Editor’s Letter

Throughout 2015 PHMC has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of The State Museum and Archives Complex in Harrisburg with initiatives to preserve the original Midcentury Modern features of the buildings, both outside and inside, from architectural elements to original furnishings (see Hands-On History). A concurrent effort to update and revitalize the museum’s galleries also has been underway,...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Recommends

The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience Samuel W. Black, editor of a collection of eight essays comprising The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience (Senator John Heinz History Center in partnership with Pennsylvania Civil War 150, 2013, paper, 239 pages, $29.95), contends, “In various ways African Americans have been fighting for freedom for several...
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Soaring above the Sandlots: The Garfield Eagles

Baseball was first and foremost among American sports, but it is only a summer game. Its place in the seasons bas much to do with its charm. In March and April, after sport’s tiempo muerto, many are willing to endure cold snaps and icy spring rains. But in the fall, each sunset foreshadows season’s end as baseball runs its course. Some pursued it year-round, in Cuba and Mexico,...
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The State Normal Schools: Teaching Teachers and Others

In view of their complex, if not complicated, information systems, computers and advanced technology seemingly snatched from the next century, Pennsylvania’s “modern” state universities evolved from what were originally called “normal” schools. During the last century, both educational and social traditions have changed drastically; in fact, nineteenth century...
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“A New County to Be Called Snyder”

Snyder is a small rural county covering 327 square miles with a population exceeding thirty thou­sand. Situated near the center of the Commonwealth, it is bounded on the northwest by Jack’s Mountain, on the southeast by the Mahantango Creek and on the en­tire eastern end by the beautiful Susquehanna River. Most of the remaining boundaries are unrelated to natural features. Geologically,...
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His Eye Was On the Positive

Ask a well-informed Philadelphian who it is that photo­graphs local society, and the answer will probably be a resounding “Fabian Bach­rach.” Few people know that for more than thirty years – from 1936 to 1967 – a Black photographer, John W. Mosley, was the photographer for mid­dle and professional class Black Philadelphians, and that virtually every significant social...
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Grif Teller Paints the Pennsy

Grif Teller never drew a Pennsylvania Railroad paycheck, yet today his name is more widely recognized and more closely associated with that monolithic transportation machine than the names of any of the company’s fourteen presidents. From 1928 to 1942 and from 1947 through 1958, Teller cre­ated the distinctive oil paint­ings for the railroad’s annual advertising calendars, which were...
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Pennsylvania Gridiron: Washington and Jefferson College’s First Century of Football

Gentlemen, you are now going to play football against Harvard. Never again in your whole life will you do anything so important. Yale’s noted football coach T.A.D. Jones delivered his message just as his team was going out to defend Yale Bowl against its ancient rival. But it’s not only coaches whose pas­sion for football is ardent­ – millions play the game on high school,...
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Howard L. Barnes, Dean of Philadelphia’s Amateur Historians

Howard L. Barnes claims that Frankford is the oldest settlement in Philadelphia. Historians in neighboring Germantown dispute him, contending theirs to be the oldest community in the Quaker city area. How­ ever, no one has proven him wrong – nor can one, especially when he produces the original land deed of his beloved home­town, which dates to 1660. That would make Frankford not only the...
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John O’Hara: The Child Becomes the Man

He had dreams,as do all boys. At the age of twelve, he was “looking forward to the day when, like Clint Shaefer, he would own his own Mercer; when, like Al Cullum, he would be on his way to Yale; when, like Bill Ulmer, he would know the 16th Arrondissement better than the third ward.” They were Pottsville fellows, Shaefer, Cullum, and Ulmer – and so was the boy. He was John...
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