Shorts presents news briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

“Working Under Wires,” examining the work – often unseen or unnoticed by the public – that ensured safe, reliable, and economical public transportation, will remain on exhibit at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington through December 1997. The exhibition focuses on the men and women employed by trolley companies as operators, mechanics, track crews, overhead wire and signal special­ists, car cleaners, supervisors, office workers, storeroom clerks, and executives who worked together to make possible a mass transit network that provided daily transportation to millions of Pennsylvanians. Additional information is available by writing: Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, 1 Museum Rd., Washington, PA 15301-6133; or by telephoning (412) 228- 9256. There is an admission fee.


The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is now on-line for computer users to learn more about the agency and its programs and services. In addition to a description of the agency’s mission, grants program, and historic sites and museums, the publications catalogue is also available. The PHMC is found on the World Wide Web at


Due to overwhelming response, “American Masterpieces: Tall Case Clocks of the Eighteenth Century” has been ex­tended through Monday, September 30 [1996], by the Watch and Clock Museum, Columbia, Lancaster County. The exhibition offers visitors an intimate look at a select group of magnificent docks made by American makers before 1800. “American Masterpieces” brings together for the first time examples of the most outstanding American tall case clocks, several of which have never before been publicly exhibited. For more information, write: Watch and Clock Museum, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, 514 Poplar St., Columbia, PA 17512-2130; or telephone (717) 684-8261. Admission is charged.


Featuring more than two hundred ob­jects and artifacts, “Centennial! State College Remembers, 1896-1996,” intro­duces Palmer Museum of Art visitors to the origins of the Centre County commu­nity and the people, places, and events significant to its formative years. To show­case State College’s first century, the museum has collected artifacts, pho­tographs, and mementos which recall early businesses, the impact of war on res­idents, school life, and popular social events, such as the Alpha Carnival. To ob­tain additional information, write: Palmer Museum of Art, Curtin Road, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802; or telephone (814) 865-7672. Admission is free.


On exhibit from Saturday, June 29, through Sunday, November 3 [1996], at the Erie Art Museum, “A Peculiar Vision: The Work of George Ohr, the Mad Potter of Biloxi” will feature examples of the artis­tically unique and technically unequaled pottery made by the eccentric Mississippian. The exhibition presents a diverse sampling of the work of a most unusual and talented individual, ar­guably one of the greatest American ceramic artists of the art pottery period, who alienated his contemporaries with unceasing and sometimes tasteless self-promotion that obscured rather than re­vealed his genius. “A Peculiar Vision” is drawn in part from a private collection which is probably the most representative group of Ohr pottery in existence. For more details, write: Erie Art Museum, 411 State St., Erie, PA 16501; or telephone (814) 459-5477. There is an admission fee.


On Sunday, July 21 [1996], Wilson Ferguson will give a talk on the history of Eagles Mere, a popular nineteenth century sum­mer resort in Sullivan County (see “Eagles Mere: Of Cottages and Kings” by Laura Sickel Mumma in the swnmer 1986 issue), at the Lycoming County Historical Society in Williamsport. The presentation will begin at 2:30 P.M. For more information, write: Lycoming County Historical Society, 858 West Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701-5824; or telephone (717) 326-3326.


An opportunity for the public to meet various historic preservation specialists, “Old House Revival,” sponsored by Historic York, Inc., will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 27-28 [1996]. Experts will discuss the restoration and re­habilitation of historic and older buildings and structures. The event will be held at the organization’s architectural warehouse, a source for salvaged architectural elements, located at 224 North George Street. Additional information is available by writing: Historic York, Inc., P.O. Box 2312, York, PA 17405; or by telephoning (717) 843-0320. Admission is free.


Highlighting more than two decades of collection building by the Library Company of Philadelphia, “An African American Miscellany: Selections from a Quarter Century of Collecting, 1970-1995,” is on view through September 27 [1996]. The exhibit, providing a first-hand experience with rare historical materials and an un­derstanding of their significance, serves as a means to assess the current state of schol­arship in the history of African Americans. On view are books, prints, paintings, objects and artifacts, photographs, and manuscripts addressing slavery, abolition and emancipation, activists, intellectuals, and artists, and African American life in Philadelphia. Additional information may be obtained by writing: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107-5698; or by telephoning (215) 546-3181. Admission is free.


Continuing through Saturday, December 28 [1996], at the Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County, “The Ornamental Branches: Needlework and Arts from the Lititz Moravian Girls’ School” features sixty-five pieces of needlework and similar textiles crafted between 1800 and 1865, including silk embroidery, paintings on velvet, berlin­work, samplers, and an array of period furnishings, such as oil paintings, furniture, drawings, prints, musical instruments, and documents. The Lititz Moravian Girls’ School survives as what today is the Linden Hall School for Girls. For more information, write: Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County, 13 West King St., Lancaster, PA 17603-3813; or telephone (717) 299-6440. Admission is free.


Educational “hands-on” activities will be part of the Family Days Celebration hosted by the Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Fayette County, during the weekend of August 10-11 [1996]. For additional details, write: Fort Necessity National Battlefield, RD. 2, Box 528, Farmington, PA 15437; or telephone (412) 329-5512.


On view through Saturday, August 31 [1996], at the Wharton Esherick Museum is “A Collector’s Collection,” a rare public showing of furniture commissioned in the 1960s by a patron of Wharton Esherick, dean of American craftsmen. Also offered are guided tours of Esherick’s residence and studio which house more than two hundred examples of his work. For more information, write: Wharton Esherick Museum, Horseshoe Trail, P.O. Box 595, Paoli, PA 19301; or telephone (610) 644-5822. There is an admission charge.


The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum will celebrate the sesquicenten­nial of the Pennsylvania Railroad with Railfest ’96 during the weekend of October 5-6 [1996]. Railfest ’96 will emphasize Altoona’s vital role in the country’s rail­roading industry. To obtain more details, write: Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, 1300 Ninth Ave., Altoona, PA 16602; or telephone (814) 946-0834. Admission is charged.


In the late nineteenth and early twenti­eth centuries, affluent Erie families often vacationed in the West, returning with treasured souvenirs of American Indian life. Many of these objects and artifacts were given to the collections of the Erie Historical Museum, from which an exhi­bition, “Cultural and Spiritual Aspects of Plains Indians,” has been drawn. The ex­hibition, which continues through October [1996], explores the Native American be­lief of taku-skan-skan, the understanding that every entity possesses movement, spirit, and vitality. For more information, write: Erie Historical Museum, 356 West Sixth St., Erie, PA 16507; or telephone (814) 871-5790. There is an admission fee.


The 1996 Summer Camp for Family Historians, conducted by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from Wednesday through Saturday, July 24-27 [1996], will include intro­ductions to a number of repositories of records and documents, including the Philadelphia City Archives, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Hall, and the National Archives – Mid-Atlantic Region. This year’s event also includes tutorials and opportunities for research at participating institutions. For registra­tion information, write: Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, 1305 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107; or telephone (215) 545-0391.


To mark the three hundredth anniver­sary of the birth of Conrad Weiser (1696-1760) the Conrad Weiser Homestead in Berks County will orga­nize a number of special commemorative events, including a French and Indian War encampment and a reenactment of a Native American peace treaty ceremony during the weekend of August 17-18 [1996]. A symposium focusing on the contribu­tions of the colonial era diplomat and peacemaker will be held in late fall (see “Finding a Light in the Forest: Conrad Weiser Homestead” by Philip E. Pendleton in the summer 1996 issue). For a complete calendar of events, write: Conrad Weiser Homestead, 28 Weiser Rd., Womelsdorf, PA 19567-9718; or telephone (610) 589-2934.