Solar Eclipse In 1900

The recent early spate of hot weather (way too hot in April…even for North Carolina) got me thinking about the sun, which in turn reminded me of a recent conversation I had with one of my predecessors. She had recently come across a description of a solar eclipse in 1900. Eclipses are always fascinating subjects, but this one was particularly interesting because the best place to view it was in Anson County, North Carolina. So, teams of scientists from all over the world traveled to Wadesboro to set up their observation equipment. So far, that is all I know about it; the conversation with my predecessor moved on to other topics. However, I did find this interesting image of a team of British scientists and their equipment. [The image description for the NC Collection’s Photographic Archives is below the image.]

“[British Astronomical Association Party] Wadesboro, N. C.” One of twelve photographs documenting several observational teams, and their facilities and equipment used for the observation of a solar eclipse on May 28, 1900. [Supplied information within brackets; left side of printed caption missing.]

Where the Heel?, Part XV

Thanks to the suggestions of one of our dedicated readers and donors, Mr. Lew Powell, we’ve decided to try something new for the fifteenth edition of “Where the Heel?”. This time, the slogan is from one of the three-dimensional artifacts in the North Carolina Collection. As usual, we have digitally deleted the name of the place in the scanned image and you can click on the image for a larger view of the item. Do you know where in North Carolina was known as the “Land of Enchanting Waters?” Or, I suppose, do you have a guess as to where the North Carolina Firemen’s Convention met in August of 1926? If you think you know, leave your guess as a comment. And once someone guesses it right, I’ll put up an unedited version of the artifact’s image.

And here is the unadulterated image:

Check back next week for our next installment of “Where The Heel?”

New Features on NC Maps

The North Carolina Maps digital project has recently uploaded a collection of North Carolina State Highway Maps, dating from 1916-2000.

From the NC Maps website:

The first North Carolina State Highway map was issued in 1916, showing proposed highways connecting major cities across the state. This map was printed after the Federal-Aid Highway Act was passed in June of 1916, resulting in federal money to subsidize the cost of highway construction in individual states.

The highway maps can be browsed by date, and provide two views of each map – one view shows the map, and the other view presents the images on the back of the map.  The maps and their versos are interesting visual commentary on “car culture” and state identity.

The Felch Sisters: Sanford Photographers

This real photo postcard of the oldest house in Sanford, N.C. is one of several cards produced by the Felch sisters that we’ve recently uploaded to the North Carolina Postcards website.  Stephen E. Massengill’s book “Photographers in North Carolina:  “The First Century 1842-1941” provided some brief biographical background on the two sisters.

Dora Alice Felch (b. ca. 1886) and her younger sister Edith E. Felch (b. ca. 1874) were both born in New Hampshire and worked as partners in their studio located above a post office in downtown Sanford between the years 1903-1908.  In 1908, both sisters married and relocated – Dora Alice moved back to New Hampshire, and Edith E. moved west to Idaho.

You can see several of the the Felchs’ other real photo postcards on our website here.

Interestingly enough, well-known Southern Pines photographer E. C. Eddy was also a New Hampshire native.

Where the Heel?, Part XIV

In the responses to our last “Where the Heel?” people began discussing the use of the same slogan for different places. With that in mind, I think it is important to note that apparently all roads lead to…more than one place in North Carolina. In February we featured Wide Awake Wilson as the “Where the Heel?” location with this slogan. Do you know which other North Carolina location was advertised with a version of the same phrase? To make it more fair, I’ve also given you one of the secondary slogans from the same brochure. If you know the location that fills in both of the blanks below, leave it as a comment. Happy guessing!

University of National Champions

My shoelaces are singed; I’ve got melted plastic and Carolina Blue paint on the sides of my shoes; I have a mysterious burn mark on my knee; and I’m still a little sleepy from last Monday night. So…I’m sorry it took this long to post something about UNC’s 5th NCAA men’s basketball national championship. I don’t have any great images from the celebration (my camera phone takes really bad pictures), but you can see a time lapse movie of the celebration on the Daily Tar Heel website.

You may also want to see McGuire’s Miracle, a digital portfolio of the 1956-1957 national championship (and undefeated) team. The image above, which was taken by Roland Giduz, is from the site, and I have to say it looks similar to what I saw on April 6.

NC Novels Blog hits 400!

The Read North Carolina Novels site has reached a giant achievement: 400 entries! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out–or if you haven’t visited recently–I invite you to do so. New books are added several times each week and we welcome suggestions of books to add to our list. We also heartily encourage you to comment on the books that you have read or make suggestions about other novels that your fellow readers might enjoy.

The site allows you to search for North Carolina-set novels that interest you by either keyword or author or browse based on genre, county, region, or year of publication. We’ve also specially categorized books for kids, series books, and novels that have fictional N.C. settings, and our Tag Cloud (on the left hand side of the screen as you scroll down) allows you to easily find books about NASCAR, Pirates, the Civil War, Mobsters, Moonshining, Church Life, Environmentalism, or 38 other topics of interest.

To visit the site, click here, or on the “Read North Carolina Novels” link in the right-hand column. Happy reading!

North Carolina Novels

Where the Heel?, Part XIII

Just in time to add some excitement to your weekend, here’s the newest edition of “Where the Heel?” I saw this brochure in the ephemera collection and thought that the heart and the industrial city skyline were a great combination that I should share. As usual, I’ve left blanks where the name of the locality was originally printed. Do you know which North Carolina community was labeled as both “The Heart of the Piedmont” and “The City of Progress”? Good guessing and happy Friday!

This Month in North Carolina: Artist Kenneth Noland

This April marks artist Kenneth Noland’s 85th birthday!  Noland was born and raised in Asheville, NC and attended art school at Black Mountain College on the GI Bill after serving in WWII.   You can read about Noland’s artistic career and Tar Heel roots in the newest edition of “This Month in North Carolina.”