Friday, April 28, 2017

IMPORTANT: Valley Gives Day, and NCCHP Dues are Due!


The museum needs your support this week during the 5th Annual Valley Gives fundraising event.

Your donation between now and May 2nd 
will help the museum grow!

Please help us get the word out to family, friends and co-workers to make a $12 (or more!) tax deductible online donation during this annual campaign. You don't have to wait for May 2nd to donate; every donation between now and midnight, May 2nd counts.

Thanks to your generosity over $1700 was donated last year and this year our goal is to win the prize for most new donors.  The more people who donate, the better the chances are for NCCHP to win random cash prizes on May 2nd.

By the way, this is also a great time to pay your 2017 NCCHP membership dues via the NCCHP's Valley Gives donation page. If you have put off becoming a member, or have not yet renewed, now's the perfect time. Basic individual membership is $35 annually. Other membership levels are outlined at the NCCHP web site.

Here's a link to NCCHP's Valley Gives donation page: CLICK HERE

For general information about Valley Gives Day, click here.

​Thank you for your continued support and belief in the NCCHP mission "Keeping The Drumbeat of History"​ alive.

New Additions to NCCHP's Digital Archives Site!

The wonderful people at the Boston Public Library, in conjunction with the Digital Commonwealth, Internet Archives, and Digital Public Library of America projects, have added an amazing EIGHTY-PLUS industrial trade catalogs from the NCCHP archives to our Digital Archives page.

These catalogs sat in a nailed-shut wooden crate stored at the Noble & Cooley facility on Water Street. Most date to the late 19th century. In many instances they may be the only remaining copies in the world. Now they are available to anyone via internet. And the best news, it is all at no cost to NCCHP.

Matt Jones opens the mystery crate, which turned out to contain well over 100 industrial trade catalogs
from the late 19th and early 20th century (NCCHP photo)
The catalogs cover everything from large lathes and presses, to building architectural details such as finials, down to leather hides, twine and samples of roofing material. Many catalogs feature detailed renderings of the manufacturing plants, complete with horses, carriages, wagons and carts in the streets. Then in the early 20th century the occasional "horseless carriage" was added to the picture. As always, you can click on any image for a larger version:


As historical reference material the catalogs will be invaluable to researchers.

Here's a link to the full content. Prepare to be amazed! CLICK HERE When you get to the site, click on the catalog you want to view and you'll be able to flip through all the pages of the catalog.

Thanks to Jake Sadow, Nichole Shea and the rest of the team at the Boston Public Library for making this a reality. And we still have more to add to the site so stay tuned to this fascinating NCCHP project.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Brownies Welcome April

The opening lines of "The Brownies in April" by Palmer Cox
(NCCHP image)
In 1891-92 "Ladies Home Journal" ran a series of illustrated stories about mischievous tiny men called "Brownies" whose purpose in life was essentially to run around having playful adventures. The stories were written and illustrated by Palmer Cox. Noble & Cooley even produced a toy drum featuring a comical image of the Brownie Band (as noted here in a prior blog article about decoupage drums).

It is easy to imagine parents reading the adventures of the Brownies to their children at bedtime. The stories are charming and, well, there weren't a whole lot of options for kids back in 1892. If your parents could read and had time to read you a bedtime story, that was as good as it got.

To view and/or download the full text and illustrations of "The Brownies in April" go to the NCCHP Collections on line site by CLICKING HERE. If you have kids who like bedtime stories it's a pretty fun read that lends itself to as much dramatic interpretation as any parent might want to add!

Noble & Cooley "Brownie Band" decoupage drum panel (NCCHP photo)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mystery Rolling Hoop

Recently toy collectors Bill Jones and NCCHP member Bob Watrous shared photos of a rolling hoop in Bill's collection. It bears a strong resemblance to a Noble & Cooley rolling hoop from the same era but we have not located the hoop in our N&C catalog collection. That could be because most catalogs before 1890 were destroyed in the 1889 factory fire and there are gaps in the catalog collection after that.

The hoop has wooden spools (clackers) that slide up and down the hoop's spokes as the wheel turns, making the kind of noise that kids love, and would drive adults up the wall. To add to the din there are metal jingles (aka, clangers) in between the sliding wood clackers. These look a lot like the same jingles ("zills") used in Noble & Cooley tambourines.
Rolling hoop with clackers and jingles (Photo courtesy of Bill Jones)
Close-up of clackers and jingles (Photo courtesy of Bill Jones)

Bill's rolling hoop looks like it's in great condition. These toys were not built to have a long life and were easy to damage during the course of play. Few have survived. Here's the similar hoop from the Noble & Cooley catalog:

1901 Noble & Cooley "Giant Rolling Hoop" using additional clackers due to the larger hoop size. This hoop has a smaller diameter hub, perhaps to achieve a longer "throw" for the clackers to travel between the hub and hoop rim,
thus creating more momentum and of course, MORE NOISE!
(Image from the NCCHP collection in the Internet Archives)
If you have a similar rolling hoop or can shed any light on the maker of Bill's hoop (confirm Noble & Cooley or another maker), please drop NCCHP an email at

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Women Manufacturers of World War I at Springfield Armory

On April 8, 2017 from 2 to 3 PM join Park Ranger Krystal Vezina at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site as she brings to light the fascinating role of women in manufacturing during the era of World War I. The event is FREE. For more information CLICK HERE.

Springfield Armory National Historic Site
One Armory Square 

Springfield, MA 01105 

Phone: (413) 734-8551

Friday, March 17, 2017

Granville Makes CNN!

Granville made the national news this week... for SNOW. 21.5" to be precise. A heavy snowfall for mid-March. For all you Granville snowbirds who flew south for the winter here's what you missed:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Help NCCHP Via AmazonSmile: Special Deal Today

Amazon has just announced a special increased donation of 5% today only for users of AmazonSmile. If you're using Amazon but have yet to sign up for AmazonSmile you have a great opportunity to help NCCHP, especially today while the 5% special donation is available. Long story short, if you use AmazonSmile and designate Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation as your charity of choice, NCCHP will receive a donation equal to 5% of your qualifying purchase, from Amazon. It's a great benefit to NCCHP at no cost to you. If you have Amazon Prime those benefits still apply to your AmazonSmile purchases.

Here's a link that explains more of what and how! CLICK HERE