Trailheads

Autumn is a wonderful time on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Many travelers combine a visit to one of PHMC’s historic sites and museums with a leisurely drive along Pennsylvania’s scenic highways to view the beautiful fall foliage. The days grow shorter, but there are still plenty of activities at our sites and museums as summer gives way to fall and early winter.   Celebrating the...
read more

Stockings, Cap Braids and Bomber Turrets: Wyomissing Industries Mobilizes for World War II

  “Textile Machine Works suspends production of knitting machines for the duration.” – The Yarn Carrier, October 1942 The Textile Machine Works was one of a handful of companies with common ownership that became known as Wyomissing Industries, located just west of Reading in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The 13,430th and last knitting machine, a “Reading” model, was the embodiment of 40 years...
read more

Miniature Lord’s Prayer

Why would a calligrapher print the words to the Lord’s Prayer on a 1-inch-square piece of paper in letters so small that one would need a magnifying glass to read it? Even more puzzling: Why would someone fold such a small document to a quarter of its actual size? The answers may have more to do with the spiritual beliefs of some German-speaking Pennsylvanians in the 18th century rather than any...
read more

Artful Trails

In honor of the 50th Art of the State exhibition, open through September 10, 2017, at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, we’re exploring art at other historic sites and museums along PHMC’s Pennsylvania Trails of History. As visual storytellers, our sites employ a multidisciplinary approach to documenting and sharing Pennsylvania heritage. Artworks frequently play a role in the study...
read more

Keep the Boys in College! How World War I Produced a Penn State Football Legend

Pennsylvanians who remember Glenn Killinger (1898–1988) often envision the legendary coach of West Chester State Teachers’ College football and baseball teams during the decades that spanned 1933 to 1970. His name often comes up in conversations about Paul “Bear” Bryant as one of the two unbending football minds who led the North Carolina Pre-Flight Cloudbusters to one of the...
read more

Keystone Flagship: USS Pennsylvania Leading the Navy through Two World Wars

“Air raid on Pearl Harbor. This is not drill.” The message went out from the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Its brevity belied the gravity of the event it reported. The White House released the information shortly before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and many people learned the news throughout the afternoon as radio programs were...
read more

Pennsylvania Dutch by Mark L. Louden

Pennsylvania Dutch: The Story of an American Language by Mark L. Louden Johns Hopkins University Press, 504 pp., cloth $59.95 The controversy over the origins, identity and persistence of one of America’s most misunderstood minority languages has been positively settled by Louden’s unparalleled presentation of Pennsylvania Dutch, for which even the proper name has been the subject of...
read more

Historian of Pennsylvania Exceptionalism: Samuel W. Pennypacker

Reflecting on “the play of forces” that propelled him to Pennsylvania’s governor’s office in 1903, Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker (1843–1916) confidently declared, “there is no such thing as an accident” (a notion popularized by Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis). This was not to say chance plays no part in history because he pronounced with equal certitude: “To every man certain...
read more

Shorts

The descendants of natural­ist John Bartram and members of the John Bartram Associa­tion will celebrate the centennials of the association and the family reunion during the weekend of June 25-27 [1993]. The event will feature tours of Historic Bartram’s Garden, speakers, bus tours, and a gala picnic on the grounds to commemorate the family’s first reunion in 1893. To obtain...
read more

Letters to the Editor

Filled the Bill I appreciated the article entitled “Against All Odds: Chevalier Jackson, Physician and Painter” in the summer 1992 edition. Following a double mastoid ear operation at the age of seven, I moved with my family to Philadelphia in 1924, and my mother and I commuted at least weekly for ear treatments from Dr. Arthur J. Wagers, a friend and colleague of Dr. Jackson. It was...
read more