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Friday, August 31, 2012

Rosenbach at the Shore

As summer winds down it seemed appropriate to highlight Dr. Rosenbach's shore home in Strathmere, New Jersey. Here's a map showing Strathmere (also known as Corson's Inlet)  in relation to some of the other shore areas.

Dr. Rosenbach's "Boat House" was manufactured by Sears and Roebuck. The home, with its lavish interiors, was actually featured as a model in Sears's 1930 advertisement Homes of Today. Sears was trying to raise awareness that "the Home Construction Division of Sears, Roebuck and Co. is the largest builder of fine homes in America" and that  "big or little, pretentious or modest, whatever your home is to be, it can be erected and financed by Sears, Roebuck and Co." The catalog pointed out that a single 16th-century stained glass window in Dr. Rosenbach's shore house "cost considerably more than the completed cost of an average 8-room modern home."

Unknown photographer, photograph of Rosenbach Boat House. Strathmere, NJ.Rosenbach Museum & Library 2006.1048

Dr. Rosenbach went to Strathmere for relaxation, extensive entertaining, and his favorite pastime, fishing. Here is Doctor R. aboard his boat, the First Folio.

Unknown photographer, Dr. Rosenbach aboard the First Folio. 1946. Rosenbach Museum & Library 2006.2079  
In 1930, Dr. Rosenbach won third prize in the channel bass division of a Field and Stream contest, for a fish hooked in Corson's Inlet. He compared the experience favorably to his success in hooking rare books, claiming, " I had more fun catching this channel bass than in securing a Gutenberg Bible or a First Folio of Shakespeare." In 1938, according to the Rosenbach biography, Dr. R apparently caught "1867 fish, mostly kingfish, with some flounders, bluefish, weakfish, croakers, and fifteen large bass."

The biography has many other stories of fun at the shore (for a particularly amusing one, check out page 359), but I will sign off for the holiday weekend. Whether you share the Doctor's love of the shore, or whether you remain in town this weekend,  have a great Labor Day.

Kathy Haas is the Assistant Curator at the Rosenbach Museum & Library and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog

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