Today, while in Boston, I walked around Harvard and Harvard Yard. What a beautiful, peaceful place. While wandering around campus, I crossed the Charles river, empty of sculls and other boats. Harvard yard reminded me of Oxford, with brick buildings, courtyards and quiet walks. So what did I do there? I did research of course while looking at the R.G. Dun credit records of a variety of printing and publishing companies in Chicago and Philadelphia in the late 19th century. It was an opportunity to revisit some of the characters I met while working on my dissertation. Ironically, many of the companies I looked at barely made it into my carefully crafted chapters. So today I read credit reports. Sound boring? Well, imagine learning about how businesses grew, found investors, and even purchased equipment. The credit reporters came around every few months. Today researchers can study how companies rise and fall, wonderful lessons to apply to life today.
Tomorrow I explore the Freedom Trail in historic downtown Boston.