The Giant That Stumbled: Baldwin Locomotive Works Dominated Its Field for a Century, Then Vanished

How could a Philadelphia-based global giant with 20,000 employees and a history of 120 years of operation disappear, leaving little trace? It happened to the Baldwin Locomotive Works (BLW), which perfected the art and science of building steam locomotives for domestic and worldwide markets. Baldwin was so dominant that in 1901, eight smaller builders that were scattered around the East banded...
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Editor’s Letter

History is revisited and revised not only because newly found or overlooked evidence is uncovered through the years but also because distance in time and transformations in society often call for a fresh outlook to provide context and meaning for readers today. The features in this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage are written by experts who have been involved in extensive research in their...
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Gallantly Saving Railroad History: The Adventures of George M. Hart, Founding Director of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Four months before his retirement in 1983 as founding director of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, George Michener Hart (1919–2008) received high praise as the state’s premier railroad historian from the Smithsonian Institution’s curator of transportation, John H. White Jr. Addressed to Hart’s boss, Peter C. Welsh, director of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s Bureau of...
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Trails to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania opened to the public in 1975 across Route 741 from the Strasburg Rail Road in Strasburg, Lancaster County. The excursion railway’s popularity as well as Lancaster County’s significance as a tourist destination contributed to the selection of Strasburg over Altoona, which was also  in consideration. The museum, renowned for being the first purpose-built...
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The Lindbergh Engine: Racing through Time with Pennsylvania Railroad Locomotive No. 460

Sometimes an artifact can convey tremendous information simply by its presence. That is certainly the case with Pennsylvania Railroad Locomotive No. 460, housed at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, Lancaster County. Even without a label to read or any other type of interpretation to take in, a visitor will instantly comprehend the power the 243,000-pound steam locomotive is...
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Potter County: At the Edge of the Forest

Potter, one of the Com­monwealth’s larger counties in size, but one of the smaller in population, is located in the center of what is popularly called the northern tier. Its location on a highly dissected plateau with narrow, steep­-sided valleys made travel diffi­cult and settlement hesitant. Even today with modern tech­nology, the pace of life is slower than in Pennsylvania’s more...
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A Salute to the Bicentennial of the Keystone State

The current Bicentennial celebration commemorates not the birth of the United States, but the proclama­tion of thirteen British-American colonies that were “free and independent states” as of July 4, 17.76. When they formed a loose compact in 1761, their articles of confederation declared that “each state retains its sover­eignty, freedom and independence.” The...
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Remembering the Steam Days

1953 brought on a lot of changes for the Monongahela Railway Company, a small but busy coal-hauling railroad in southwestern Pennsylvania, which operated from South Brownsville, Fayette County, to Fairmont, West Virginia, a distance of about seventy-three miles. Twenty-seven brand new Baldwin diesel electric road­-switching locomotives arrived at the South Brownsville shops in 1953. They...
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The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Preserves an Industrial History

In the heart of Pennsylvania’s northern tier forests, between Galeton and Coudersport, in Potter County, is one of the most unusual interpretive centers that preserves the heritage of an era during which the Com­monwealth led the world in the production of lumber. Situated on one hundred and sixty acres, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum chronicles the days when white pines and hemlock trees...
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