Mailbox features classified advertisements related to Pennsylvania history.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, located in Strasburg, Lancaster County, is seeking information and documentation on railroad work clothes and uniforms worn from 1850 through the first half of the twentieth century. Of particular interest are changes in the styles of work clothing worn by engineers, freight train crews, shop workers, car inspectors, and maintenance and yard employees. Individuals and institutions able to share information are asked to write: Robert L. Emerson, Director, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Box 15, Strasburg, PA 17579; or telephone (717) 687-8628. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).


Best-selling novelist and short story writer John O’Hara (1905-1970), born and raised in Pottsville, Schuylkill County, published hundreds of short stories, novellas, articles, essays, and columns, in addition to full-length novels. He used the anthracite region as a literary setting for two well-known novels, Appointment in Samarra and Ten North Fredrick, and in at least fifty short stories. Various communities appear regularly in his fictional pieces about the hard coal region, which O’Hara described as “my Pennsylvania protectorate.” Pottsville, for example, was named Gibbsville in honor of critic and friend, Wolcott Gibbs. O’Hara worked briefly as a reporter and colum­nist for the old Pottsville Journal. Copies of the Pottsville Journal published from 1924 through 1926, which may contain articles or columns bearing his by-Line, are needed for ongoing research. Knowledge of the whereabouts of these issues, as well as material relating to O’Hara’s early newspaper career, is sought by: Matthew J. Bruccoli, Department of English, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C. 29208; telephone (803) 777-8193.


Pennsylvania’s participation in the nationwide patriotic propaganda efforts during World War II is currently the subject of research. Individuals who worked as advertising personnel with Charles Coiner at N. W. Ayer and Son, Philadelphia, are being sought for interviews, as are artists, art directors, and copywriters who took part in government programs, especially those conducted by the Office of War Information. Please direct correspondence to: George Theofiles, P. O. Box 191, New Freedom, PA 17349; or telephone (717) 235-4766.


Artist Jacob Bates Abbott created illustrations, including covers, for the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s magazine, Game News, in the 1940s and 1950s. Biographical information about the illustrator is being collected by: Daniel A. Tenerowicz, Box 315, R. D. 1, Barnesboro, PA 15714.


The Phipps Conservatory, located in Schenley Park, Pitts­burgh, will observe its centennial in 1993-1994. A gift of steelmaker Henry Phipps, the eclectic Richardsonian Ro­manesque-style greenhouse was designed by the firm of Lord and Burnham, Irvington-on-the-Hudson, New York, and built at a cost of more than one hundred thousand dollars. Construction of the Phipps Conservatory began in August 1892, and it officially opened on December 7, 1893. At the time of its dedica­tion, the conservatory was the largest of its kind in the United States; its original collections of rare and exotic plants were exhibited at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The conservatory’s centennial committee is seeking publications, vintage photographs, descriptions, post card views, and related ephemera for study and research. Please send information to: Christine Kirby, Phipps Conservatory, Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; or telephone (412) 622-6915.