A Short History of the Idea of ‘Main Street’ in America

From Nathaniel Hawthorne to Disneyland, the concept has represented both the experimental and the conventional. In the United States, Main Street has always been two things—a place and an idea. As both, Main Street has embodied the contradictions of the country itself. It is the self-consciousness of the idea of Main Street—from its origins in[…]

Picturing the Farms of Ohio and Pennsylvania in the Late 18th Century

For a small price, Ferdinand Brader would draw a bird’s-eye view of someone’s homestead. When Ferdinand A. Brader (1833–1901) left Switzerland for America in the early 1870s, he carried with him the skills of a mold-maker and a baker. Born and raised in the Swiss town of Kaltbrunn, Canton of St. Gallen, he worked in[…]