Bookshelf

The Genius Belt: The Story of the Arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania edited by George S. Bush James A. Michener Art Museum in association with The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996 (174 pages, cloth, $40.00; paper, $29.95) Bucks County had known artists as neighbors for years, but in this handsome and richly illustrated book, novelist and native son James A. Michener writes that two...
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Soft Coal’s Soft-Spoken Diplomat

Wearing a straw boater, he rode in the passenger seat of the Cadillac, and forlornly surveyed the pick­eting miners who blocked the lane leading into the village of St. Benedict in Cambria County. He sig­naled his manservant – serving now as bodyguard and chauffeur as well – to proceed through the human blockade. Angry strikers taunted them, shouting obscenities, as they drove up the...
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Visiting the Museum of Anthracite Mining: A Walk Through the Rise and Fall of Anthracite Might

One of Pennsylvania’s most significant resources was once considered useless. Although anthracite was distinguished as a natural resource as early as 1770, the sale of “stone coal” – as it was then called – was outlawed in some places. Many believed that anthracite (or “hard” coal) was little better than slate and would not burn. Eventually, however, a...
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Mt. Pisgah Plane

In 1827, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company opened the Mauch Chunk Railroad — later known as the Switchback Gravity Railroad — in Carbon County to efficiently transport anthracite over a precipitous distance of nine miles from mining operations on the top of Sharp Mountain at Summit Hill to the Lehigh River below at Mauch Chunk (renamed Jim Thorpe in 1953). The nation’s second oldest...
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Executive Director’s Letter

Pennsylvania’s rich natural resources fueled the nation, forever impacting the geographic, cultural, economic, social, industrial, and political landscape. Energy — and its various sources and uses — has irrevocably altered the way we live and work. From the beginning, William Penn’s vast woods provided charcoal to fire the early iron furnaces that dotted the Commonwealth. Our rivers and streams...
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From 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...
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From the Editor

Looking for ways to spend an educational, entertaining, and thoroughly enjoyable summer day with family and friends? Look no further. As Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) staff members Howard M. Pollman and Michael A. Bertheaud explain in their article entitled “Exploring the Pennsylvania Energy Trail of History” in this edition, there’s plenty to see and do...
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Bookshelf

The Place I Call Home: How Abolition and the Underground Railroad Shaped the Communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania by Sherman F. Wooden published by the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, 2009; 289 pages, paper, $16.95 Established in 1996, the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies (CASS) in Montrose, Susquehanna County, researches, documents, and preserves the history of abolitionism and the...
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