Blues, Bloomers, and Bobbies

Named after their uniforms, but having no home field on which to play, the Reds and the Blues traveled between Philadelphia and New York City, playing baseball before curious crowds who had turned out to witness the droll spectacle of women at the national pastime. The year was 1883 and the two teams represented the tail end of a popular but short-lived trend in spectator sport: unskilled women...
read more

Pennsylvania Places through the Bird’s-Eye Views of T.M. Fowler

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, America indulged in a love affair with panoramic drawings of urban areas, known – aptly but simply­ – as town views. Some were drawn at ground level, or from a modest elevation (such as a hill or tall building) and often depicted a skyline. Others, made from an aerial perspective, were known as bal­loon views, aero views and,...
read more

Letters to the Editor

Sheer Eloquence I enjoyed reading David McCullough’s first-person account of how he tackles research and writing (see “Homeward Bound: An Interview with David McCullough” by Brent D. Glass in the summer 1994 edition). He is articulate and perceptive. His words are nothing short of sheer eloquence. Aren’t we fortunate to be able to claim him as a native Pennsylvanian?...
read more

A Champion for All Seasons

Wearing a high-necked dress with puffed sleeves and narrow waist, Lizzie Stride (1877-1919) looks like the perfect Gibson girl, the idealized American young woman of the 1890s created by popular illustra­tor Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) and copied at the turn of the century by scores of commercial artists. Like the Gibson girl – images of whom eventually appeared on early automobile...
read more

Rediscovering the People’s Art: New Deal Murals in Pennsylvania’s Post Offices

On a February morning in 1937, artist George Warren Rickey (1907-2002) and a group of four men met at the post office in Selinsgrove, Snyder County. Armed with cloth-covered rolling pins, the men attached Rickey’s mural entitled Susquehanna Trail to one of the lobby’s end walls. After six hours, they transformed the entire blank white wall, from marble wainscoting to ceiling, into a...
read more

Built by the New Deal

With the nation mired in the grim depths of the Great Depression, industrial Pennsylvania was far from being immune to the financial instability with the closing of 5,000 manufacturing firms and the loss of 270,000 factory jobs by 1933. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched his New Deal, a series of innovative programs targeted to giving work to the unemployed, stabilizing a downward...
read more

Harnessing the Power of the Wind: A Contemporary Use for a Historic Energy Source

Much like the oil farms of the last century were for drillers and riggers, Pennsylvania’s wind farms are proving grounds for engineers and technicians as they harness wind power. The long-standing use of wind power that for centuries propelled sailing vessels has been transformed throughout the world to produce electricity. Farmers used wind power in the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
read more