Next up in our product focus series is one of our city collection pocket squares capturing the Athens of America. The City of Boston Pocket Square was inspired by a 1873 map from Currier & Ives.
Did You Know? The city that’s an icon of the American Spirit is named after a town in England. Many of Boston’s early settlers were from Boston, England, and decided to keep the name.
Explore Further: The City of Boston Pocket Square
BEHIND THE PRINT: CITY OF BOSTON POCKET SQUARE
The firm of Currier & Ives created over 7,500 titles and created over a million lithographs in their 73 year run as a print shop. This 1873 print, in their popular bird’s eye view style, includes prominent landmarks of the day such as the Boston State House and the Old North Church. The painting depicts dozens of sailing ships in the harbour, emphasising Boston’s importance as a port at the time.
This view is quite the contrast to the tall and modern buildings of the Boston skyline today. The colours are subtle yet striking: the brick-red hues of the buildings, blue-grey of the harbour and flash of brilliant white from the boats’ sails are a truly versatile colour palette for any occasion.
WHAT WAS THE CITY OF BOSTON LIKE IN 1870?
At the start of the 1800s, Boston began to establish its role as the transportation hub for the New England region with its network of railroads, and even more importantly, the intellectual, educational and medical centre of the nation.
During the nineteenth century, Boston evolved from a bustling port town to a booming industrial city. Through landfill and annexations, the city's footprint grew dramatically, from 1.5 to more than 40 square miles, while its population increased more than eight fold from 1820-1880.
Alongside New York, Boston was the financial centre of the United States in the 19th century and was especially important in funding railroads nationwide. The industrial foundation of the region, financed by Boston, reached its peak around 1950; after that, thousands of textile mills and other factories were closed down, and the city went into decline.
After a period of stability, the city’s economy had recovered by the 21st century, and was centred on education, medicine, and biotechnology.
The Great Boston Fire of 1872
The Great Boston Fire of 1872 started at the corner of Summer Street and Kingston Street on November 9th. In only two days the events managed to destroy more than 65 acres of the city, including 776 buildings in the financial district, costing the city an estimate of $60 million in damages. The print used in our pocket square accurately reflects the aftermath of the fire as it was developed only one year later.
After the events of the fire, the financial district became known as the ‘burnt district’ due to the severe damages caused from the fire. It it also said that the glow of the fire was so large it was noted in ships' logs by sailors off the coast of Maine.
In 1872, there was no strictly enforced building code in Boston. The streets were narrow and the buildings were close together, created an easy fire hazard. The fire easily spread as many of the buildings were too tall for fire ladders to reach the upper levels. Additionally, the pressure from the fire hoses was often insufficient to extinguish flames on the rooftops of the buildings.
FIVE FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE CITY OF BOSTON
Fun Fact 1: The first American lighthouse was built in Boston Harbour in 1716 on Little Brewster Island.
Fun Fact 3: Step aside Willy Wonka! The very first chocolate factory in the United States was actually built in the Lower Mills section in the Dorchester region of Boston.
Fun Fact 4: This may make you said but unfortunately you won’t find any 'Happy Hour’ signs in the local Boston pubs. The typical post-work drink deals have been banned in the city since 1984.
Fun Fact 5: Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States since it was opened in 1634 and continues to welcome residents and tourists alike to this day.
Boston Common Park (Source: Boston.com)
EXPLORE HOW TO FOLD THIS POCKET SQUARE
What we love about The City of Boston Pocket Square is its versatility and how the prominent border, combined with the warm yellow and orange hues within the print can totally transform the look of a jacket.
How you fold a pocket square determines whether it adds a subtle accent, or can be a flamboyant addition of colour, which becomes the focal point of your outfit.
We have created a step-by-step visual guide on our website to help guide you in your pocket square folding adventure. Many of the folds indeed feature our city collection prints including Boston & New York.
Read Further: How to Fold Your Pocket Square Guide
If you prefer visuals over written text, then you are in luck as our YouTube channel has a dedicated Pocket Square Fold Series covering all the classic folds you can use on this pocket square and any others within our collection.