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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Almost on the Right Track: The Densmore Tank Car

The successful drilling for petroleum in northwestern Pennsyl­vania exploded a speculative excitement on a national level not seen since the California Gold Rush a decade earlier. “Colonel” Edwin L. Drake’s modest well at Titusville stirred an oil fever that attracted shrewd fortune seekers, sharp traders and adventurers from all areas of the country. They began to assemble not...
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Bryn Athyn Cathedral: Where Man May Forget the World

Bryn Athyn Cathedral, tucked well back from Second Street Pike in Montgomery County, is not immediately visible to the passerby. One is intro­duced to the finely chiseled spires, granite towers and sparkling glass in rapid, stop­-frame glimpses through a dense stand of trees. As the full view unfolds, one is at once compelled by the loom­ing one hundred and fifty foot central tower and beckoned...
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Pennsylvania Woman as Journalist: The Ida Tarbell Nobody Knew

In the summer of 1905, as Ida M. Tarbell’s muckraking History of the Standard Oil Company had completed its long serial run in McClure’s Magazine and been published as a book, Miss Tarbell received an envelope addressed to: Miss Ida M. Tarbell Rockefeller Station Hades Inside was a caustic letter from a reader who was furious with her attack on Standard Oil, but since such...
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Berks County: Diamond of the Schuylkill Valley

Since 1811, when Schuylkill County was created to include part of what had been northern Berks County, Berks has been distinguishable by its diamond shape. It approxi­mates a geometric diamond or lozenge – an equilateral paral­lelogram without right angles. Its history also seems diamond-like, as it has com­bined a very hard, cutting, and persistently pragmatic charac­teristic with a...
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That Magnificent Fight for Unionism: The Somerset County Strike of 1922

During 1920 and 1921, western Pennsylvania’s coal mine operators campaigned vigorously to slash wages of the miners they employed. Because demand for coal declined after World War One the operators were forced to reduce production, resulting in stack, or in some cases, the complete shutdown of operations. Many miners drifted to factory jobs in nearby cities, or simply clung to hope -and...
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Bookshelf

Guide to Photo­graphs at the Pennsylvania State Archives by Linda A. Ries Pennsylvania Histori­cal and Museum Commission, 1993 (229 pages, paper, $6.95) Although the Pennsylvania State Archives safeguards mostly documentary materi­als – such as the private and personal papers of individuals, governmental records, maps, military records, industrial reports, and similar archival items...
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Bookshelf

Illustrating an Anthracite Era: The Photographic Legacy of John Horgan Jr. by Gwendoline E. Percival and Chester J. Kulesa Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces Associates, 1995 (73 pages, paper, $9.95) Exemplifying the breadth and depth of more than twenty thousand images made by a single photographer of the anthracite region, the...
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Letters to the Editor

Flight Right A friend has passed along a copy of the Summer 2001 issue of your excellent magazine. It is thus a little late to be commenting on the article by Neal Carl­son [“Taking Flight! Pittsburgh’s Gate­way to the Skies”] on Pennsylvania Central Airlines, which became Capital Air­lines in 1948. I write as one who has researched and written about that airline in several...
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Bookshelf

Carnegie By Peter Krass John Wiley and Company, Inc., 2002 (612 pages, cloth $35.00) The name Carnegie, like several others of its day – Westing­house, Morgan, Ford, Rockefeller, Winchester, Chrysler, Du Pont, Edison, Hershey – stands apart, apparently requiring lit­tle, if any, introduction. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) stands next to J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller as one of the...
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