Saturday, May 24, 2014

J. Bolgiano & Son of Baltimore, and the Wharves

Before the real world of elementary school end-of-the-year-crazy-scheduling took over my life, I was exploring Baltimore, looking in my files for something to start in on.  By chance I picked a mediocre firm (seed story wise) to start with, Sinclair and Moore, as their name had just popped up in an unrelated search.  Cool postcards resulted from their post though!  And, in turn, those nutty surreal postcards came from that - and filled the days when I could not get to my computer to blog.

However, now that the art show is over, with all the children marveling at how wonderful their work looks, the giant box-made elephant standing in all its colorful patchwork glory (kindergarten decorated him with shapes and stars...many glued on his belly as it was fun to crouch under an elephant), the folding display walls dragged away for next year - now I have time to bring out the big Baltimore gun.  Bolgiano & Son.

Today just immerse yourself in the detail of this wonderful engraving of the waterfront.  The energy of the Baltimore wharves pulses from this work.  A larger detail follows this full bill of sale.

I need a sound effect button here.  You know, whistles, chugging, men yelling, rumbling of barrels and steel wheeled hand trucks.  And a stink button!- horse dung, wharf pilings, coal smoke, bilge refuse and people.

Montgomery Street doesn't seem to have changed much!!  What a lovely street! That is Federal Hill Park at the end.  And cobblestones!

Below is a view from Federal Hill before the city expanded.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Charming New Yorker Cover and Some Squished Bugs

The seeds that Mother Nature has scattered are always popping up in perfectly lovely combinations. I expect this cover seems a familiar pose to most anyone reading this now :-)

Here are two photos for which I recently assumed the lady-photographer-in-spring-pose to honor my garden which planted itself.  The violets are spreading near the side porch stoop.  Three years ago the yellow violets arrived from nowhere.   The lily have decided to line the walk to the front door. They are awfully tall things, over 6 feet, so you feel like you have shrunk when you walk there.  

My spring hobby is to crush the scarlet lily beetles and scrape off their eggs! 
I must say I am very good at it and the tiger lilies appreciate my care.

When they first arrived some 5 years ago, I thought they were so pretty.
Then they destroyed my lilies the next season.
Since then I have gotten my search and destroy moves down 
so I can sweep through the troops quickly.

When I am retired I can take the time to recycle their wing cases as something.  
Seems an awful waste of a great red!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Potted Babies

What seed did this nursery plant?  Note the late to sprout one in the lower right...

The end of school rush is on for me with the art show coming up.  I've been out of  blogging time for the last few days so I have been posting fun oddball stuff that creeps into my files. This image of potted babies is so riveting I couldn't not collect it.  
I did a search for "surreal french postcards" and found quite a few, though only 3 or so related to horticulture.  Quite a few naked ladies in charming poses in surreal settings, too!

I'm throwing this postcard in because it is too odd to waste.  I might use it with my third graders who are learning about perspective tricks...this one in particular - "stuff far away looks smaller, and you place it higher on the paper" :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ye Gods... More Beet and Carrot Shenanigans!!

  Carousing root vegetables.  Carrot cupids.  Who knew?

Actually, lots of people knew as these show up all over the web once you look for them.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hoe Down of Root Vegetables

I did not know what to think when this turned up.  I still don't.

There seems to be a fine line for anthropomorphized vegetables where they go from being a simple amusement, something cute, to being something that starts to engage thought. For me, this one is beyond cute into something else.  What, I'm not sure.  I start looking at vegetable genitals, and I wonder if the faces were friends or enemies of the artist :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

1800s: A Boring Baltimore Business and Some Interesting Baltimore Facts

Truth be told, I can't find much on Messrs. Sinclair and Roberts.  In fact, they are boring.

I did find a bit that takes Robert Sinclair out of the category of seed dealer to the more respected (in my eyes) level of grower.  That article is right below this 1826 children's book which I find charming and was published in Baltimore.

On the positive side of things I bumped into tons of interesting bits about Baltimore!  Images that caught my imagination are at the end of the Sinclair and Moore (from 1825, 1826) bits.  Their firm existed for a couple more decades I think, but I don't care to follow them.

This article jumped out at me as I work in Manchester, CT where a very large silk industry once thrived.  The idea that silkworm growing in  New England would be a viable industry is an interesting wrinkle in the fabric of history!  (I coudn't resist :-)

The following is interesting as now we graft grapes to hardy root stock all the time.

 1885 Piedmont Airline on the wharves?? from Maryland Historical Society

This took a little bit of poking around, but here it is:

"In 1872, the R&D extended aid to the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway to help it complete its road between Charlotte and Atlanta. The line was to become a key link in the "Piedmont Air Line,” a system of railroads across the southeast."

The above is from a really good train history site,, that is worth visiting if you are train-ish.

I still can't find why early train lines were Air Lines.   Down another rat hole...oh boy!!