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All Bones Considered: Laurel Hill Stories
63 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
Olympiad II - Paris 1900
Future Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill residents went to Paris in 1900 to compete in Olympiad II. Meredith Colket was a Penn scholar who placed 2nd in the pole vault. Bascom Johnson was a Yale pole vaulter who failed to compete, but went on to an amazing career in public health. Edward Bushnell was a middle-distance runner whose name eventually became synonymous with sports at the University of Pennsylvania. John F. Cregan was another middle-distance man but from Princeton. And rower James Benner Juvenal won gold with the Vesper Boat Club three years after he eloped to New York City on a tandem bicycle. In perhaps the most disorganized Olympics ever, several of our residents excelled. And find out why they were '"The Zany Games," all in the next hour of "All Bones Considered: Laurel Hill Stories."
100 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Bad Science: Dr. Samuel G. Morton, George R. Gliddon, and John Worrell Keely
Dr. Samuel George Morton was a pioneer of American anthropology and the father of American invertebrate paleontology, but he was also a compulsive skull collector whose measurements and conclusions were used to justify enslavement and eventually racial cleansing. George Robbins Gliddon taught Americans more about ancient Egypt than anyone up to his time, but he got caught up in Morton’s scientific racism, as well as the thrill of robbing graves for their heads and mummified remains. James Ernst Worrell Keely was either a supergenius whom science has not caught up with more than 120 years after his death, or one of the great hucksters of the nineteenth century. Morton and Gliddon are interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery, while Keely is a permanent resident at West Laurel Hill. All three have astonishing stories.
72 minutes | May 25, 2021
The Fathers (and Mothers) of American Medicine, Part 2
Charles Euchariste de Medici Sajous was a prolific author and editor who specialized in "glandular secretions;" he is remembered today as the Father of American Endocrinology ... and the last of the de Medicis. Chevalier Quixote Jackson mastered the skill of retrieving foreign bodies from the lungs and esophagus; he is the Father of American Endoscopy. Hilary Koprowski was a Polish-born virologist who beat Salk and Sabin to the development of an effective polio vaccine, but who is little remembered today. His wife, cytopathologist Irena Koprowska, was a co-developer of the Pap smear. Sajous is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery; Jackson and the Koprowskis are interred at West Laurel Hill.
58 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
Encore! - William Wood, Mary Ann Lee, Frank Mayo and Wedgwood Nowell
William Wood started as an actor but soon moved to managing Philadelphia theaters. Many people consider Mary Ann Lee to be America’s first professional ballerina. Frank Mayo was an actor who became beloved through more than 3000 performances as Davy Crockett. And Wedgwood Nowell produced or acted in more than 300 plays before moving to Hollywood and acting in more than 300 movies over his long career. William Wood and Mary Ann Lee are interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery, while Frank Mayo and Wedgwood Nowell are at West Laurel Hill. I think you will enjoy their stories this month on “All Bones Considered: Laurel Hill Stories.”
68 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Five Wister Men You May Not Know
It is very easy to get lost in the Wister family. Anyone familiar with Philadelphia History probably knows about Caspar Wistar, who founded the Wistar Institute, and author Owen Wister, who wrote the first Western novel “The Virginian” and is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery. But this was a large family. There are 40 Wisters and 30 Wistars buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery, along with 3 Wisters at West Laurel Hill. Today I am going to talk about four Wister brothers and one of their sons buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery. William Rotch Wister was lawyer and founder of the Germantown Cricket club. John Wister was founder and manager of a major iron works and a bank. Langhorne Wister was a colonel with the Bucktail Regiment during the Civil War, shot through the mouth at the Battle of Gettysburg. And Rodman Wister ran away from home to become a drummer boy. John Caspar Wister, son of William Rotch, was considered the dean of horticulturists in the United States. Their stories are fascinating and informative.
57 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
Four Remarkable Women You Should Know
Christine Wetherill Stevenson came from a prominent family and made her mark in Philadelphia, where she founded the Philadelphia Art Alliance, as well as California, where she founded the Hollywood Bowl. Katharine Elizabeth McBride was a brilliant researcher in neuropsychology, but is mostly remembered today for being president of Bryn Mawr College for 28 years and bringing it into recognition as one of the top institutions in the nation. Bernice McIlhenny Wintersteen came from a family of collectors and at one time had one of the finest private collections in the United States while serving many roles for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And Ruth Dietz Eni joined the family business as a young woman, staying with it for more than 60 years and enjoying a late-life recognition as the company’s spokesperson, the beloved Momma Dietz of Dietz & Watson. All four of these pioneer women are buried at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd and Laurel Hill Cemetery on Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia.
72 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
The Philadelphia Sound: Hy Lit, Billy Paul, Grover Washington Jr., Teddy Pendergrass
One of the highwater marks of Philadelphia music was in the 1970s when Gamble and Huff started Philadelphia International Music and stole thunder from both Motown and Memphis. Two of their biggest stars were Billy Paul and Teddy Pendergrass. Another Philadelphian, Grover Washington Jr., became one of the top-selling jazz artists in history and is credited with laying the groundwork for what became known as “smooth jazz.” And where did you hear the latest sounds? On the radio, of course, where Hy Lit was one of the top names on-the-air for five decades. All four of these pioneers are buried at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, just a ten-minute drive from Laurel Hill Cemetery on Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia.
75 minutes | Dec 25, 2020
The Birds and the Bees: Ornithologists and Entomologists
East coast birdwatchers probably can tell you famed Philadelphians involved in birding. John Cassin, who described 194 new species of birds in his lifetime and has five species of North American birds named in his honor; Titian Ramsay Peale, son of Charles Willson Peale and meticulous illustrator of wildlife whose artworks are as highly sought as those of John James Audubon. Titian’s older and less-well-known half-sister Sophonisba Angusciola (Peale) Sellers, America’s first female ornithologist. And Witmer Stone, who worked for more than 50 years in the Ornithology Department at the Academy of Natural Sciences. But even birdwatchers may not know about the father and son oölogists Joseph Parker Norris Sr. and Jr., who had the largest collection of bird eggs in the United States. And since the show is called The Birds and the Bees, I’ll talk about Dr. John Lawrence LeConte, who was responsible for naming and describing approximately half of the insect taxa known in the United States during his lifetime, and his younger partner Dr. George Henry Horn. And physician / naturalist and entomologist Thomas Bellerby Wilson, who spent his personal fortune buying collections from around the world for the Academy of Sciences. Even if you’ve never lusted after a pair of Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars, you’ll enjoy this episode of “All Bones Considered: Laurel Hill Stories – The Birds and the Bees.”
90 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
Me and My Machine: Three Textile Barons of Laurel Hill Cemetery
While the textile business in the United States started in New England, it did not take Philadelphia long to catch up and pass our northern neighbors. Three people who immigrated to Manayunk helped build what had been a small village into one of the major manufacturing centers of the country. Joseph Ripka was a draft dodger from Silesia who at his peak employed 2000 men, women, and children in his mills, but went out of business at the start of the Civil War. Sevill Schofield came from England and took advantage of the Civil War to manufacture 365,000 blankets for the Union Army. Samuel Winpenny also came from England, but he declared bankruptcy before his 35th birthday. Several of his sons and grandsons were far more successful, but others were not and still have interesting stories to tell. I do not have time to talk about Thomas Drake, another mill owner, whose daughter Charlotte Cardeza was a survivor of the RMS Titanic sinking; I will cover them in a future episode. Even if you know nothing about the textile business, I promise you will be informed and entertained for the next 90 minutes as I present All Bones Considered: Laurel Hill Stories #21, Me and My Machine: Three Textile Barons of Laurel Hill.
59 minutes | Oct 23, 2020
Send the Marines!
The United States Marine Corps was born in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775 and the city is the burial site for many famed members of the Corps. Major Levi Twiggs was born in Georgia in a military family; he joined the Marines when he was 19 and made the Marine Barracks at Philadelphia Naval Yards his home for many years before heading off to fight in the Mexican-American War. Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin was born in Philadelphia and spent 45 years as a Marine Corps officer, culminating in being their first General-level officer. Sergeant Richard Binder was a German immigrant who joined the Marines at the beginning of the Civil War and was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery at the Battle of Fort Fisher; he returned to Philadelphia after the war and opened a series of very successful barber shops and hair parlors. Podcast #20 gives short biographies of each, and a brief but fascinating history of the Corps itself.
68 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
The Other Side of Paradise: Sigourney Fay, Hobey Baker, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Connection
You might think that F. Scott Fitzgerald, a Midwesterner who made his name in New York City, would have no Philadelphia connections. You would be wrong. Sigourney Webster Fay was born in Philadelphia to an old-line Episcopalian family, but left that religion to become a Catholic priest; he became the most important influence in the life of the schoolboy F. Scott Fitzgerald and the inspiration for one of his most widely-loved characters in This Side of Paradise. While Fitzgerald matriculated at Princeton, he was three years behind the Golden Boy Hobart Amory Hare “Hobey” Baker, who not only showed up as a minor character in This Side of Paradise, but gave one of his family names to the character Fitzgerald identified as himself, Amory Blaine. Get ready for a literary exploration of two amazing Philadelphians in this October edition of All Bones Considered: Laurel Hill Stories – The Other Side of Paradise.
65 minutes | Aug 22, 2020
The Calder Connection: Alexander Milne & Alexander Stirling, The Warner Plot, and Henry Charles Lea
Alexander Milne Calder was a Scottish-born sculptor who came to Philadelphia and was given the commission for statuary for the City Hall. He managed to squeeze in a monument for the Warner Family at Laurel Hill Cemetery that is probably the most photographed grave site on the property. His son Alexander Stirling Calder is best remembered for Swann Fountain on Logan Circle, but he was also commissioned to do the statue for the grave of famed historian Henry Charles Lea, also at Laurel Hill. The Calders are interred at West Laurel Hill under a large Celtic cross.
55 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
Fathers of American Medicine, Part 1
Robley Dunglison was born and educated in England but recruited to be the first Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, where he also became Jefferson’s private physician. Later he moved to Philadelphia and was recognized as the Father of American Physiology. Constantine Hering was born and educated in Germany and learned the homeopathic methods of fellow countryman Samuel Hahnemann; he brought these beliefs with him to Philadelphia and is considered the Father of Homeopathic Medicine in the United States. Malcolm Macfarlan was born in Scotland but educated in the United States where he served in the Civil War; upon returning to Philadelphia, he worked under Hering as Chief of Surgery and became the Father of Homeopathic Surgery. Oscar Allis was US born and educated; he became the Father of Orthopedic Surgery at Jefferson Medical College and invented a surgical instrument which is still used thousands of times daily around the world.
49 minutes | Jun 21, 2020
Curtis Publishing Company and The Saturday Evening Post
Before the internet, before television, before radio, there were magazines. Philadelphia was the place you wanted to be if you were in the magazine business. It had the best presses, the best printers, and the railroads to get them where they needed to go. Cyrus H.K. Curtis was the king of magazine publishing, but could only do it with the help of two amazing editors – his wife, Louisa Knapp Curtis, and his hire from Boston, George Horace Lorimer. Lorimer needed the help of another Philadelphian, Adelaide Walbaum Neall, to make the Post a success. And while everyone thinks of Norman Rockwell as the painter of Saturday Evening Post covers, Katharine Richardson Wireman was painting covers for the Post and the Journal long before Rockwell. And when Curtis built his headquarters Building on 6th and Walnut, he hired a local architect Edgar Viguers Seeler. All six of these people are buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery or West Laurel Hill Cemetery.
54 minutes | May 19, 2020
On with the Show! - Edward Fry, Adam Forepaugh, and J. Fred Zimmerman
Edward Fry was impresario for the Astor Place Opera in 1849 at the time of the famed Shakespeare riots, when dozens of New Yorkers were killed. Adam Forepaugh was a wealthy horse trader who more-or-less accidentally took over a circus, but gave P.T. Barnum a run for his money in post-Civil War America. J. Fred Zimmerman was one of a small group of men, fittingly called the Theatre Syndicate, who controlled a majority of theatres on the east coast, essentially determining what plays would be staged and what actors would work.
51 minutes | Apr 23, 2020
Quarantine Special: She's Not There - Florence Leontine Lowe (“Pancho” Barnes), Ethel Huhn “Bobo” Bailey, and Princess Olga Demidoff Troubetzskoy Stoever
Ethel Huhn Bailey was the spoiled daughter of the spoiled second wife of Philadelphia multimillionaire George Arthur Huhn, who is buried on Millionaire’s Row. Florence Leontine Lowe was the granddaughter of Philadelphia builder and architect Richard Dobbins; under her nickname and married name of Pancho Barnes, she became a stunt pilot and opened a popular drinking spot for test pilots near Muroc Air Field. Princess Olga Demidoff Troubetzskoy Stoever was briefly the wife of Germantown-born and raised archeologist and businessman Edward Royal Stoever; her life is the thing of legends. None of the women are buried at Laurel Hill, but they have great stories.
50 minutes | Apr 18, 2020
On the Tube: Dave Garroway, Anne Francine, Edie Huggins, and Sheela Allen-Stephens
Dave Garroway was one of the most successful announcers in the early days of television, but things fell apart when he walked away from "The Today Show." Main Line socialite Anne Francine might be better remembered for her time on stage or in cabaret performances, but she spent a memorable season in a TV show starring Barbara Eden. And anyone who lived in Philadelphia over the past 40 years knew about Edie Huggins and Sheela Allen-Stephens. Four permanent residents of Laurel Hill Cemetery and West Laurel Hill Cemetery who found a place "On the Tube."
51 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
A Night at the Opera: Giuseppe del Puente, Eleanor Mayo, Camille d’Elmar, David Bispham, and Robert Carson
Giuseppe del Puente was considered the premier baritone of the late 19th century. Eleanor Mayo had a budding career derailed by a bad review and a marriage. Camille d’Elmar was never a star but she made a living from opera. David Bispham was "The Quaker Singer" who was a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt. Robert Carson's Night at the Opera turned out to be lethal.
56 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
She Invented What?! - Martha Coston, Rachel Holloway Lloyd, and Mary Engle Pennington
Martha Coston invented the signal flare that bears her name and in so doing saved thousands of lives in wartime and in peace. Rachel Lloyd had to go to Europe to get her PhD in chemistry, but she then jump-started the sugar beet industry in the United States. Mary Engle Pennington, the “Ice Lady” completely changed the way your food is prepared, shipped, and stored.
49 minutes | Mar 27, 2020
FOAL - Friends of Abraham Lincoln: John and Ulric Dahlgren, Rev Matthew Simpson
Admiral John Dahlgren was the father of Naval Ordnance, and the father of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren of the infamous Dahlgren affair during the Civil War that may have directly led to the assassination of their friend Abraham Lincoln. Bishop Matthew Simpson - you've seen his statue on Belmont - was a confidante who delivered Lincoln’s funeral oration in Springfield, Illinois.
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