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Reflections Ten Years On

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Photograph shows a kitten preparing to bowl
Ten pins, 1914. Frees, Harry Whittier, photographer.

I am a little tardy with this anniversary post, but October 2020 marked my 10th anniversary as an official blogger for Inside Adams. My first official post “…Should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity…” was published for Columbus Day, but since then I have written on a wide variety of topics, many to commemorate the people and events in business history.

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to look back, but a “favorite post” seemed like a good place to start. However, I don’t know that I have a favorite post, though there are a few that I remember more than others.  If I had to point to any, I am quite fond of the one I did on Alexander Hamilton and two of my Christmas themed posts — About the Firm of Scrooge & Marley and A.C. Gilbert’s Successful Quest to Save Christmas. As I think about it, I also really enjoyed writing a series of posts about New Orleans during its 300th year anniversary, because doing them allowed me to learn even more about where I grew up.

One theme that I have returned to several times is the Library’s Adams Building. Since I think the building never gets enough attention, those posts give me an opportunity to spread the word about all of the interesting architectural gems that are relatively unknown. I think my favorite post about the building was Pic of the Week: “Educate and inform the mass of the people.” Not only was I able to look at the murals in the Science & Business Reading Room in more detail and track down the origin of one of the quotes used, but I “discovered” that Ben Franklin, and possibly a cranky looking John Adams, were in the mural!

Photograph shows a woman standing on a pile of books speaking into a megaphone for an American Library Association War Service promotion to collect books for soldiers fighting in Europe
New York City book campaign, 1919. Abel & Company, photographer.

Another theme I return to is featuring important people and big inventions in business. Two of the most popular posts were ones I wrote on Andrew Carnegie and Gould and Fisk – although I have still not figured out why they continue to be popular over eight  years after they were published. As for inventions, I have written posts on the Xerox machine, the cash register and my favorite of the business machines, the typewriter.

Lastly, there are two posts that deserve a special mention.  Both examined the origin and validity of famous business quotes that fit in the when is a quote not exactly what you think it is category. The first was that famous misquote about General Motors and the other was about the Coolidge “business of America is business” quote.

As for what I have on my mind for the future, I really like pulling out lesser-known stories. I also want to continue to look at businesspeople and industrialists, as well as some of the bigger business “events,” things like financial panics and anniversaries of federal laws that change how we do business in the U.S.  There is definitely no shortage of interesting ideas, and I am looking forward to all those things I find along the way.

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  1. I’ve really enjoyed starting my Mondays with you for the last couple of years.
    From a fellow New Orleanian: Let the good times roll!

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