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Monday, July 23, 2012

Hidden Plainfield IDed: Seven Sisters

The 'seven sisters' along West Front and Albert Streets.
Yesterday's Hidden Plainfield, seven identical homes built adjacent to each other, are on the corner of West Front and Albert Streets. They were originally all identical, and were noticeable for including a one-car garage as an integral part of the plan.

By the way, what are the 'seven sisters'? A group of women's colleges in the Northeast? Greek goddesses? Seven historically dominant oil companies?

The answer is ALL THREE.

The original 'seven sisters' are the Pleiades (see here), daughters of Atlas, whom Zeus is said to have put in the heavens as a group of stars.

Seven American women's colleges in the Northeast were alluded to as the 'seven sisters' after the Pleiades: Vassar, Wellesley, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, Bryn Mawr and Barnard (see here).

In the 1950s, the dominant oil companies were also referred to as the 'seven sisters' (see here): Anglo-Persian (now BP), Gulf Oil, SoCal (Standard Oil of California), Texaco (now Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, Esso (Standard Oil of NJ), and Socony (Standard Oil of NY, now Exxon/Mobil).

And a reader added a comment that seven mass-circulation women's magazines were also known as the 'seven sisters': Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's, Redbook and Woman's Day.

Where shall we go next week?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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