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THE TAFT SUMMER WHITE HOUSE

 

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The Story

 

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Beverly Newspapers 1909-1912

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Questions? e-mail us at: beverlyhistoricalsociety@nii.net

This site was created by:

Stephen P. Hall

Beverly Historical Society

117 Cabot Street

Beverly, MA 01915

(978) 922-1186

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The Hurdy-Gurdy Man and Assistant

This photo taken c. 1898, is of John Barber and his assistant Matilda Corso, and their Hurdy-Gurdy.

They were a familiar sight on the North Shore from the late 1890s until about 1920.  He is most likely the Hurdy-Gurdy man mentioned in the newspaper article in 1909.

For those of you who have never seen, or heard a Hurdy -Gurdy, the picture below, and the music playing in the background should provide you with some idea.  The gentleman would turn a crank on the side of the box and it would play music, much like the clockwork of a music box.  His assistant would dance and bang her tambourine and collect money from the people in the street.  Sometimes they would have a "monkey on a string" as  an assistant.  The tune playing is "The Liberty Bell" by John Philip Sousa.

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From the Bucci Collection of the Beverly Historical Society given to us by the Lynn Historical Society LHS Neg. A-966  Photo by J. W. Darcy 1898

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