Saturday, January 27, 2018

First Holy Communion, Sacred Heart Church, 1890s

The original Sacred Heart Church was built in 1881 following Archbishop John Joseph Williams' blessing of the cornerstone on July 12, 1881. The church stood on Center Street approximately on the site today occupied by the church rectory and parking lot.

Prior to the construction of the church, the community's Catholic residents worshipped in private homes as well as the upper floor of the P. H. Peirce grocery store (now the Middleborough Police Station). Mass was celebrated by visiting priests and the first recorded Mass in Middleborough was celebrated in the home of Patrick Sullivan on Wareham Street in 1852.

Here a group of children celebrating their first Holy Communion have gathered for the photographer. The girls are attired in white dresses, veils and gloves while the boys wear their best suits. Several proud parents look on.

 Though the image is undated, it appears to be from the 1890s.

Friday, January 26, 2018

B. F. Tripp Trade Cards

Trade cards were a popular means of advertising during the late 1800s. Small and highly-colored, these illustrated cards became widespread with the introduction of color lithography in the 1870s and their free distribution helped retailers and manufacturers advertise their goods. The cards were frequently changed by merchants, helping entice shoppers back for a return visit. Children often collected the cards, pasting them into bound volumes, and they remain highly collectible today.

One Middleborough merchant who made wide use of trade cards for advertising was Benjamin F. Tripp, who conducted a combined ice cream, confectionary, fruit and cigar store on the site now occupied by Kramer Park next to the former Savings Bank Building on Center Street. Tripp utilized many different styles of cards which would have been purchased in bulk and printed by a local printer (most often Thatcher & Company) with Tripp's specific information.

The samples below from the collection of Recollecting Nemasket provide a glimpse of the variety of trade cards offered by Tripp's.