Currents

Wrecks and Rescues In the early nineteenth century, the shore posed great danger to sailing ships seeking to reach port. The long and lonely approaches to coastal cities, such as Philadelphia, were poorly marked stretches of sand dunes and salt marshes with a few isolated settlements. Unexpected storms with winds blowing from the northeast could suddenly force a ship onto perilous sandbars...
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Bookshelf

Documenting Pennsylvania’s Past: The First Century of the Pennsylvania State Archives Edited by Willis L. Shirk Jr. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2003 (242 pages, paper, $32.95) A detailed and highly graphic centennial celebration in print, Documenting Pennsylvania’s Past: The First Century of the Pennsylvania State Archives offers readers a glimpse at the vast...
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Septennial Census

Pennsylvania’s consti­tution has nothing like the “actual Enumeration” clause of the U.S. Constitution, which is the basis for the once-per­-decade federal censuses that have become the sin­gle most important record group for genealogists. While the Commonwealth has never taken such an all-inclusive headcount, it did enumerate taxpayers in listings called the Septennial Census...
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Building a Brand for Pennsylvania Products

Over the centuries most Pennsylvanians have traded their team of horses for cars, their work boots for street shoes, and their plows for computers. yet we still hanker for a taste of our rural roots. While many of us may be weekend gardeners, farmers are lifetime gardeners, producing a quality, diverse food supply for the world year-round. What better way to support local farmers than by...
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Rediscovering the People’s Art: New Deal Murals in Pennsylvania’s Post Offices

On a February morning in 1937, artist George Warren Rickey (1907-2002) and a group of four men met at the post office in Selinsgrove, Snyder County. Armed with cloth-covered rolling pins, the men attached Rickey’s mural entitled Susquehanna Trail to one of the lobby’s end walls. After six hours, they transformed the entire blank white wall, from marble wainscoting to ceiling, into a...
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Letters

From China to the Civil War I very much enjoyed the article by Willis L. Shirk Jr. in the Winter 2013 issue [“Woo Hong Neok: A Chinese American Soldier in the Civil War”]. What a fascinating story of one Chinese person in Lancaster and Pennsylvania history and his association with the Episcopal Church. As a lay person of the Episcopal Church, I served for forty-two years as a...
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A Backward Glance at Thirty-Five Years Young

Over the past thirty-five years, Pennsylvania Heritage has brought to readers hundreds of stories about the famous and the not-so-famous, of historic preservation struggles won and lost, and interviews with individuals who either shaped history or interpret it. Our thirty-fifth anniversary, which we’re observing with this edition, gives us a moment to pause and reflect on where we’ve been, where...
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Harnessing the Power of the Wind: A Contemporary Use for a Historic Energy Source

Much like the oil farms of the last century were for drillers and riggers, Pennsylvania’s wind farms are proving grounds for engineers and technicians as they harness wind power. The long-standing use of wind power that for centuries propelled sailing vessels has been transformed throughout the world to produce electricity. Farmers used wind power in the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
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Carpet Mill, Bloomsburg, Pa.

The Magee Carpet Company in Bloomsburg, Columbia County, was an outgrowth of James Magee and Company, a small factory of twenty-five looms founded in Philadelphia by James Magee at the close of the American Civil War. Magee’s son and namesake, James Magee II, began working in his father’s mill by sweeping floors. He eventually worked in a number of departments and earned the position of plant...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Society Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2011 Newsletter: Reserve Your Seat for Our Signature Series Bus Trip to Winterthur 2011 Teaching American History Project Civil War Sesquicentennial Event Calendar for July – September 2011 July – September 2011 Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Road Show Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members Welcome New PHS Members  ...
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