Noble Brigham '20 Conducts Research at Lyon & Turnbull Auction House in Scotland
Noble Brigham '20 Conducts Research at Lyon & Turnbull Auction House in Scotland

Noble Brigham '20 spent three weeks this summer exploring his passion for history at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh, Scotland.

"I pursued this opportunity because I saw it as a way to do something I'm interested in on a large scale. Lyon and Turnbull is probably the best auction house in Scotland," explained Noble.

Lyon and Turnbull is a small auction house that focuses on high quality antiques. "They have knowledgeable specialists who are leaders in the field. The internship provided me the opportunity to see if I'm interested in a career in the auction world. I have collected antiques since I was around seven or eight, and I love history, so this was a great internship for me."

Noble spent a lot of his time researching items for upcoming sales. "I researched Scottish artists and a pottery company, and I tried to find the maker of an antique chair," said Noble. "I worked on setting up for the furniture and decorative arts sale in July and staged items in display cases- including a victorian ruby glass dessert set and some very early cut glass (18th-early 19th century)."

Noble has also researched and organized four displays in EA's Roger Annenberg Memorial Library. "I have been interested in EA history since I did my archives project my first year here in sixth grade," said Noble. "It is a privilege that Episcopal has such a rich history and an archive that is vast in comparison to other schools."

Noble's curated EA exhibits include: The Ads of the Scholium, The Locations of Episcopal Academy, The Homes of Episcopal's Founding Fathers, and The School that Haslam Built: Expansion of the Merion campus, 1921-68.

"To prepare I do mostly internet research, along with site visits to get current photos," shared Noble. "For the first project, I spent several hours choosing Scholium ads and typing descriptions."

For the second project, The Locations of Episcopal Academy, Noble used information from The Episcopal Academy 1785 - 1985, written by Charles Latham, Jr., and spent time in Philadelphia taking photographs.

The most recent project, The School that Haslam Built: Expansion of the Merion campus, 1921-68, "took maybe seven hours of research mostly through historic Philadelphia Inquirers, which provided interesting social history about owners before Episcopal," said Noble. "The Latham book did not give first names for the owners of these properties, so I found some from St. Joseph's University [the former Episcopal Academy campus] and by digging through microfilm permit files at Lower Merion Township." Noble also toured St. Joseph's University with the facilities manager to photograph the interior and exterior of the former Merion campus buildings.

In the fall Noble plans to start the EA Archive Club. "We plan to organize exhibits about Episcopal's history and local Philadelphia history and put together a bulletin a couple times a year that will hopefully include articles and maybe oral histories with alums," explained Noble. "We will have speakers, go on trips to archives in Philadelphia, and attempt to preserve Episcopal's history for the future. I have some friends who are committed to this cause, and hope that more people will join."