A new history book about Lowell by Richard P. Howe Jr and Chaim Rosenberg to be published on March 11, 2013. To order a copy and to learn about local readings and book signings, check out our Legendary Locals of Lowell page.
The folks at Image Theater sent along the following information about FemNoire: The Festival of Women Playwrights” which will be performed this coming Friday and Saturday (March 11 and 12) at the ALL Gallery, 22 Shattuck Street, Lowell:
Lowell’s Image Theater proudly presents the festival for women playwrights: Femnoire… two evenings of original short plays and monologues written by the area’s top women playwrights.
The first of its kind in the Merrimack Valley, Femnoire celebrates these diverse theatrical voices with performances by the area’s top acting talent. Performed at the ALL Arts Gallery at 22 Shattuck Street, Lowell, March 11th and 12th at 8PM, our actors will perform surrounded by original visual artwork by the area’s top women artists… the perfect blend of artistic disciplines that will serve as a fitting cap to Lowell Women’s Week.
Playwrights include Melinda Lopez, June Bowser-Barrett, Kelly DuMar, Hortense Gerardo, Gail Phaneuf, Leslie Powell, Karla Sorenson, Anne Furtado & Sarah Coakley, Monica Bauer and Debbie Roy.
A phenomenal number of submissions were received for this festival, and the above named playwright’s scripts stand out as an incredibly diverse and fascinating example of the power of play writing. With some scripts as short as five minutes in length, the range of subjects will dazzle.
Tickets for this exciting evening of theater are only $15. Performances are March 11, 12th at 8PM and seats can be reserved by calling 978-441-0102.
In her post earlier today about Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of the telephone, Marie mentioned that Bell’s good friend (and telephone company investor) Dr Moses Greeley Parker is credited with being the inventor of the telephone numbers. The photo above is of Parker’s mausoleum at the Lowell Cemetery which is a stop on the tour I give.
My understanding of Parker’s “invention” is as follows: In the late 1870s, Parker maintained a medical practice in Lowell while also being a big investor in the fledgling telephone company. At the time, all phone lines terminated at a central station where operators – in Lowell at the time there were only four of them and they were all female – would connect one person’s line to another’s, depending on who you wanted to talk to. The operators knew which line belonged to which person. When a measles epidemic broke out, Parker was concerned that all four of the operators would be quarantined and the city’s phones would be shut down because no one else knew the identity of the lines. Parker reasoned that if the lines were numbered, it would be a more rational system which would be easier for replacement operators to learn rapidly. The system caught on in Lowell and around the world and so we have Lowell being the birthplace of the telephone number.
Fox’s Chris Wallace did the interview below almost exactly one year ago (March 2010. Here he questions former Governor Mitt Romney on Massachusetts Health Care reform…considering Romney was in NH over the weekend (March 2011) and still feels the need to address health care is a sure sign the presidential candidate feels he’s got a whole lota explaining to do…but better to get it out of the way now than in 2012.
MassMoments reminds us that on this day – March 7, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone - a device that could transmit human speech over a wire. Bell’s patents and the success of the Bell Telephone Company, which he established in 1877, made the young inventor a very rich man. His investor’s also did well financially including Greater-Lowellian Dr. Moses Greeley Parker, a man of foresight, destined to become a wealthy man through Bell’s invention and his own recognition of its prospective significance. His fortune funded the formation of the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, now dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations in the city of Lowell. Also the Parker Lecture Series owes it existence to the largess of Dr. Parker’s will. As Lowell history buffs will attest – Parker is credited with inventing the telephone directory system – so you can thank him for your telephone number!
…in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. Born in Scotland, Bell settled in Boston when he was in his early 20s. He made his living as a teacher of the deaf; on the side he tinkered with transmitters and electromagnets. In the summer of 1876, Bell gave the first public demonstration of the “electrical speech machine” he had invented. A few months later he achieved his ultimate goal: transmitting and receiving spoken words over a telephone line. When Bell died on August 2, 1922, the nation’s telephones went silent for one minute in a fitting tribute to a man who had done so much to further oral communication.
As much as I welcome the arrival of spring, getting rid of all the snow that fell this winter is a dreary prospect. Last night’s heavy rain and high temperatures did much of the job, but the sight of several inches of water flowing through the backyard is annoying. It never used to be this bad: someone “upstream” changed the topography of the land and now everyone’s runoff flows through each successive yard. But however muddy it gets, it doesn’t come close to the hardship faced by those closer to rivers and streams that are now dangerously close to overflowing.