Joanna Furnace Women: 1881-1925, The Study of Women’s Roles in Industrial Society

The world of iron production was a rough-and-tumble af­fair, a great contrast to the passive, sheltered world which historians and others often associate with Ameri­can women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet women were a part of Joanna Furnace since its beginnings in 1792, when ironmasters Samuel Potts and Thomas Rutter paid Katy Cryley wages of seven shillings,...
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Changing Friends – Constant Friends

What is a Quaker? Who is a Quaker? Our mind’s eye first brings forth a picture of the plain Friend who accompanied William Penn. The image is of a black and white silhouette cut-out because Friends thought a full picture was too vain. Yet our sense of today’s Quaker may be less focused, even indistinguishable from the general populace – per­haps this is because we seem to...
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Soaring above the Sandlots: The Garfield Eagles

Baseball was first and foremost among American sports, but it is only a summer game. Its place in the seasons bas much to do with its charm. In March and April, after sport’s tiempo muerto, many are willing to endure cold snaps and icy spring rains. But in the fall, each sunset foreshadows season’s end as baseball runs its course. Some pursued it year-round, in Cuba and Mexico,...
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Pastimes and Festive Customs in Early Mine Patches

Preservation of coal mining heritage has become a growing concern of oral historians in Pennsylvania. As inter­view projects have grown, however, several gaps in the collections have been identified by the Coal Miners Research Association, a national organization whose function is to coordinate research efforts into the subject. One phase of die mini11g experience which needs to be documented...
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Preparing Teachers for Homestead Parochial School, 1888-1921

Teacher education was not a carefully systematized and regularized process in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centur­ies. Before the mandate for college de­grees, teacher examinations and certifi­cation, teachers in American classrooms would generally teach as they had been taught. This was particularly true in Ro­man Catholic parochial schools before diocesan administration of the...
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A Good Day’s Catch: Commercial Fishing in Erie

The view from the crest of Erie’s lower State Street is a powerful one. Framed by the tall masts and spars of Oliver Hazard Per­ry’s restored War of 1812 flagship, the Niagara, are the waters of Presque Isle Bay. In the distance, the Presque Isle Peninsula is visible as it curves around and shelters the bay, and beyond that looms the ocean-like expanse of Lake Erie. The bayfront area...
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A Culture of Sharing: Family and Community in Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Region, 1900-1940

Prior to the establishment of widespread governmental assis­tance programs such as social se­curity and various other forms of social services, the working people of industri­al America devised their own means of survival and support. Drawing on the resources of family members and neigh­bors, ordinary individuals created tight­ly-knit communities in which limited in­comes, food and emotions were...
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Driving Team In The Big Woods

During the early days of lumbering in Pennsylvania, small water-powered, up-and­-down sawmills were located wherever the best trees stood in the stream valleys. Only the best, most accessible trees were cut and hauled to the mill by oxen or horses or occasionally floated on the stream which powered the mill. The saw­ed boards were then carried out of the woods on wagons or sleds to villages...
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Life in an Industrial Boom Town: Monessen, 1898-1923

In reading about our nation’s past, we often forget how different life was for our ancestors. We read about historical figures and movements, but rarely – except in excellent historical novels – do we gain a glimpse into the living environment. We also tend to for­get that there are many past environ­ments, each producing its own style and pace of living. During the late...
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When Worlds Collide: Philadelphia’s Queen Village – A Glimpse at a Community in Eclipse

Pier 30 Tennis Pavilion is situated on the Delaware River to the east of the historic downtown of Philadelphia and Just to the south of the Penns Landing Revitalization project. By comparison with the drab, desolate or abandoned piers that haunt the waterfronts of many cities in the Northeast, this freshly painted white cement structure is a refreshing contrast. In the place of old, rusted...
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