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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rosen-Trivia Revealed

So here are the answers to last week's brain-teasers

1) Philip and A.S.W. Rosenbach were two out of a family of eight children. How many of the other children can you name?

In order from oldest to youngest, the Rosenbach children are Hyman, Philip, Morris, Rebecca, Adelaide (died as a child), Moses, Miriam, and Abraham

2) According to a Ben Franklin tale whose manuscript is at the Rosenbach, what toy did the seven-year-old Franklin purchase, only to regret having wasted his money?

A whistle. According to Franklin:

When I was a child of seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don’t give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.


3) Which one of Dr. Rosenbach's early clients went down with the Titanic? For extra credit, what was the book he supposedly had in his jacket pocket when he died?

Harry Elkins Widener and Bacon's Essays

4) What science textbook contains Maurice Sendak's first published illustrations?

Atomics for the Millions (1947), which was co-authored by Hyman Ruchlis, a science teacher at Sendak's high school

5) Much of the interior appearance of 2010 Delancey is due to the family who owned it immediately before the Rosenbachs--they hired architects to redo the interior with the Georgian detailing we know and love today. Who were these previous owners?

The Martins

6) According to his working notes, Bram Stoker originally had another location in mind for his vampire story, before deciding on Transylvania. What was the original home of the Count?

Styria, a region in Austria which had been the setting for Sheridan Le Fanu's vampire novella Carmilla

7) Mamusse Wunteetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God Naneeswe Nukkone Testament Kah Wonk Wusku Testament is a rather unwieldy title. What is this important 1663 book better known as?

The Eliot Indian Bible

8) The Rosenbach owns the manuscript of a Joseph Conrad novel that was later adapted into an Alfred Hitchcock movie. What are the titles of the book and the movie?

The book is The Secret Agent, which Hitchcock made into Sabotage (he had already used the title Secret Agent for a different film)

9) In the Bass Otis painting, Stephen Girard is positioned to hide his blind eye. Which eye was the problem?

His right eye. According to one popular version, he lost the eye when throwing oyster shells on bonfire at the age of eight--a splinter flew off one and blinded him. However in a letter late in life Girard wrote that he had no recollection of ever being able to see with that eye, so he may have been born with the problem

10) Why would Dr. Rosenbach keep a First Folio in Strathmere, New Jersey, rather than in Philadelphia?

The First Folio was Dr. R's boat

So, how did you do?

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