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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 53, December 31, 2006, Article 17

ON CORRECTING ANSWERS.COM

Regarding the Answers.com entry that led him astray on our recent
quiz about du Simitiere's museum, Gar Travis writes: "Well, we can't
always be correct, but I was as correct as the most current Internet
reference allowed me to be. Perhaps The E-Sylum will be one of the
Internet guides for future generations researching this topic."

I had a chance to review the Answers.com entry and it is technically
correct, although Gar's misreading of it is understandable ... the
parts about Du Simitiere and Peale run together in the same lengthy
paragraph:

"In 1784, Swiss expatriate Pierre Eugene Du Simitiere opened his
cabinet for admission to the public in his Arch Street, Philadelphia,
home, which he advertised in newspapers and broadsides as "The
American Musaeum." For half of a dollar at an appointed time, he
offered audiences tours of books, prints, archival collections,
and the artifacts and antiquities of indigenous peoples. Everything
was auctioned off after his death in 1785. Artist and saddle maker
Charles Willson Peale was familiar with Du Simitiere's failed effort.
He began his museum by building extensions onto his home, first building
a portrait gallery to display his work to prospective clients, and then
adding rooms to accommodate his collections of natural history. He
maintained his practice of portraiture, thereby ensuring an income
to support his large family, and he developed a style for the portraits
of national heroes he displayed above cases of specimens. Peale continued
to expand his home to house a growing collection. In 1794 he was able
to rent rooms in the AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY building and later,
in 1802, the museum was moved to the Pennsylvania State House
(INDEPENDENCE HALL), where it remained until 1829."

To read the complete Answers.com Museum entry, see: Answers.com Museum

Gar's wish for our E-Sylum discussions to guide future Internet
searchers has already come true.  Searching for "du Simitiere " on
Answers.com returns a number of web page hits, and two of the top
results are our E-Sylum quiz question and answer!  So our little
forum is working its way into the wider Internet.  Future du Simitiere
researchers will have the benefit of reading the exchange between Gar
and Joel Orosz.

To see the Answers.com search results for "du Simitiere", see:
Answers.com search results for "du Simitiere"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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