Bookshelf

Carnegie By Peter Krass John Wiley and Company, Inc., 2002 (612 pages, cloth $35.00) The name Carnegie, like several others of its day – Westing­house, Morgan, Ford, Rockefeller, Winchester, Chrysler, Du Pont, Edison, Hershey – stands apart, apparently requiring lit­tle, if any, introduction. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) stands next to J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller as one of the...
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Foxburg Golf Course

The game of golf has been played in the United States in some form since 1786. Although most early golf courses have disappeared, one venerable course remains, and it’s in Pennsylvania! In fact, the Foxburg Country Club in Foxburg, Clarion County, is the oldest golf course in the country in continuous use. It was established in 1887 by Joseph Mickle Fox (1853-1918) adjacent to his summer...
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An Address for the Afterlife at Laurel Hill Cemetery

It all began in 1836, when architect John Notman (1810–1865) laid out a series of meandering walkways and terraces on the east bank of the Schuylkill River above Fairmount Park. With his design for Laurel Hill Cemetery, the twenty-six-year-old native of Scotland created the first architecturally designed cemetery in the country. He also established the nation’s second garden-type cemetery,...
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Letters

What A Guy! The article on Governor Earle [“An Activist Government in Harrisburg: Governor George H. Earle III and Pennsylvania’s ‘Little New Deal'” by Kenneth C. Wolensky, Winter 2008] was incredible. With this article I learned so much about this period in Pennsylvania’s history and how the New Deal – the big one in Washington, D.C., and the not-so-little one in...
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Joshua M. Merrill

Nearly a century and a half ago, on August 27, 1859, Edwin L. Drake struck oil near Titusville, Venango County, recognized as the world’s first commercially drilled oil well. Shortly afterwards, Joshua M. Merrill (1828–1904), a chemist in Corry, Erie County, made important discoveries in the refining of oil. Merrill pioneered the redistillation of oil, a process known as “cracking,” to produce...
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“With a Woman’s Instinct”: Mira Lloyd Dock, The Mother of Forestry in Pennsylvania

On a frosty December night in 1900, Mira Lloyd Dock (1853–1945) presented an illustrated lecture to the Harrisburg Board of Trade entitled “The City Beautiful.” Using vivid descriptions and dramatic images, Dock contrasted the “roughness, slime and filth” of the state capital and the Susquehanna River with the well-kept cities and rivers of other American states and European nations. She...
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Pennsylvania’s First State Geologist: Henry Darwin Rogers

Geology made Pennsylvania what it is today. The mining of anthracite and bituminous coal, the drilling for petroleum, and the production of iron and steel in the Commonwealth long drove the economy of the United States. Elucidating the history of the geological study of Pennsylvania is an integral part of comprehending its history. Henry Darwin Rogers (1808–1866), the first State Geologist of...
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