Alison Isenberg
Second Hand Cities

Alison Isenberg, an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, also received a 2005 Fitch Mid-Career Research grant to study the role of antique dealers and the second-hand market in helping to create the preservation mindset. Isenberg’s book, Second-hand Cities will examine the people, markets, trades, and districts that dealt in old artifacts between the 1860s and 1960s. The book will also trace the often-unlikely paths and places through which preservation sensibilities spread, even when modernization and modernism seemed to command the day. Isenberg’s article, “Second-hand Cities: Inheritance, Preservation, and the Racialized Origins of the American Antique Trade, 1860s-1930s,” will be her first publication on this topic.

Caption: James Eham’s antique shop at 1237 Pine Street, in the heart of Philadelphia’s antique row, attracted attention as an informal city landmark during the 1920s. (Photograph courtesy of The Library Company).