Editor's Letter is an introduction to the contents and themes of each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage by the editor.

Learning about energy – its history, its present-day uses, and its future – has never been easier. For years, Pennsylvania has been a leading supplier of traditional energy sources – water, wind, anthracite and bituminous coal, oil, and lumber – and many of PHMC’s historic sites and museums, among them Drake Well Museum at Titusville and the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, reflect these resources and the industries that powered America.

Through 2009, for which PHMC has adopted “Energy: Innovation and Impact” as its annual theme, a newly developed Energy Trail of History showcases, through interpretation and exhibits, how the Keystone State helped fuel the country’s mills, factories, homes, schools, and hospitals. At The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, a special self-guided tour of the Hall of Industry and Technology, sponsored by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, teaches visitors of all ages about producing, using, and conserving energy. The museum and other destinations along PHMC’s Energy Trail of History – Graeme Park, Daniel Boone Homestead, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and Cornwall Iron Furnace- await you and your family!

In this, our commemorative energy edition, you’ll find a fascinating array of thematic features, including an interview with Dan Desmond, crowned the Keystone State’s Energy Czar by the media; the history of the world’s first atomic energy plant constructed exclusively for peacetime uses, located in western Pennsylvania; a conversation with Barbra T. Zolli, administrator of Drake Well Museum, on the importance of petroleum as we celebrate, in August, the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the world’s first successful oil well, in Venango County; and a look at how PHMC historic sites and museums are “going green”.

In addition to enjoying these articles, you’ll certainly want to visit our special energy Web site, where you’ll find information about various types of energy sources, helpful tips for consumers, an interactive map of the of Energy Trail of History, a rare video of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, photographs, and links to other important energy sites. Energize yourself with history!

As we, like the rest of the nation, look to the future for new, clean, and renewable energy sources, the staff of Pennsylvania Heritage pauses to bid farewell to our associate editor, Louis M. Waddell. For more than half of his thirty-five years of service to PHMC, Dr. Waddell served the magazine well with his keen editorial eye and boundless knowledge. Since joining the magazine with the Spring 1991 edition, he contributed intriguing articles on a wide array of topics. He will be missed by both colleagues and readers alike. Good luck and Godspeed, Louis!

Michael J. O’Malley III