Life on the Lehigh Canal: An Interview with Richard Arner

Sitting astride his horse, Josiah White peered intently into the Lehigh River, hoping to foresee the future in its swirling, icy waters. It was the winter of 1817. White, a Philadelphia merchant and iron worker with a genius for invention, with his partner Erskine Hazard, had recently solved the riddle of how to successfully burn anthracite in an iron furnace. Although their answer – which...
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Bookshelf

Historic Houses of Philadelphia by Roger W. Moss University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998 (256 pages, cloth,$34.95) Sumptuous, a word frequently used by restaurant reviewers and critics of haute cuisine, aptly describes Historic Houses of Philadelphia, the latest fare by Roger W. Moss, known widely for his books on Victorian era architecture and ornamentation. Fifty historic houses, mansions, and...
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“Your Future Depends on Yourself”: Asa Packer as the Self-Made Man

Nineteenth-century literature abounds with stories of men who rose from humble circumstances to great wealth by virtue of their own diligence, perseverance, and courage. Several of the most famous such works, novels written by Horatio Alger Jr. (1832-1899), became best-sellers because the American public relished his stories about plucky boys achieving their goals against all odds. In his first...
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Letters to the Editor

Loved Lizzie! I just loved your article on Lizzie Stride [“A Champion for All Seasons” by Barbara Gregorich, Summer 1998]! I see Pennsylva­nia Heritage only occasionally (when I return home to visit family in Pennsylva­nia) but each time I do, I’m extremely impressed. The photographs in this article were great. It made one feel – as Walter Cronkite used to say on...
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Currents

Parrish Frederick Parrish (1870-1962) – who later adopted the family name Maxfield as a middle and then professional name – was born into Philadelphia’s Quaker community and reared in a culturally privileged environment. From his father Stephen, an acclaimed etcher and landscape painter, he inherited his talent for natural observation and an understanding of the business of...
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Lost and Found

Lost For their country estates, many affluent Americans favored the Italianate style, which became es­pecially popular for suburban mansions by the mid-nineteenth century. Noted Philadelphia architect John Notman (1810-1865) designed Alverthorpe in Abington Township, Montgomery County, for Joshua Francis Fisher. One of the most distinctive features of the mansion, erected in 1850, was its...
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Electric Candelabrum by Gorham and Company

For the first time in ninety years, silver table items belonging to the family of industrialist Asa Packer (1805-1879) have been shown to the public. Stored since 1912 in vaults in the family’s mansion in the Carbon County seat of Jim Thorpe, the silver collection, totaling three hundred and thirty-six pieces made or retailed by leading firms of the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
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Martin Ritt Takes on The Molly Maguires

Far from the glitter and glamour of Hollywood, in a remote mountain range of Pennsylvania, the film industry’s best and brightest gathered in the late 1960s to make a film that has been described as a dismal financial failure and, ironically, an extraordinary critical suc­cess. Before cameras whirred in and around the communities of Hazleton, Luzerne County, Jim Thorpe, Carbon County,...
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Life on Wheels: Camping in Pennsylvania

Does father crave to fish for trout and bass and pike and musky? Take him auto-touring. Does sister want to dip in the surf, or study art, or see the world? Toke her automobile vacationing. Has grand-dad the “hoof and mouth disease” so that he craves the green of far-away courses? Auto-comp him to a dozen golf courses. Does mother sigh for a rest from doily routines? Take her...
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Following in the Footsteps of Isaac Lea’s Historic Footprints

Scientists today undertake research in a single scientific field, usually within a narrow sub-discipline. For instance, modern scientists who call themselves geologists are actually specialists in subfields of geology, such as volcanology, the study of volcanoes and volcanic activity, and paleontology, the study of fossils and forms of life existing in prehistoric or geologic times. However, in...
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