Israel and Samuel Lupfer Tannery Site and House

During the nineteenth century, tanning was an essential component of Pennsylva­nia’s industrial economy. Prior to the out­break of the Civil War, tanneries in the Keystone State’s rural areas were as ubiquitous as gristmills; in 1860, for example, more than one thousand tanneries were in operation and all but one county had at least one. These tanneries ranged in size from a...
read more

The Forgotten Revolution: Women and Telegraphy in Pennsylvania

Today, few would even begin to doubt that society is in the midst of a global telecommunications revolution, brought about by the introduction of new technologies such as the Internet and wireless communications. This revolution, however, has deep historical roots, dating to the 1840s with the building of the world’s first wired network of digital communication – the telegraph...
read more

“In Immortal Splendor”: Wilkes-Barre’s Fugitive Slave Case of 1853

On Saturday morning, September 3, 1853, U.S. Federal Marshal George Wynkoop of Philadelphia and two deputies, John Jenkins and James Crossen, sat down to breakfast in the dining room of the Phoenix Hotel on River Street in the Luzerne County seat of Wilkes-Barre. At the far end of the room was a handsome, powerfully built mulatto named Bill (or, according to various newspaper accounts, known as...
read more

Harnessing the Power of the Wind: A Contemporary Use for a Historic Energy Source

Much like the oil farms of the last century were for drillers and riggers, Pennsylvania’s wind farms are proving grounds for engineers and technicians as they harness wind power. The long-standing use of wind power that for centuries propelled sailing vessels has been transformed throughout the world to produce electricity. Farmers used wind power in the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
read more

Marking Pennsylvania’s African American History

Charged with collecting, preserving, and interpreting more than three centuries of the Keystone State’s history and culture — as well as millions of years of its prehistory — the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has launched a number of widely acclaimed, innovative, and popular public history programs over the years. One of its most popular is the state historical marker...
read more

The Mills Brothers Trace Roots to Bellefonte

Most musicologists agree: The internationally renowned Mills Brothers was the greatest vocal group of the twentieth century, a conclusion supported by mounds of evidence and unprecedented “firsts” in the world of entertainment. These family singers were the pacesetters, style blazers, and patternmakers in their field, and the first African American performing artists to attract a...
read more