KDKA, Pittsburgh

For those of us living in the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a world without radio, television and the internet. The free flow of information, music and entertainment programming across the country and the world is taken for granted in modern society but was a revolutionary development 100 years ago, when KDKA made communications history with a radio broadcast from Pittsburgh in 1920. The...
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Sure to Attract Much Attention: The Advertising Genius of Milton S. Hershey

Milton S. Hershey, the man behind the chocolate bar, was an innovative and resourceful manufacturer who used a variety of traditional as well as unconventional strategies to both advertise and attract attention to his products. He was born in Derry Township, Dauphin County, on September 13, 1857. After spending the first eight years of his life in Dauphin County, he lived 10 years in Lancaster...
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The Women’s March to Perry Square in Erie

The tranquil view of Perry Square on this circa 1915 postcard belies the flurry of activity that occurred here on July 8, 1913, when one of the earliest women’s suffrage marches in Pennsylvania took place. On that day hundreds of supporters answered the call of Erie suffragist Augusta Fleming, president of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Equal Franchise Association, to march for women’s rights...
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The Kinzua Bridge

Once the highest and longest viaduct in the world, the Kinzua Bridge in McKean County was built in 1882 for the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad. Designed to carry heavy railroad cars filled with coal, lumber and oil across the deep Kinzua Creek gorge, the bridge was created from more than 3 million pounds of wrought iron by the Phoenix Bridge Co., a subsidiary of the Phoenix Iron Co....
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Romani in Pennsylvania

This fascinating early 20th-century postcard of a scene from Williamsport, Lycoming County, provides a view of life in Pennsylvania that is seldom represented in formal historic records or in preservation efforts. Cultures that exist outside the mainstream and especially those not linked to specific places pose a special challenge to historians. The word “Gypsy,” which appears on...
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Training at Indiantown Gap

  At age 19, Waldo Preston Breeden Jr. sent a postcard to his father in Pittsburgh describing his seemingly pleasant experiences at Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County, in July 1938. He “found apples and berries on the range,” “shot the 37 mm. guns” (a common caliber of antitank gun at the time) and mentioned that he had a special ranking and higher pay because of his ability to drive. The...
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Shankweiler’s Hotel and Restaurant

  Shankweiler’s Hotel and Restaurant operated on Old U.S. 22 in the village of Fogelsville, Lehigh County, just west of Allentown. As this c. 1940 postcard notes, the restaurant was well known for its delicious chicken and waffles, a meal that reflects the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage of the area. This local landmark opened in June 1934 under the management of Wilson and Daisy Shankweiler,...
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Anthracite Mining and the Slavic Immigration

Those unfamiliar with Pennsylvania’s ethnic geography might be surprised to see a 1918 postcard penned in Russian like this one sent from Hazleton, Luzerne County, which translates as, “Tomorrow we are moving to a different place. Here is the address…. Greetings and kisses.” Following earlier immigration waves of primarily Northern and Western Europeans, the United States experienced an...
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Westminster College

  Founded in 1852, Westminster College in New Wilmington, Lawrence County, is one of the oldest coed colleges in the country. Its original academic quadrangle is made up of buildings dating from 1893 to 1952. Other well-preserved historic buildings remain on campus as well, most notably the 1884 Thompson House, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the nearby 1885 Hillside...
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Holtwood Dam

  In October 1905 McCall’s Ferry Power Co. began construction in Martic Township, Lancaster County, on what would be the second of four hydroelectric dams built to harness the power of the Susquehanna River below Harrisburg, Dauphin County. Twenty miles from the tidewater of the Chesapeake Bay, it was then the third longest dam in the world, built of solid concrete, 55 feet high. The...
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