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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Women in Pennsylvania … The First Two Hundred Years

In the past two hundred years thousands of women have contributed significantly to the social, economic, political and cultural richness of Pennsylvania. An encyclopedia could barely sketch their contributions. Since this article cannot possibly present a complete picture of women’s history in our state, it will survey the changes in women’s roles with brief accounts of a few famous...
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The Sacred and the Secular: Immigrant Values in Pennsylvania History

Since its founding, the history of Pennsylvania has sprung from the successive waves of immigrants who have settled within its boundaries. Colonial Pennsylvania was peopled by English, Scotch-Irish, German, Swe­dish, and Welsh arrivals. Germans continued to come after 1800 but were joined by thousands from Ireland and Wales. With industrial expansion after 1870, Hungarians, Lithu­anians, Poles...
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Blacks and the Labor Movement in Pennsylvania: The Beginnings

I It is important to understand the relationship be­ tween Black and white labor from the time of slavery to the Civil War in order to understand the position of Blacks in the early labor movement. Since the early trade unions were primarily for skilled workers, the elimination of Blacks from the skilled trades helps explain their absence from the unions. In addition, the conflict between white...
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A New Look at the Pennsylvania Continental Soldier

The Bicentennial’s focus on pageantry and commemoration has given us a clear image of what the Pennsyl­vania Continental soldier looked like – at least, at his best. But who was this keen-eyed, square-jawed stalwart, dressed in fringed hunting shirt and leggings, or sporting smart blue regimentals with red facings and gleaming white small-clothes? Where did he come from? What was his...
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Butler County: A Story in Diversity

The story of Butler County is one of many stories. It is the story of an unusual religious commune. Of an engineer whose invention made the Brooklyn Bridge a reality. Of a European baron who con­structed a German castle he named Bassenheim. Of an oil boom town which sprang up­ – and crashed nearly overnight. Of the birthplace of that be­loved American automotive institution, the jeep. Of...
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Steel on the Susquehanna

Endless miles of steel track emerge from the gaping jaws of the roaring rail mill. Oper­ators in the cab above the line manipulate levers, as if pains­takingly choreographed, while red-hot rails shoot off the line, destined for the railroads of the world. What makes this scene unusual, is that it is occurs today. Far from the rusting hulks of the giant steel works of Pittsburgh, the Beth­lehem...
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Concrete City, Garden Village of the Anthracite Region

The dilapidated buildings stand empty and forlorn at the end of a rutted, overgrown dirt road, isolated from their nearest neighbors. Several bear signs of former use: Registration! Ladders! Extinguishers! Others scream with epithets and slogans – some angry, some sophomoric-of faded causes and bygone radical movements. A swastika affronts visitors. Obscenities abound. There is little...
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Bookshelf

Saved for the People of Pennsylvania: Quilts from The State Museum of Pennsylvania by Lucinda Reddington Cawley, Lorraine DeAngelis Ezbiansky, and Denise Rocheleau Nordberg Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1997 ($14.95, paper, 67 pages) Since its founding in 1905, The State Museum of Pennsylvania has collected nearly two million artifacts and objects which docu­ment and interpret...
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Massacre at Lattimer, An American Rite of Passage: An Interview with Michael Novak

Why do so many kids from Pennsylvania make great quarterbacks?” Michael Novak, writer, teacher, theologian, and social philosopher leaned forward as he posed the question and then offered an answer. “Because they’re hard realists. You’re down by fourteen points with seven minutes to play. So, what’s new? That’s the way life has always been in this part of the...
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