Happy New Year! I believe that this is the first blog post for 2013…. Many families are returning from celebrating the holidays and are enjoying getting back to the routine of school and work. I am secretly still celebrating even after the first of the year – because my birthday (SHHH… don’t tell anyone J) follows a few days after New Year’s Day!
I love birthdays – I love celebrating with family and friends; I love blowing out the candles on the cake; and I even love getting presents… I wondered if there were examples of how birthdays might have been celebrated in the past. I checked out Past Perfect (a search engine on the JMM’s website)- http://jmm.pastperfect-online.com/00005cgi/mweb.exe?request=ks – and I entered the search term “birthday” . I was so amazed that I found 209 “hits” or items came up that were part of the JMM’s vast collection. Here is just a smattering of some of the interesting things that I found.
This is a porcelain vase showing Blanche Bamburger in the photograph, with signatures of her friends. The vase was presented to Blanche on her 18th birthday in 1893. I guess this type of gift predates the “autograph doll.”
This is a silver Kiddush cup, with goldwashed interior, made by the Baltimore Sterling Silver Company (Steiff Co.). The cup includes Hebrew text: “From the Board of Rabbis this cup has been prepared as a blessing. It is given on the occasion of the 70th birthday to its chief, our teacher, Rabbi Benjamin Szold, 1899, the 18th day in Heshvan.” I thought this was very cool- I have my mom’s Stieff silver and everyday coming home from work, I see the neon sign that says STIEFF as you travel north on the Jones Falls Expressway!
This picture is from the collection of Rabbi Benjamin Szold’s papers – and shows Henrietta Szold planting the 83rd tree in the Henrietta Szold Forest at Maaleh HaChamishah on the occasion of her 82nd birthday, December 21, 1942. ” She’s Baltimore’s own Hometown Girl!
This is a black and white photograph of the window display at Enoch Pratt Free Library for Israel’s 10th Birthday, from April 15 through May 5, 1958. Photography by Sussman-Ochs. This picture is from the Lester Levy Family Papers. I don’t think that the staff at the library did an accurate fact check…. Israel became an independent state on May 14/15 1948.
This is black and white photograph of Rose Kornblatt with some of her students receiving birthday spankings at Public School #20, Baltimore, MD; caption on reverse: ” Happy Birthday” - I am certain that today that this Mrs. Kornblatt would be terminated from teaching if she gave out “birthday spankings” with a switch to her students.
This is a black and white photograph of Louis E. Shecter holding a Japanese drawing wishing Pablo Picasso a happy birthday. The drawing was created in Osaka, Japan and mailed to Picasso by Shecter in October 1966. How COOL is that!
A birthday celebration for Dr. Louis Kaplan on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Take a look at who is standing on the podium with Dr. Kaplan- Elie Wiesel spoke that evening at the celebration honoring Dr. Kaplan, who was a leading Jewish educator here in Baltimore.
This color photograph is of Jenya Berdichevsky, Sophia Richen, at Fania’s apartment for celebration of Fania’s son Tamenie’s first birthday, June 1993. I love how busy this photograph is….. with so much food and libation!
This is a Pin the Tail on the Donkey game made of paper. It belonged to Naomi B. Cohen (my friend Maxine’s mother) it was used at birthday parties for both Maxine and her brothers, Dr. Howard B. Cohen and Jack S. Cohen. I played this game at birthday parties when I was a youngster many years ago!
Here’s to another birthday for me but more importantly –best wishes to all for a Happy & Healthy New Year 2013!l