Lost and Found

Lost Gasoline service stations, motor courts, and drive-in theaters were all part of the mid-twentieth century “car culture” by the time Richard and Maurice McDonald’s trademark Golden Arches were first illuminated in 1953 in Phoenix, Ari­zona. Stanley Clark Meston, more a pragmatic problem-solver than a “modern” architect, designed the Golden Arches to be seen from...
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Strolling Through History at Hopewell Village

For more than a century, Hopewell Furnace in southeastern Pennsylvania had exemplified the technological growing pains of a nation initially built on agriculture but destined to become the industrial titan of the western hemisphere. Between 1771, when Mark Bird (1739-1816) established his furnace at the headwaters of French Creek in Berks County, and 1883, when the­ fires finally cooled,...
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Minersville V. Gobitis

People all over the world consider America to be a great country, partly because of the many free­doms and rights it offers to its citizens. With these rights, as with any rights, come responsibilities. Some, such as obedience to laws and payment of taxes, are very clear, but oth­ers are more complicated and sometimes even controversial. Such responsibilities include those involving patriotism...
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Documenting Everyday Life in Pennsylvania During the Great Depression and World War II

The documentary photography project initiated by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1935 was an unprecedented experiment in the history of photography, and it remains a monument to a collective effort that will never be equaled-the recording of an entire nation, from the city and town to the farm, from the home to the factory, from work to leisure, from school to church, from the baseball...
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Current and Coming

Inventing Old America A Harvard-educated Congregational minister, Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) abandoned the ecclesiastical pulpit in 1904 to preach a gospel in which he proselytized romanticized views of the American past. Despite his staunch stance as anti-modernist, Nutting built a symbiotic business empire by embracing contemporary technology – photography, mass-­market publishing, the...
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Soaring Above “This School in the Clouds”

Each fall, when north­west winds blast down from Canada, knowledgeable bird watchers hurriedly make their way to the Appalachian Mountain ridges that zig west, then zag south through the center of the Keystone State. Binoculars in hand, they climb and hike the rocky ridge tops to await the thousands of hawks, eagles, and falcons flying south­ward. Autumn’s winds have beckoned people to...
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An Impressive Legacy: A Half-Century of Historic Preservation in Pennsylvania, 1955-2005

A quarter-century ago, James Biddle (1929-2005), president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, from 1968 to 1980, was named chairman of Pennsylvania’s first State Historic Preservation Board. Jimmy, as the scion of one of the Commonwealth’s most notable families was known – especially to fellow preservationists, many of them working at the grassroots level –...
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Bookshelf

At Work in Penn’s Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania By Joseph M. Speakman Penn State University Press, 2006; 237 pages, cloth, $37.50 The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of the most popular relief programs of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. During the nine years of the program, from 1933 to 1942, more than two and one-half million unemployed young...
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Reviving – and Revising – the Reputation of Ralph Elwood Brock

On May 31, 1966, D. S. Nace of the state Department of Forests and Waters, now the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), scrawled a note to Joe Hill of the Mont Alto Nursery, in Franklin County, and attached it to a stack of documents. “Might find something of interest in these. Don’t Destroy,” he cautioned. Those nine words ultimately proved to be an invaluable...
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Norvelt

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 drained Americans of their life savings and the resulting Great Depression hit rural southwestern Pennsylvania particularly hard. Industries collapsed and high unemployment struck the region’s bituminous coal workers. In 1934, the federal government and the AmericanFriends Service Committee, a Quaker social service organization founded in 1917 in Philadelphia,...
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