminate pain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An assortment of images for plasters, witch hazel, toothache drops, and ginger tonic proved perfectly suited for custom magnets, notepads, and puzzles.

They say laughter is the best medicine, so tickle the funny bone of your favorite nurse, doctor, or dentist, with one (or more!) of our medically themed pewter lapel pins, signed by the artist, Jim Clift. Laugh them into stitches with our Ouch! silk neck and bow ties by Allyn Neckwear, in a navy blue background with colorful bandages covering the entirety of the tie.

navy-blue-silk-ouch!-tie-235905-205-363-0For the History Nut who prefers authentic home accents, the pharmacy bottles in our store actually lined the shelves of apothecaries in the 19th century. Once filled with tinctures, remedies, or concoctions each is unique in shape and size.  Give them new purpose in the bath filled with soaps, salts, and cotton or in other areas of your home.

Stop suffering through ho-hum shopping experiences! Find relief at the CHS store! Since all proceeds go to support our programs, exhibits, and collections your purchases will be practically pain free!

tooth-drops-trade-cardKathy Whitney is the Customer Service and Store Manager at the Connecticut Historical Society.