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Somerville and New England History Collection

In the spotlight: Playbill;Somerville Players;"Seven Keys to Baldpate"
At left are the members of Somerville Theatre Players in 1930, a stock company that performed in the theater of the same name from 1915 until 1932. Stock companies were small acting groups that, unlike touring companies, were permanently located in one city. performed locally. The grueling schedule followed by the Somerville Players was typical of stock companies: a new play each week with 10-12 performances a week. While the permanent members of the troupe were Somerville residents, the group's performances often featured temporary guest actors who went on to national careers. During the winter of 1919 Tallulah Bankhead performed with the Somerville Players. She describes the intense pace in a letter to her grandfather: "We rehearse every morning from nine till twelve and then lunch, then a matinee every day, then dinner, then evening performances. I am nearly dead now and I have only been here a week." The Somerville Players offered to keep her on, but she was unhappy with her accommodations as well as the unrelenting performance schedule. Bankhead couldn't have known it then, but stock companies were in their final years. Their audience faded with the addition of sound to motion pictures and the arrival of the Great Depression.
Engraving of Massachusetts General Hospital January 2011 Portrait of Ruth WalkerDecember 2010
Franklin Roosevelt and personal secretary Marguerite "Missy" LeHand November 2010 Mellin's Food Boy advertisement October 2010
Black girl child laborer September 2010 Map of American Revolutionary fortifications on Winter Hill and Prospect Hill August 2010
Frontispiece engraving: "The Death of Warren"June 2009 Audubon print of osprey catching fishMay 2009



Cat staring at dog on movie screen in Somerville GatesApril 2009

Early picture of College Hall, Tufts UniversityMarch 2009


Early picture of Winter Hill Railroad Station, Somerville, MAFebruary 2009

Round house, Somerville, MAOctober 2008
Trade card with two Chinese playing with large ball advertising J.Weild, BakerSeptember 2008 Old picture of Powder House, Somerville, MAJuly 2008
Old drawing of Prospect Hill, Somerville, MAJune 2008 Bounty notice on musquashes and mink in the Middlesex CanalMay 2008
Liberty Bell on tourApril 2008




Mystic Avenue storm drain, Somerville, MAMarch 2008


Cow scull on Somerville Library exterior friezeDecember 2007


Cuban lottery ticket from November 1898November 2007

Tade card for Burdock's Blood BittersOctober 2007


Calendar for The Fisher SchoolsSeptember 2007


American Bandstand trade card for Bobby "Boris" PickettAugust 2007



Somerville Police Department "wanted for murder" reward posterJuly 2007