Historic Preservation in Pennsylvania: A Primer

Depending on the individual, historic preser­vation evokes a myriad of interpretations. To the local historical society, it’s restoring the town’s oldest structure to a house-museum showcasing collections of period antiques. To community planners, it often results in a challenge of saving the best while destroying the rest. And to many, historic preservation means little more than a...
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The Whiskey Boys Versus the Watermelon Army

When the issue of balancing the budget by raising taxes reared its ugly head recently, the nation once again saw the contro­versy and bitterness the sub­ject ignites. On Capitol Hill familiar questions were fiercely debated. Who should close the revenue gap, the wealthy or the working class? Should taxes be increased on ciga­rettes, gasoline, or liquor? Nearly two hundred years ago the Congress...
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That Magnificent Fight for Unionism: The Somerset County Strike of 1922

During 1920 and 1921, western Pennsylvania’s coal mine operators campaigned vigorously to slash wages of the miners they employed. Because demand for coal declined after World War One the operators were forced to reduce production, resulting in stack, or in some cases, the complete shutdown of operations. Many miners drifted to factory jobs in nearby cities, or simply clung to hope -and...
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“The Public Is Entitled to Know”: Fighting for the Public Memory of Henry Clay Frick

On Saturday, July 23, 1892, Russian immi­grant and New York anarchist Alexander Berkman burst into the office of Henry Clay Frick in down­town Pittsburgh, stabbed him three times, and shot him in the ear and neck. Frick fought back and, with his secretary’s assistance, eventually subdued his assailant. Although he had sustained several serious wounds to his legs and chest, Frick insisted...
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Letters to the Editor

Coke and Coal “A Jewel in the Crown of Old King Coal: Eckley Miners’ Village,” an article by Tony Wesolowsky in the winter 1996 edition, prominently mentions John Leisenring. In 1880, Leisenring, as head of the Connellsville Coke and Iron Company, began construction of Leisenring Number 1 Works, followed by Leisenring Number 2 (Bute), and Leisenring Number 3 (Monarch) on...
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Shorts

“Working Under Wires,” examining the work – often unseen or unnoticed by the public – that ensured safe, reliable, and economical public transportation, will remain on exhibit at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington through December 1997. The exhibition focuses on the men and women employed by trolley companies as operators, mechanics, track crews, overhead wire and signal...
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Bookshelf

Stoneware of Southwestern Pennsylvania by Phil Schaltenbrand University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996 (216 pages, paper, $22.95) A greatly expanded version of the author’s Old Pots (1978), Stoneware of Southwestern Pennsylvania describes the salt-glazed stoneware industry that once flourished in the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Valleys and contains much new information about the remarkable...
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Bookshelf

Coal and Coke in Pennsylvania by Carmen DiCiccio Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1996 (223 pages, paper, 16.95) Coal and Coke in Pennsylvania began in 1991 as a written guide for the nomination of soft coal operations and coke extractive facilities in western Pennsylvania to the National Register of Historic Places. During the project, diverse sources were consulted, including...
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Currents

Parrish Frederick Parrish (1870-1962) – who later adopted the family name Maxfield as a middle and then professional name – was born into Philadelphia’s Quaker community and reared in a culturally privileged environment. From his father Stephen, an acclaimed etcher and landscape painter, he inherited his talent for natural observation and an understanding of the business of...
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Letters to the Editor

Left Hanging It’s always interesting to see articles in a statewide publication regarding the Wilkes-Barre area. As the new executive director of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, now known as the Luzerne County Historical Society, it was a treat to read “Joe Palooka: Wilkes-Barre Boxing Legend with a National Punch” by William C. Kashatus in the Spring 2000 issue....
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