The Giant That Stumbled: Baldwin Locomotive Works Dominated Its Field for a Century, Then Vanished

How could a Philadelphia-based global giant with 20,000 employees and a history of 120 years of operation disappear, leaving little trace? It happened to the Baldwin Locomotive Works (BLW), which perfected the art and science of building steam locomotives for domestic and worldwide markets. Baldwin was so dominant that in 1901, eight smaller builders that were scattered around the East banded...
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Clearfield County: Land of Natural Resources

Clearfield County, believed named for the cleared fields found by early settlers in the area, belies its name; 83 percent of the county’s 1,143.5 square miles is still forested today. Its present timber, however, is second and third growth. Although its forest lands support some lumbering, the county’s economic life depends mostly upon coal and clay in­dustries and the manufacture of...
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Susquehanna County: A Touch of New England, 1869-1927

Susquehanna County, one of several counties formed from territory originally claimed by both Connecticut and Pennsylvania, reflects a blend of New England and Pennsylvania traditions. Although the land would remain part of Pennsylvania, the majority of pioneer settlers to this northern tier region were actually from Connecticut and other New England states. It was not until 1787, however, that...
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The World Petroleum Industry: It All Started in Pennsylvania

The modern petroleum industry is a vast and complex association of multinational corpora­tions, producing countries, consumers and other inter­acting elements. The petroleum milieu is often identified and equated with the largest oil companies, “the seven sis­ters”: Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, Gulf, British Petroleum, Mobil, Standard of California, and Texaco. As if to empha­size the...
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McKean County: Where the Gold is Green

The great gold and silver rushes of the late nineteenth century to places such as the Black Hills, Colorado, Arizona, California and Alaska have long been hailed in story and song for their excite­ment, riches and heartbreak. But, the rush for “green gold” to McKean County during the same century was equally or more exciting. First, there were the forests – immense forests of...
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Wayne County: A History Deep and Clear

The Land of Lakes, it might best be called. Its sweeping verdant valleys and velvety golden meadows harbor dozens of picturesque settlements – and more than a hundred natural and artificial lakes. Its resorts teem with summer colonists – primarily expatriate New Yorkers escap­ing the stifling heat of Manhat­tan in August – and recall a less frenzied era when there seemed to be...
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Potter County: At the Edge of the Forest

Potter, one of the Com­monwealth’s larger counties in size, but one of the smaller in population, is located in the center of what is popularly called the northern tier. Its location on a highly dissected plateau with narrow, steep­-sided valleys made travel diffi­cult and settlement hesitant. Even today with modern tech­nology, the pace of life is slower than in Pennsylvania’s more...
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Pike County: A Peak of Natural Perfection

“I went through a constant succession of scenery that would have been famous had it existed anywhere in Europe.” – Washington Irving   Shaped roughly like a diamond, Pike County is situated in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, bordering the Delaware River on the cast across from the states of New York and New Jersey. The northwestern side of the diamond lies in Lake...
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Jefferson County: Of Wilderness Tamed

Jefferson County. Its hallmarks are as disparate as Thomas Jef­ferson and Punxsutawney Phil. Village names as dissimilar as Panic and Desire. Inhabitants as distinctive as Indian chief Cornplanter and Moravian missionary John Heckewelder. And a tranquil­ity which masks the turbu­lence of the nineteenth century’s lumber boom that spawned settlement and nu­merous ancillary industries....
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The Legend of Jay Gould

He was the quintessential nineteenth century Robber Baron. One writer called him “The Mephistopheles of Wall Street.” A newspaper editor branded him “one of the most sinister figures that have ever flitted bat-like across the vision of the American people.” He even proclaimed himself “The Most Hated Man in America.” And even though his notoriety stemmed...
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