I have lived in Philadelphia for the majority of my life, and I have made many visits to the Wanamaker’s building, whether that be for the Christmas light show, their Christmas Carol exhibit, or just to buy a new pair of jeans. The space is grand, and really highlights the architectural grandeur that popular at the turn of the century. The space is huge, with tall ceilings, many balconies, columns, and everything appearing to be made out of marble. It could be the building itself, or the nostalgia that I tie to it, but my experience there is always marked with awe and wonder. I wandered around the building at my own leisure, making sure to wind my way through all of the different floors and departments. There are a few different conclusions that we can draw about the lives of American’s at that time, but the one that stands out most to me is the luxury that American’s were beginning to indulge in. The 1800’s were filled with hard work, with Americans overcoming war, and building a foundation in America, that when the turn of the century rolled around people were beginning to celebrate. This can most obviously be seen by the roaring 20s, but the architecture in the city, especially Wanamaker’s, highlights that celebratory feel. The building is large and beautiful, and was home to a department store where people could go to socialize and shop. The Wanamaker’s building was a stepping stone for leisure, a field that prior Americans were not yet privy to.
Back before we were a city that was based mostly on consumption, Philadelphia was a bustling area filled with factories and other companies that mass produced products for the rest of the country. There are not many different places still around that uphold the same type of factory setting producing many of the same goods, but what Philadelphia does have an abundance of is breweries. In the past few years a multitude of different breweries have started up in Philadelphia, such as Evil Genius, Philadelphia Brewing Co., and probably the biggest one, Yards. For my site visit I chose to go to Yards Brewing company, who’s headquarters are locating only a mile or two away from Temple on Delaware Ave. I took a tour of the brewery, and learned about the different processes that go into making the beer, such as fermenting the yeast and adding in the correct amount of hops. I thought that going to a brewery would be particularly interesting in relation to the topic of our project, industry. When we think of factories we think of these large warehouses filled with large machinery with a few people scattered throughout to help the process along, and being in a brewery almost fit that description. Throughout the building are these huge tanks that hold the beer while the yeast is fermenting or different flavors are being added. This fell into place with how I had always imagined a factory to look like. Visiting Yards was very interesting, and gave a terrific insight to the process of making beer, and running a production company.
Overall, my experience at the Peale exhibit was very short, but very interesting. I went in and walked around and looked at the multitude of paintings, and found particular interest in the painting that Charles Peale and James Peale painted of one another. Some other things I found intriguing in the exhibit was the taxidermy bird and the patches of very early American flags. In general, I don’t really believe that the specific items in the exhibit related to our class readings, but I do believe that the general concept of the exhibit certainly does. The exhibit shows different pieces of old art, different aspects of old Philadelphia, and many other things that display the culture of the time. The fact that these different things all represent Peale, his family, and state of affairs at that time. This concept, was exactly what Peale was going for when he created his first museum. In our readings, we read about how Peale was looking to create a sort of public sphere that held art, literature, and most of all, culture. He wanted to create a space where people could discuss things, and truly become enlightened. Although the exhibit that I went to didn’t have quite the same cultural significance, the idea of it, and the general theme of what the exhibit held, did. The exhibit was a place to take in a culture from another time, and to look at the different aspects of the Peale family that changed American culture. These concepts and ideas are the same ones that Peale had many years ago, when he was building his first one.
Hello, my name is Samantha Bradbury, and this is my third year at temple. So far in my college career I have had four majors, starting with biophysics, then moving to biology, nursing, and now hospitality and tourism management. I went to high school in Cheltenham Pa, there I was involved in a number things, including the National Honor Society, student government, and sports. As far as my intellectual interests go, they tend to vary a bit. I am heavily involved in the Wellness Resource Center on campus, and there I deal with issues such as sexual health, safety, and violence. I am very interested in the sexual health of my peers, and the way that hookup culture is effecting them. I am also interested in the rates of sexual violence on college campuses, and what we can do to help lower those statistics. I am also an avid reader, right now I am very interested in the autobiographies of feminist icons such as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Eleanor Roosevelt. I am also very interested in the math and science fields, and enjoy reading about new chemical and technological findings. As a hospitality and tourism management major, my career goals include managing a restaurant under one of the top restauranteurs in Philadelphia, such as Mark Vetri, Steven Starr, or Michael Schulson. After doing that I want to become a restauranteur myself, and open up a series of successful restaurants around the country and then around the world.