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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Sewn in Coal Country, edited by Robert P. Wolensky

Sewn in Coal Country An Oral History of the Ladies’ Garment Industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1945-1995 edited by Robert P. Wolensky Pennsylvania State University Press, 416 pp., hardcover $99.95, paperback $39.95 This edited collection of oral histories provides an important ground-level perspective on the story of the ladies’ garment industry in northeastern Pennsylvania and the role...
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Soldiers of Production: Berwick’s Honey Tanks Contribute to the Allied Victory in World War II

  One hundred years before Adolf Hitler’s troops invaded Poland, Mordecai William Jackson and George Mack established a foundry in Berwick, in Pennsylvania’s Columbia County, to manufacture farm implements. From these humble beginnings grew a larger company that by the turn of the century joined 12 railroad equipment-manufacturing firms (in six other states) and became the American Car...
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Remembering Lattimer by Paul A. Shackel

Remembering Lattimer Labor, Migration, and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country by Paul A. Shackel University of Illinois Press, 176 pp., paper $28 Amid significant industrial growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the United States actively pursued workers outside the country. From the 1850s to the 1920s people from across the world flooded American industrial areas, redefining...
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Pennsylvania Farming by Sally McMurry

Pennsylvania Farming A History in Landscapes by Sally McMurry University of Pittsburgh Press, 472 pp., cloth $49.95 For generations, most Pennsylvanians were farmers. Today, farmers are only a small percentage of the population, yet the enduring pastoral and historic character of the state’s rural landscape is a source of local pride and fosters tourism in many areas. With engaging prose and an...
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History, Retail: Pennsylvania Historical Marker Dedications

Of all the duties PHMC commissioners perform, the one I enjoy most is representing the commonwealth at Pennsylvania Historical Marker dedications. Sometimes there’s music. Often there’s food. Always there are speeches, which is the best part of all. There’s always something surprising to learn about Pennsylvania’s past. The first marker dedication I attended was with PHMC Commissioner Ophelia...
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Northampton County: From Frontier Farms to Urban Industries – and Beyond

Sweeping across southcentral Pennsyl­vania lies the Great Valley and nestled in its northeastern corner is mod­ern Northampton County. Bordered on the east by the Delaware River, on the south by South Mountain and the piedmont, and on the west by the valley of the Lehigh River, the three hundred and seventy-two square mile re­gion is one of gently rolling hills and wooded valleys, with...
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Armstrong County

Editor’s Note: With this article, this magazine begins a series to highlight historical events and persons within various counties. Focus will also be directed at the counties’ historical societies.   Kittanning, the seat of Armstrong County, is the oldest identified Indian town in Western Pennsylvania. While the state is planning celebrations to commemorate the Revolutionary...
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A Salute to the Bicentennial of the Keystone State

The current Bicentennial celebration commemorates not the birth of the United States, but the proclama­tion of thirteen British-American colonies that were “free and independent states” as of July 4, 17.76. When they formed a loose compact in 1761, their articles of confederation declared that “each state retains its sover­eignty, freedom and independence.” The...
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The Depression Strikes Indiana County

The Great Depression of 1929-32 without question was one of the watershed periods in American history. Joseph Alex Morris once wrote that “people later would speak of ‘before 1929’ or ‘after 1929’ as Noah’s children may have spoken of the days before and after ‘The Flood.'” The personal deprivation and social upheaval of those times sent shock...
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