Currents

Moore Is More As early as 1915, acclaimed American poet Marianne Moore (1887-1972) had discovered the artists and writers who were shaping what was coming to be known as the “new art.” Comments contained in her notebooks indicate her early grasp of the significance of the New York Armory Show of 1913, a benchmark in the American Modernist movement. In several lengthy letters to her...
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Currents

Wrecks and Rescues In the early nineteenth century, the shore posed great danger to sailing ships seeking to reach port. The long and lonely approaches to coastal cities, such as Philadelphia, were poorly marked stretches of sand dunes and salt marshes with a few isolated settlements. Unexpected storms with winds blowing from the northeast could suddenly force a ship onto perilous sandbars...
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A Kentucky Frontiersman’s Pennsylvania Roots: The Daniel Boone Homestead

Mere mention of the name Daniel Boone conjures images of an American icon: trailblazer of the Wilderness Road, preeminent Kentucky frontiersman, defender of early settlements, a crack shot with a long rifle. Boone’s real and folkloric exploits are so well-known that his character is often overlooked, as is the fact that his personality took shape during a boyhood not spent in...
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Milwaukee Iron, Pennsylvania Style

What takes two and a half hours to make, costs at least sixteen thousand dollars to purchase, is assembled in a former military and bowling equipment facility in York, Pennsylvania, and bears the nick­name “Milwaukee Iron”? “What” is a motorcycle. More precisely, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Created in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and revered as the quintessential...
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A Centennial of Color for Crayola Crayons!

One day last winter, a crayon-hued, double-decker bus pulled into the heart of Dallas, Texas. For five days, crayon fans climbed on board to draw, color, and sample new products. The event kicked off the Crayola® ARTrageous Adventure tour, a traveling centennial party for the Crayola crayon, manufactured by Pennsylvania-based Binney & Smith, Inc. After a twenty-five­-city cross-country trek,...
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1st Drive-In Filling Station

Pittsburgh’s Mellon family owes much of its fortune to the oil industry. In 1902, William Larimer Mellon Sr. (1868–1949), with the help of his uncles, Andrew William Mellon (1855–1937) and Richard Beatty Mellon (1858–1933), was placed in charge of the J. M. Guffey Petroleum Company, with its rich Spindletop oil fields and a refinery at Port Arthur in Texas.Mellon guided Guffey Petroleum,...
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Mr. Peanut’s Hometown: Wilkes-Barre and the Founding of Planters Peanuts

Few may realize it, but for nearly a half-century, the Luzerne County seat of Wilkes-Barre, in northeastern Pennsylvania, was the peanut capital of the world. Founded in 1906, the Planters Peanut Company operated its national headquarters at 632 South Main Street in an impressive two-story Federal-style building. A handsome balustrade encircled the roof of the elegant concrete edifice and was...
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Bookshelf

Archbishop Patrick John Ryan: His Life and Times: Ireland — St. Louis — Philadelphia, 1831–1911 by Patrick Ryan published by AuthorHouse Press, 2010; 357 pages, paper, $11.60 Upon the death of Patrick John Ryan (1831– 1911), Archbishop of Philadelphia for more than a quarter century, church bells throughout the city solemnly tolled to mark the passing of the remarkable Irish-born prelate. Ryan...
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Heinz – Much More than 57 Varieties

The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago captivated spectators with dazzling sights and sounds. Among the innovators showcasing their celebrated products was a trio of Pittsburghers: George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. (1859-1896), George Westinghouse Jr. (1846-1914), and Henry John Heinz (1844-1919). A bridge engineer, Ferris built his famous wheel-shaped ride, this first one...
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