Play Ball!

Most everyone knows about baseball cards and bubble gum, but did you know that the popularity of baseball card collecting began when tobacco manufacturers started to include cards in cigarette packages?  Driven by the rising popularity of baseball, some form of collectible cards, such as cabinet cards and carte de visites, had been issued by teams for purchase as early as the mid-1800s.  However, early photographic methods were time consuming and expensive, and it wasn’t until the introduction of better printing methods, such as chromolithography that cards began to be more widely available. Read more

Show Us Your Tats!

Famous for cataloging all things River City, the History Center is venturing into a different kind of historical archiving – tattoos.  In 2010, the Today Show ranked Richmond the third most tattooed city in the nation.  Because of this revelation, the History Center is expanding our horizons and archives to include Richmond tattoos.  Terry Brown from Terry Brown Photography has partnered with the History Center to help us capture Richmond’s best ink.  The best photos will become part of our collection and many will be featured in a photo exhibition that is scheduled to open in October of this year. Read more

Doing Good

Which Richmond non-profit was located for many years across from the future site of the Science Museum of Virginia? Read more

#RVA Tourism Videos – Submit your own!

Last Wednesday, we discussed the differences between past tourism videos and the way we can tell our personal stories of the Richmond we love or aspire to see created. On April 25, we’ll be showing your videos – up to three minutes, as raw or produced as you want – that showcase your love or vision for #RVA. All you need to do is create your video, post it to your favorite video hosting service, and send the link to josh@floricane.com by Thursday, April 19. Read more

Pierre Balmain

Fashion designer, Pierre Balmain was born in France in 1914. He studied architecture in Paris, but turned to dress design, working for Edward Molyneux and Lucien Lelong. Read more

New Donations

In 2011, Geline Bowman Williams (who served as mayor of Richmond from 1988 to 1990) gave this framed collage related to the 25th anniversary of the Expert Letter Writing Company, owned by her mother John-Geline MacDonald Bowman (1890-1946). Bowman purchased the company in 1923, expanded it, and by 1941, made it the third largest direct mail advertising company in the south. She operated Expert Letter Writing until she died in 1946. Read more

Hubert de Givenchy

Hubert de Givenchy was the youngest of all haute couture designers. He began designing in 1952 and was renown for his innovative design. Givenchy was well known for his use of bold colors and patterns, striking silhouettes and unique accessories. He was famous for imaginative patterns and fresh colors. Audrey Hepburn was one of his clients; he designed her wardrobe in “Sabrina” and her legendary dress in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Read more

Dear Diary…

What can be more interesting than reading the rants and raves in someone’s private journal? Read more

The Arrow Collar Man

One of the best-known men’s shirt brands is Arrow, which is part of Cluett, Peabody & Co. Arrow started with Hannah Lord Montague, who invented a detachable collar for a man’s shirt in 1885. The innovation allowed a man to have a crisp collar without having to wash his shirt daily. Illustrator J.C. Leyendecker popularized the brand by creating the Arrow Collar Man. This fashion icon essentially became the male counterpart to the Gibson Girl. In the 1920s, shirts became more casual and started to deviate from the detachable collar, favoring a collar that was connected to the shirt. Read more

Going Digital

We’ve been working hard to make more of the History Center’s collection available online. What are some recent additions to our collection database? Read the post to see some examples. Read more