Iconographic Treasures at the Library Company of Philadelphia

In the summer of 1731, Benjamin Franklin later re­counted in his autobiography, “I set on foot my first Proj­ect of a public Nature, that for a Subscription Library.” He encouraged fifty subscribers to contribute forty shillings each for the purchase of books that were considered indispen­sable to colonial Americans, but were generally too expensive for any one individual alone to...
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Life in an Industrial Boom Town: Monessen, 1898-1923

In reading about our nation’s past, we often forget how different life was for our ancestors. We read about historical figures and movements, but rarely – except in excellent historical novels – do we gain a glimpse into the living environment. We also tend to for­get that there are many past environ­ments, each producing its own style and pace of living. During the late...
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Black Steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania

Blacks constituted a sizable core of workers in the iron and steel industry of western Penn­sylvania between 1900 and 1950. Most had migrated to the Pittsburgh vicinity from the agricultural South during the two World Wars in hopes of improving their economic plight by obtaining jobs in area mills and foundries. However, racial discrimination prevented the majority of them from advancing beyond...
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Westmoreland County: Welcome to the Western Frontier

Westmoreland County, estab­lished by the Provincial As­sembly with an act signed on February 26, 1773, by Lieut. Gov. Richard Penn, was the eleventh – and last – county created by the proprietary government. Taken from part of Bedford County and named for a remote county in En­gland, it has played many significant roles in the origin and development of both the Commonwealth and the...
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