Bookshelf provides descriptions and notices of recent publications on Pennsylvania subjects.

Guide to Photo­graphs at the Pennsylvania State Archives

by Linda A. Ries
Pennsylvania Histori­cal and Museum Commission, 1993 (229 pages, paper, $6.95)

Although the Pennsylvania State Archives safeguards mostly documentary materi­als – such as the private and personal papers of individuals, governmental records, maps, military records, industrial reports, and similar archival items – it also houses a staggering collection of three hundred and fifty thousand photographs! Guide to Photo­graphs at the Pennsylvania State Archives offers a fascinating look at the breadth and depth of these photographic hold­ings, which include lantern slides, large format negatives, glass plate images, stereo­graphs, portraits, albums, cartes-de-visites, industrial views, panoramic and bird’s eye views of communities throughout Pennsylvania’s sixty-seven counties, and picture post cards. These diverse collections include not only record photographs, such as three hundred photographs taken during the fiftieth anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg in July 1913, but feature a number of esoteric and rare images: portraits of vaudeville performers who played the Reading Opera House in 1879; turn of the century photographs of Ephrata Cloister; images of the Johnstown Flood of 1889; and prints documenting African American housing, churches, and lifestyles in Philadelphia, including a photograph of the “First Colored Food Show” at the Octavius Catto Lodge in 1938. Every industry and business in Pennsylvania is represented in the Pennsylva­nia State Archives holdings and indexed by this easy-to­-use guidebook. Collections of professional photographers, such as Charles E. Ross (1873- 1961), Samuel W. Kuhnert (1890-1978), Mattie Edwards Hewitt (?-1956), John W. Roshon (1864-1955), and William W. Stoey (1846-1925) are succinctly and accurately described. Both record and manuscript groups include photographs of railroads, canals, churches, governors and dignitaries, villages, coal operations, steel plants, textile mills, factories, highway construction, covered bridges, which are identified and annotated in this book. Guide to Photographs at the Pennsylva­nia State Archives offers more than just a passing glance at the images collected and preserved by the institution during the past century; instead, it offers an expansive portrait of the people, places, and events – both familiar and unfamilar – which played a part in shaping the history of Pennsylvania. The guidebook is intelligently written, heavily indexed, and illustrated. Students and scholars of history and photography will find this a helpful and emi­nently useful introduction to the Commonwealth’s photo­graphic collections.


Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania: A Pictorial History

by Patricia Ann Miller
The Book Guild, Ltd., 1992 (143 pages, cloth, $25.00)

Originally named for an Indian chief and once the haunt of English pirate Edward Teach, alias “Blackbeard,” who caused much chaos and consternation in its streets, the little borough of Marcus Hook on the Delaware River has acquired less romantic connotations since – mainly as the home of the Sun Oil Company’s sprawling refinery. Originally compiled for the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of photography, and published to commemorate the centennial of the borough’s incorporation, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, covers sixteen subjects, including nature and the environment, shipping, patriotism, the growth of small businesses, early recreation, schools and churches, the waterfront, and famous local personalities. The story of this small Delaware County community is graphically portrayed by nearly two hundred black and white images that date to the closing decade of the nineteenth century. Some of the most dramatic photographs depict the Sun Oil Company’s processing plants, while the sweetest portraits tend to be the small, intimate turn-of-the­-century views of residences and neighborhoods. Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania: A Pictorial History is a celebration of a largely forgotten community through revealing photo­graphs lent by several sources, such as the Delaware County Historical Society, Urban Archives of Temple Univer­sity, Sun Oil Company, Hagley Museum and Library, and Harvard University’s Houghton Library.


Bethlehem Steelmaker: My Ninety Years in Life’s Loop

by Edmund F. Martin, with David J. Morrison
BMS Press, 1992 (168 pages, cloth, $19.95)

Bethlehem Steelmaker: My Ninety Years in Life’s Loop is a firsthand account of important corporate and industrial history by an individual who was associated with the Bethlehem Steel Corporation for seventy years. Edmund F. Martin, at the age of ninety, is older than the corporation itself, and may be the only living person who can still share eyewitness accounts of virtually every phase of Bethlehem Steel’s monumental role in global events of this century. Bethlehem Steelmaker is more than a business history, however; it is an intriguing record of the people (in many cases a virtual “who’s who” of laborers and leaders), places, and events with which the legacy of Bethlehem Steel Corporation is intertwined. Martin joined the corporation as a toolgrinder in 1922, earning thirty cents an hour, and in 1964 was elected chief executive officer of the nation’s fourteenth largest company. In a distinctive rollicking and relentless style, the author takes readers along on a whirlwind schedule of hard work, high-level meetings with influential individuals, and travels to exotic destinations. The author, with David J. Morrison, offers rare glimpses of the princely lifestyles of legendary steel tycoons Charles M. Schwab and Eugene R. Grace. He intro­duces readers to a cavalcade of steelmakers and executives he met during his remarkable ascent to the pinnacle of his profession. And he takes readers to international dealmaking expeditions at the palaces of monarchs, dictators, and heads of state on four continents. Bethlehem Steelmaker: My Ninety Years in Life’s Loop is a memorable memoir which features a number of vintage photo­graphs of the men and women whose lives were inexplicably bound with one of the Key­stone State’s most powerful industries.


Public Art in Philadel­phia

by Penny Balkin Bach
Temple University Press, 1992 (288 pages, cloth, $29.95)

Philadelphia’s collection of public art is certainly one of the world’s largest and most respectable offerings of works by the great talents of three centuries, including Auguste Rodin, Alexander Stirling Calder and Alexander Milne Calder, Daniel Chester French, Frederick Remington, Robert Indiana, Isamu Noguchi, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenberg, Gaston Lachaise, Paul Manship, and Leonard Baskin. Public Art in Philadel­phia serves as a guided tour through this extensive and diverse collection, which is scattered throughout the city’s parks, along its boulevards, and affixed to its public buildings. This fascinating history of public art in Philadelphia is skillfully narrated throughout with surprising anecdotes, bio­graphical sketches, and more than four hundred and fifty illustrations! The author explores the artistic, historic, political, and social trends, as well as the events, that caused the city to acquire such a rich and distinguished collection of public works of art. Philadelphia’s tradition of public art reveals the origins of the nation’s cyclic longing for public expression: the spiritual roots of Native American culture, the utilitarian needs of the colonial period, the civic glorification of American patriotism, the planning instincts that emerged from the industrial era, and the pursuit of originality and invention in this century. Guiding the reader through a chronological tour of the city’s aesthetic holdings, Public Art in Philadelphia provides a history of American monu­mental art in microcosm and offers a way to appreciate the art residents and visitors encounter, whether it is cast, carved, built, assembled, or painted. The book also illustrates how public art continues to enhance, define, and challenge Philadelphians’ perception of their city, in addition to examining the transformation over three centuries of style, theme, and reception of statues, busts, and murals. A catalogue focuses on more than two hundred individual works, noting the materials, dimensions, location history, patrons, and com.mis­sioning process, while a set of maps encourages readers to actually view the works in their public context. Public Art in Philadelphia showcases both familiar and overlooked treasures that give meaning to the public environment, that reconnect art to daily life, and that remind residents and visitors of what was consid­ered important to previous generations.


The Allegheny River: Watershed of the Nation

by Jim Schafer and Mike Sajna
The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992 (304 pages, cloth, $45.00)

Of all the waterways in the United States, few can claim a long, diverse, and colorful a history as the mighty Allegh­eny River, and The Allegheny River: Watershed of the Nation guides readers on a fascinating trip from the river’s mouth to its headwaters, charting its history from its creation during the Ice Age to the present. Employing historical records and accounts, inter­views, personal experiences, and more than one hundred and fifty contemporary and historical photographs, the authors vividly portray the Allegheny River in all of its glory. The history of the Allegheny River is inextricably tied to the history of the United States. The river played a key role in the French and Indian War, and following the American Revolution it served as the main thoroughfare for immigrants traveling west­ward to settle America from Ohio to the Northwest Territory, earning Pittsburgh the title “Gateway to the West.” Part of the river’s story includes its role in the Indus­trial Revolution, for it once bore the environmental scars of unrestricted industrializa­tion. Today, it has rebounded to become one of the best fisheries in Pennsylvania, as well as home to a diverse collection of flora and fauna, including several endangered species. It is also now one of the most heavily used rivers for recreation in the country. The text is liberally punctuated with vignettes of the famous figures and interesting individuals who have encoun­tered the river, such as George Washington, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Andrew Carnegie, John Wilkes Booth, Seneca Chief Cornplanter, Johnny Appleseed, and Rachel Carson. The Allegheny River also features interviews with people who live, work, or take inspiration from the river, including a woodcarver, riverboat captain, vacationers, and naturalists. Journalist Mike Sajna’s engaging text and photographer Jim Schafer’s spellbinding images depict the ever-changing face of this grand waterway.