Word of Mouth
12:16 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

5. 28. 14: Tacky Museum Gift Shops and Letters Worth Reading

Credit Scott Lynch/ Gothamist

The gift shop at The National September 11 Memorial Museum has sparked controversy for such keepsakes as: a plush FDNY rescue dog and “survivor tree” earrings. While many find the items tasteless, the impulse to commemorate is as old as the country itself. NHPR's Brady Carlson takes us on a historical tour of tone-deaf keepsakes, from toy hand grenades to Confederate flag throw pillows. Plus, we'll speak to the founder of Letters of Note about the beauty and power of handwritten correspondence. 

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Tone Deaf Gift Shops

Brady Carlson, host of All Things Considered on NHPR, and our resident pop culture guru, joined us to discuss the history of tacky gift shops, and our impulse to memorialize. He is currently traveling around the country while writing his book Dead Presidents: An American Adventure.

Origins of the Teddy Bear

Roman Mars of 99% Invisible and producer John Mooallem bring us the story of the Teddy Bear and its not nearly as successful younger brother, the Billy Possum.

Letters of Note

Shaun Usher discusses his new book, Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience.

A Poet And Her Typewriter 

The story of a poet with a typewriter and a simple business model: Name a price. Pick a subject. Get a poem. 

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