CENTER FOR LOWELL HISTORY – UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL LIBRARIES

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THE BLUE PLATE SPECIAL: AN ECLECTIC VIEW OF 
THE LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S COLLECTION
 
     How many people know that the rubber heelwas invented in Lowell?  This notable advancement in creature comfort was dreamed up in Humphrey O'Sullivan's shoe store on Merrimack Street.  A colorful advertising poster for this establishment is an early 20th century item.  It is one of many large-scale advertisements and documents of delicious variety which line the main corridor of the Mogan Cultural Center.  Another business history artifact is the blue and gold Father John's Medicine sign.  Father John O’Brien's cold remedy was first concocted in a drugstore on Merrimack Street.

     An interesting piece is "An Account of the Expenses of the Town of Lowell" for the year ending February, 1834.  The budget figures of 157 years ago are eye opening.  Notice that the entire town budget was $17,609.21.  The account was issued two years before Lowell incorporated as a city, so the signatures are by five selectmen. 
 
 

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