Currents

Let’s Motor! Although Detroit has earned the title of “Motor City,” Pittsburgh was home to twenty automobile makers at the turn of the century, manufacturing such notable vehicles as the Penn 30 Touring Car, the Standard Model E Touring Car, the Keystone Six-Sixty, the Brush Model D Runabout, and the Artzberger Steam Surrey. Several of these automobiles attracted widespread...
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Bookshelf

Historic Houses of Philadelphia by Roger W. Moss University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998 (256 pages, cloth,$34.95) Sumptuous, a word frequently used by restaurant reviewers and critics of haute cuisine, aptly describes Historic Houses of Philadelphia, the latest fare by Roger W. Moss, known widely for his books on Victorian era architecture and ornamentation. Fifty historic houses, mansions, and...
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“To Do Good and Love Mercy”: A Conversation with C. Delores Tucker

C. Delores Tucker was only a young girl when, because of her color, she was refused seating at a lunch counter in Detroit. The incident marked the beginning of a life devoted to advancing the cause of minority groups in this country. Born in Philadel­phia in 1927, the daughter of the Reverend Whitfield and Captilda (Gardiner) Nottage, she had lived her childhood in a multi­cultural environment...
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Lost and Found

Lost Rivaling the fabled “cottages” of Newport, Rhode Island, Whitemarsh Hall, built between 1916 and 1921 in Wyndmoor, Montgomery County, for banker Edward T. Stotesbury, contained one hundred and forty-seven rooms. The estate, totaling more than three hundred acres, was jointly conceived by prominent Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer and French landscape designer Jacques...
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King Pearl L. Bergoff Invades McKees Rocks!

On Monday, July 12, 1909, one of the bloodiest labor disputes of the early twentieth century broke out at the sprawling works of the Pressed Steel Car Company in McKees Rocks, Allegheny County. Located on the Ohio River several miles northwest of center-city Pittsburgh, the company employed hundreds of skilled workers, all of American-born descent, and thousands of unskilled first-and...
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Violence and Vigilantes: The KKK in Pennsylvania

It was a warm, muggy day in early August 1921 in Philadelphia when F. W. Atkins of Jacksonville, Florida, and W. J. Bellamy of Cincinnati, Ohio, rented an office in the Bellevue Court Building to quietly recruit members for “a great and patriotic crusade to save the nation.” Their goal was to organize a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Posing as a prospective KKK initiate, a...
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Invention of the Jeep

A state historical marker erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) serves to remind the world that Butler, located in western Pennsylvania, about thirty-five miles north of Pittsburgh, is the birthplace of the vehicle now universally known as the jeep, built by the American Bantam Car Company. The factory, formerly the American Austin Car Company, which had produced...
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1st Drive-In Filling Station

Pittsburgh’s Mellon family owes much of its fortune to the oil industry. In 1902, William Larimer Mellon Sr. (1868–1949), with the help of his uncles, Andrew William Mellon (1855–1937) and Richard Beatty Mellon (1858–1933), was placed in charge of the J. M. Guffey Petroleum Company, with its rich Spindletop oil fields and a refinery at Port Arthur in Texas.Mellon guided Guffey Petroleum,...
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Innovative African Americans in Pennsylvania History

“Once [I was arrested] for standing in the road to prevent trucks from entering a housing construction site where no Blacks were employed, [and] a second time for leading a demonstration against a slum landlord [by conducting a prayer service in the street].” Those are the words of LeRoy Patrick (1915– 2006), minister, civil rights leader, former member of the Pennsylvania Historical and...
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St. Mary’s Church and Convent

“Scene from typewriting room window. Much enjoyed on hot days during typewriting period (much more so than the typewriters),” wrote Josie Johnson to a Miss M. L. Elliott of Detroit, Michigan, on the front of a postcard dated July 30, 1908. The back of the card indicates that Johnson was a student and Elliott a teacher. The postcard depicts a landmark in St. Marys, Elk County, in...
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