9.17.14: Are Historic Homes Worth Preserving & A Craftsman's Legacy

Sep 17, 2014

Credit Internet Archive Book Images via flickr Creative Commons

New England tourism is built on fall foliage, winter skiing, and American history – for example, there are two New Hampshire house museums dedicated to President Franklin Pierce. But with low attendance and outmoded practices, are historic house museums really worth preserving? And, the host of a new TV show about craftsmanship talks about why handmade objects endure.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Worth Preserving? The Debate Over Historic House Museums

  • From the seacoast home where John Paul Jones prepared for battle, to Robert Frost’s farm, New Hampshire boasts several of the roughly 15,000 small historic house museums across the country – that’s more than the number of McDonald’s. Ruth Graham wrote about “The Great Historic House Museum Debate” for the Ideas section of the Boston Globe.

J.D. Salinger's Neighbor

  • The fact that J.D. Salinger lived in Cornish is well known.  Less well known is that Salinger had two homes in Cornish. The first house he lived in, for 14 years, sits on a hill directly behind the second. NHPR’s Sean Hurley spoke to the current owner about her long time neighbor, J.D. Salinger.
  • There are photos of the former home which was recently put on the market for $679,000 at this link.

Museum of Broken Relationships

  • When Paul Simon outlined "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" 35 years ago, it turns out he missed a few. There are well over 400, now displayed in The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. Shannon Service has the story.
  • You can listen to Shannon's story at PRX.org.

A Craftsman's Legacy

  • Eric Gorges knows what it takes to make something that lasts – he builds custom-made motorcycles from the ground up, and he’s host of a new show from American Public Television called A Craftsman’s Legacy. You can watch a trailer for the show below.


The Genesis Object

  • Roman Mars, of 99% Invisible, brings us the story of the very first human tool to be passed down from generation to generation.
  • You can listen to the story, and see photos here.

Say Goodbye to iPod Classic

  • That iPod unveiling we talked about back in 2001? Here's the video with Steve Jobs unveiling it. Skip to 14:35 where he talks about the ultra-portability, the fact that it holds a 1000 songs (5 gigabytes!) and is super thin. You can listen to the toe tapping song Building a Mystery at 24:42. If you've still got an original iPod, we want to see it! Post a photo on our Facebook page.