Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Cambridge City Hall in October 1967 from a Library of Congress collection. (Photo: George H. Cushing, Historic American Buildings Survey)

The Cambridge Historical Society is offering residents free Toscanini’s ice cream Saturday and Aug. 14 along with digital scans of their vintage photographs. Society workers are looking for family photos and snapshots of historical Cambridge events and scenes; if brought to the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, 159 Brattle St., Cambridge, they will be scanned by a professional while their owners wait and enjoy ice cream.

“We will preserve your memories in our digital library, and an exhibition of the scans will appear on our website,” according to a society press release.

Some of the photos from last year can be seen at

That’s just the start of society news. It has also published a book on the history of the 325-year-old Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, available for $10 through local bookstores and at the Historical Society. More about it:

The Historical Society has had a rare opportunity to peer inside our historic house. Using high-tech tools, such as dendrochronology and paint analysis, and lower-tech tools, like temporarily removing the Georgian-era casings, we have uncovered a great deal … This investigation stirred an interest in the architectural history community, and we were lucky enough to work with some of New England’s top experts.

The society has released the summer issue of the “The Newetowne Chronicle” newsletter, including a history of the “Old Mole” underground newspaper published in Cambridge between 1968 and 1970; the Cambridge Community Center in Riverside; and the factory workers who produced such favorites as Necco wafers and Tootsie Rolls.

There are also two free tours offered.

This Saturday, the society will show how “Cambridge people and institutions helped determine what you are eating for dinner and what you’re eating it off of.”

This tour starts at 1 p.m. at the Schlesinger Library, 10 Ware St., with an introduction from an archivist working on the papers of famed chef Julia Child. There will also be a focus on Design Research, which provided the dishes, utensils and tools on the set of Child’s pioneering television cooking show “and redefined how Americans thought of their kitchens.” Stops follow at culinary hot spots in Harvard square, such as Upstairs on the Square, where participants will hear from local chefs.

On Aug. 14, the plan is to look at the life, family and professional relations of William James, known as the founder of American psychology. The tour begins at 3 p.m. at James’ house, 95 Irving St.

This post was written from press releases.