‘Born In Cambridge’ authors plan a walking tour this month of Cambridgeport and its innovations

A white hand holding a copy of “Born in Cambridge” by Karen Weintraub and Michael Kuchta

In their new book, “Born in Cambridge: 400 Years of Ideas and Innovators,” Karen Weintraub and Michael Kuchta argue that “the story of Cambridge reflects the story of America … Major events and trends that affected the nation left fingerprints here, too.” How the city and its residents react to those forces, though, makes for a compelling story of invention, reinvention and adaptation spanning four centuries.

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‘Changing Tides in Cambridge Industry’ talk will examine wave of labor and immigration

New England Brick Co. workers circa 1910.

Since its beginnings as a colonial settlement, Cambridge has seen numerous shifts in its population, as waves of migrants arrived from various parts of the United States and around the world. As these new Cantabrigians arrived in the city needing work, many found jobs in the city’s industrial sector, most notably in the glass, brick, furniture, meatpacking and confectionary factories in Cambridge. Employment in many of these industries was dominated by different immigrant groups at different periods, with newer arrivals taking jobs in lower-paying, more physically demanding sectors. Eventually these ethnic groups would move up the socioeconomic ladder, finding employment in more lucrative and less strenuous industries while the next wave of newcomers replaced them. For many, similar work experience at home and the recommendation of friends, family or others of their same ethnicity led them to choose a particular industry. For others, their status as immigrants drastically limited the employment options open to them. Whether by choice or circumscription, the clustering of migrant groups in particular industries helped shape the labor landscape of Cambridge.

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A Brief History of Zoning in Cambridge

By Doug Brown, 2016 Just as we have a place for everything in a well-ordered home, so we should have a place for everything in a well-regulated town. What would we think of a housewife who insisted on keeping her gas range in the parlor and her piano in the kitchen?–Cambridge Tribune, March 8, 1919…

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When The Port Was a Port

By Michael Kenney, 2014 An early 20th century photograph of the schooner Henry Endicott heading up the Charles River towards the Broad Canal stands as evidence that there was a time when the “port” in Cambridgeport had any real meaning. The Henry Endicott was a 192-foot, three-masted schooner built in Bath, Maine, in 1908, for…

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Self-Guided Tour: The History of Candy Making in Cambridge

By Natalie Moravek, Intern In 1946, sixty-six candy manufacturing companies were listed in the phone book. The candy industry in the area began in 1765, on the banks of the Neponset River in Dorchester, when an Irish immigrant named John Hannon established a chocolate mill. The large and populated city made an ideal setting for…

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