Letters to the Editor

Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

Unadulterated and Guaranteed!

I was delighted to read in the winter 1989 issue the excellent article by Linda Kowall entitled “Original and Genuine, Un­adulterated and Guaranteed!” This article about John Wana­maker and his store held spe­cial significance for me, as my uncle, John E. Raasch, was president of the store for sev­eral years. I recall meeting young John Wanamaker, Jr., who was most charming. I worked in the store for several years at which time there were about five thousand employ­ees. Wanamaker’s, being hu­manitarian, provided small benches in back of the sales counters for employees to rest on between helping cus­tomers. We also had a uni­formed musical Cadet Corps, and I worked in the Grand Court and so enjoyed hearing the beautiful organ music. A store magazine, The Eagle Speaks, carried articles and pictures of store events and happenings. As you can see, your article brought back so many happy memories to me. Thank you!

Joyce L. Kerr
Tamaqua, Pa.

What a wonderful idea to publish the fascinating history of the John Wanamaker Store in Philadelphia! As a native Philadelphian, and as a little girl taken there by my mother, I always loved each and every visit, especially having lunch in the elegant Crystal Tea Room. I must have seen the Grand Court at Christmas in 1927 which was pictured on page 24 of the winter edition. As a serious young pianist, I was always most impressed by the store’s outstanding piano department. May John Wana­maker’s be preserved forever and with little change, for it’s truly among the great land­marks of Philadelphia. Kudos to writer Linda Kowall!

Eleanor W. Roberts
Oreland, Pa.


Behind the Battle

No doubt someone has al­ready called to your attention a questionable statement ap­pearing in Ruth W. Davis’ article, “Behind the Battle of Gettysburg: American Nurs­ing is Born,” appearing in the fall 1987 edition. I was sur­prised to read that “Clara Barton and twenty women arrived in Gettysburg on July 6 after attending the wounded at Antietam and Fredericksburg.” On that date Clara Barton was at Hilton Head, South Caro­lina, preparing to minister to the wounded resulting from the projected federal assault on Fort Wagner – at least that’s the impression I have gotten from each of the four biogra­phies which I consulted. I am aware that editors cannot always check every statement in every article submitted to them, but I thought you might be forewarned if some other nit-picking reader such as I brought this article’s misstate­ment to your attention.

Robert L. Bloom
Gettysburg, Pa.

Robert L. Bloom is professor emeritus at Gettysburg Col­lege, where he taught for thirty-two years and served as chairman of the history de­partment. He is the author of numerous articles, one of which, “Adams County: Tran­quility Regained,” appeared in the fall 1988 edition of this magazine. He currently serves as vice president of the Adams County Historical Society, headquartered in Gettysburg.



In the “Currents” department of the winter 1989 edition, a ceremo­nial speaking trumpet presented to the Friendship Fire Company, Lancaster, by Henry G. Leman was incorrectly described as being part of the collections of the Heri­tage Center of Lancaster County. The trumpet is part of the perma­nent collection of the Historical Society of Lancaster County. Its counterpart, an elaborately hand­-lettered certificate presented to Leman by the fire company ac­knowledging his gift of this trum­pet, was recently acquired by the Heritage Center. We regret the error.