Archive | Innovation

Echoes of the 1930s and the Workers’ Alliance Protests

They were desperate and fearful times.  There had been other depressions in American history, but none before or since have rivaled the Great Depression that began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929.  Unemployment soared throughout New Jersey and the nation leaving over a quarter of the workforce unemployed.  Homelessness remained endemic and malnutrition rife.  […]

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The Fight to Preserve Cape May

Over the years, Cape May has garnered many nicknames. Monikers like “Cool Cape May” and “Jewel of the Jersey Shore” are routinely used to describe the small hamlet that was America’s first resort town, hosting vacationers since the late 1700s. Visitors from around the globe are attracted to the ambiance and allure of the city […]

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Preservation New Jersey’s Top 10

Preservation New Jersey (PNJ) announced its annual list of the ten most endangered historic sites in New Jersey at a statehouse press conference on May 15, 2014. This is the twentieth such roll that PNJ, a member-supported, historic-preservation advocacy organization, has unveiled. Because I have been involved with the effort from the start, I was […]

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Historic Preservation as Catalyst for Reinvention: A Case Study

The G. G. Green Building in Woodbury, Gloucester County was listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 2001 for its significance in the area of community development and its architectural significance as a vernacular example of the Romanesque style applied to a commercial building.  Despite this protection, after a period […]

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New Jersey in TV and Film

When the colony of New Jersey was founded in 1664, it really didn’t contribute much to the film and TV industries – but in the 17th century, to be fair, neither did anyone else. And though New Jersey didn’t make any efforts in those areas for the next 225 years, when it finally did, it […]

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Baseball History Lives in Hoboken

When I lived in Hoboken in the early 1980s, the times, as an old folksinger forewarned, they were a changin’.  Developers were streaming into the working-class, mile-square waterfront city and reviving brownstones and railroad flats in their wake.  For most of the 20th century, Hoboken’s gritty industriousness was reflected in its wave of immigrants, but […]

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Jersey Jokes

“Dear New Jersey, when people call you ‘The Armpit of America’’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.”This was the text of a 2014 billboard campaign touting a brand of deodorant. A lot of Jerseyans complained that the ad copy implied that residents of the state are lacking in personal hygiene, and the firm withdrew […]

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Reflections on the Hindenburg Disaster

Alas, I never saw the airship Hindenburg, for it exploded on May 6, 1937 in Lakehurst, NJ, two years before I was born. But as a high school student in Brookline, Massachusetts from 1953 to 1957, I used to explore the old rotogravure photo sections common to most newspapers at that time. I found a […]

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Sounds of New Jersey

When we think of New Jersey it’s often images that flash through our minds: the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware River, Thomas Edison holding a light bulb, or something more contemporary and personal such as lying on the beach or skiing down a mountain. But what about how the state sounds? On July 4, […]

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