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Rufe Bros Plumbing (and down the rabbit hole we go)

6 November, 2015

An advertisement for the Rufe Bros Plumbing remains faint but legible on the front of a house in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

The 1897 publication of The Metal Worker (‘a Weekly Journal of the Stove, Roofing, Cornice, Tin, Plumbing and Heating Trades’ – exciting!) reported that the Rufe Brothers ‘[installed] a fine system of heating and ventilation of the indirect type in the residence of Hugh B. Eastburn’. We hope you enjoyed your indirect heat and ventilation, Mr. Eastburn!
Rufe Bros Plumming Doylestown

Metal Worker - Rufe Brothers


Travelling further down the rabbit hole of digital archives, the Author has uncovered the mildly interesting history of the Eastburn family, and Mr. Hugh B. Eastburn in particular.

According to William W. H. Davis in A Genealogical and Personal History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania (published 1905), the Eastburn family is ‘an old and honorable one’. The first Eastburn to come to our fair shores was John Eastburn, a Quaker who fled religious prosecution in Yorkshire to immigrate to Penn’s Woods (Pennsylvania) in 1684. The year prior, John’s father and fellow Friends were imprisoned in Yorkshire for gathering for worship. Poor Quakers.

Skipping down many, many generations, Hugh B. Eastburn—the owner of the Rufe Brothers installed heating and ventilation system–was born in 1846 in Doylestown, Buck County. He taught at Friends’ Central, a sporting rival of the Author’s own high school (as far as Quaker rivalries go), studied law at the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected district attorney (with a ‘handsome majority’). Throughout his life, he was always ‘deeply interested in educational matters, and his voice and pen [were] potent in every movement for the advancement of education’. Jolly good, Mr. Eastburn.

William W. H. Davis uses a peculiar phrase to note when an Eastburn descendant leaves Bucks County: ‘David Eastburn removed to Delaware…John Eastburn removed to the west’ –as if no one would ever leave Buck County of one’s own accord, and if one does, one is never heard of again.


27 October, 2015

Dear Reader,

The Author loves her hometown of Philadelphia, even more so after happening upon the wonderful brickwork on the 2000 block of Locust Street. This one block alone has such a creative and charming display of brickwork, the Author can only wonder what other architectural gems have gone unnoticed (at least by her) in this fine city. The below pictures, poor in quality, hardly give it justice, and represent only a fraction of the noteworthy exteriors the Author noticed.

Shrugging figure

Bay window

inset design

Brick border

Tree Tied in Irons

30 September, 2015

On the Streets of New York, a tree struggles against his iron fetters, as his captor twists and turns in an effort to keep him restrained.

I reckon that, in the long run, the tree will prevail.

Tree tied in irons detail Tree tied in irons

Diligent Readers might recall earlier trees struggling against Mankind’s shackles.

The Tree devouring a fence in Budapest.
The Tree devouring a street sign in Lower Merion.
The Tree rebuffing a fence’s advance in New Orleans

Polka Dots

17 September, 2015
Under the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway.

Under the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway.

A Marvelous Table and it’s Hidden Compartments

11 September, 2015

The Author is positively enamored of this early 19th Century writing table, created by the workshop of Duncan Phyfe and found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Elaborate interior workings! Hidden panels! Unexpected drawers! Think of the organization opportunities, and what a handsome piece of furniture.

Table front

From the front

1810 Work Table - Duncan Phyfe

The right side

Table from Left

The left side

Readers might remember the Author’s admiration of Tejo Remy’s overly complicated, slightly jumbled Curious Chest of Drawers, as seen in Brooklyn, London and Stockholm. The Author thinks Remy’s drawers belong in the same place of her heart as the Phyfe work table.

Specialist in Moving

3 September, 2015

At first glance, the Author thought the cat was holding a murdered mouse in it’s mouth, which seemed rather grisly for an advertisement. However, a cat holding a kitten makes a bit more sense! Still, an odd mascot for a moving company, but a lovely example of ghost advertisement.
Specialist in moving

This Fence Shall Not Pass

31 August, 2015
tags: ,

A stubborn tree rebuffs the attempted approach of an iron fence.

You Shall Not Pass NOLA

New Orleans, February 2014


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