Preserving Pieces of Pennsylvania’s Past: An Inside Look at the Building of the Commonwealth’s Collections

Associations between butterflies and buttons, Conestoga wagons and cannon, sculpture and arrowheads, or fossils and founder William Penn’s original Charter may seem tenuous, even obscure and, perhaps, nonsensical. But a relationship does exist: they are among the one and a half million objects and thirty thousand cubic feet of manuscripts, records, maps and photographs in the custody and...
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Grave Sites, Petroglyphs, and Relics: The Turn of the Century Archaeology of David Herr Landis

Thousands of years ago, travelers from northeastern Asia­ – ancestors of Native Americans – followed the animals they hunted into what had once been inaccessible regions of Alaska. Over the newly-formed land bridge at the Bering Strait they came, eventually spreading across the North American continent, including the territory that became Pennsylvania. In the Commonwealth, as...
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Presence from the Past: A Gift to the Future Through Historic Preservation

The United States is a nation and a people on the move. It is in an era of mobility and change … The result is a feeling of rootlessness combined with a longing for those land­marks of the past which give us a sense of stability and belonging … If the preservation movement is to be successful, it must go beyond saving bricks and mortar. It must go beyond saving occasional historic...
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Advanced Technology “Rubs” the Ancient Past

With more than 400,000 visitors, the Pennsylvania Farm Show, held each January, is a terrific opportunity to highlight the best of Pennsylvania agriculture. It’s also an exciting venue to showcase Pennsylvania archaeology and remind the public that archaeological sites are important endangered resources that need protection. Since 1980, PHMC’s Bureau for Historic Preservation and The...
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Safe Harbor Iron Works Map, 1875

This section of an 1875 map contained in the Map Collection (Manuscript Group 11, Second Geological Survey, Map # 180–40) at the Pennsylvania State Archives depicts the site of the Safe Harbor Iron Works in Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, where the three-inch Ordnance Rifle designed by John Griffen (but commonly called a Griffin Gun) was first manufactured and tested in 1855. This wrought...
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PRR GG1 No. 4935 at Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company (PRR) developed the GG1 class locomotive as part of a system-wide electrification of its main lines in the early 1930s. The PRR’s electrification program was intended to reduce pollution from coal burning steam engines in urban areas and to increase the energy efficiency of the system by powering locomotives with electricity generated by modern power...
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