May 17, 2008 |
She has held the same tortured pose for more than 130 years, her face contorted, her mouth open wide in a scream. Bony hands press against her sides, and strands of strawberry-blond hair fall behind her. Who is this mysterious woman at the M?tter Museum in Center City? How and when did she die? And what can modern science tell us about her? One night last week, after the museum closed, radiographers, forensics experts and technicians attempted to pry the secrets from the so-called "soap lady" using high-tech portable X-ray equipment.
May 17, 2008 |
She has held the same tortured pose for more than 130 years, her face contorted, her mouth open wide in a scream. Bony hands press against her sides, and strands of strawberry-blond hair fall behind her. Who is this mysterious woman at the Mütter Museum in Center City? How and when did she die? And what can modern science tell us about her? One night last week, after the museum closed, radiographers, forensics experts and technicians attempted to pry the secrets from the so-called "soap lady" using high-tech portable X-ray equipment.
November 16, 2007
Top Regional Attractions Academy of Natural Sciences 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-299-1000. www.ansp.org . Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes & Other Riches - Exhibit on biodiversity, field research, resource management & Amazon culture. Closes 12/31. $10; $8 seniors, students, military, children 3-12; free for children under 3. Mon.-Fri. 10 am-4:30 pm, Sat.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm. American Swedish Historical Museum 1900 Pattison Ave.; 215-389-1776. www.americanswedish.
August 24, 2005
The sprawling, brick Lazaretto Quarantine Station, built between 1799 and 1801 to treat arriving immigrants suffering from yellow fever, cholera and small pox, fortunately is no longer on Pennsylvania's list of endangered historic properties now that Tinicum Township has purchased the property. Randy Cotton of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia says the sprawling 10-acre site that includes a main pavilion and two former hospital wings is the oldest facility of its kind in the nation.
April 26, 2005 |
If Harvard president Lawrence Summers thinks women lack innate scientific abilities, he may want to check with the girls of Springside School in Chestnut Hill. Students in teacher Kim Eberle-Wang's environmental-science class at this private girls' school accounted for eight of the 41 finalists and semifinalists in the 11th- and 12th-grade divisions of the recent Young Naturalist Awards sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History in New York. "Over the years, Kim's students have done very well," said Christine Economos, administrator of the awards program.
April 21, 2005 |
Deep in the recesses of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Society Hill, 40 visitors gathered yesterday at the tomb of its first bishop, Richard Allen. "Touch the crypt," urged Charles Blockson, one of the nation's preeminent scholars of African American history. "Touch history. " Black and white history. During the yellow fever epidemic that scourged the city in the summer of 1793, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones headed a cadre of volunteers who went street by street, house by house, tending the sick and burying the dead.
July 3, 2003 |
Amid the city's July Fourth celebration, about 200 people last night celebrated something much more personal to them - their African American heritage. They assembled about 6 p.m. in front of London Coffeehouse at 2 S. Front St. to begin what organizers called the "Trail of Blood and Tears" - a walking tour around the city's historic district. Some dressed in traditional African garb, and others bore chains, ropes and duct tape on their hands, feet and backs to represent the brutal enslavement that their ancestors endured in this city.
October 6, 2002 |
During the last decade of the 18th century, there were a number of yellow fever epidemics in Philadelphia. Outbreaks of this dread disease occurred in 1793, 1797 and 1798, killing nearly 10,000 people, according to S.P. Wetherill's Philadelphia History (1916). City officials linked the epidemics to ships from foreign countries docking in the port of Philadelphia. The only way to deal with contagious diseases was to isolate victims. In 1799 the city government bought 10 acres in Essington on the Delaware to establish a quarantine station.
November 1, 2001 |
For a lesson on how to draw civic good from the ongoing anthrax threat, we turn now to the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. There is a connection here. Trust me. This lesson comes to us courtesy of Sally F. Griffith, a historian at Franklin & Marshall College, who has written about the epidemic through the pen of one Mathew Carey. Carey, a Philadelphia printer and bookseller, published A Short Account of the Malignant Fever, Lately Prevalent in Philadelphia, which became what could only be described as a bestseller, going to four editions.
January 17, 2001 |
It's a big task for a group short on time, but the Friends of the Lazaretto are still scrambling to pull together the $3.5 million to buy the 10-acre site that some have dubbed Philadelphia's Ellis Island. Grant money has yet to be secured, but the group has reason to be hopeful of saving the 18th-century Lazaretto, now that a buyer with preservation plans has matched the asking price and is talking with the site's owners. The owners, Island Marine Partners, have four development plans for the site on the Delaware River waterfront, but the township's zoning board has denied three of them, prompting an appeal to Delaware County Court.