Butter v. Margarine

Butter and margarine have been at war since the latter was invented in France in 1869. Made from beef tallow, “oleomargarine,” as it was originally called, arrived in the United States in the 1870s. It was marketed as a cheaper and less perishable alternative to butter. This threat to butter sales led many American dairy farmers to wage campaigns against the new product in legislatures and...
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History Cast in Iron: Rediscovering Keystone Markers

From Airville to Blooming Valley, from Camptown to Dornsife, and all the way to Wysox, York Haven and Zion View, Pennsylvania literally claims unusual – as well as unique – place names from A to Z. Most of the Commonwealth’s cities, towns and villages were once marked with cast iron name signs, painted in the rich blue and gold colors associated with Pennsylvania. Manufactured in an...
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John O’Hara: The Child Becomes the Man

He had dreams,as do all boys. At the age of twelve, he was “looking forward to the day when, like Clint Shaefer, he would own his own Mercer; when, like Al Cullum, he would be on his way to Yale; when, like Bill Ulmer, he would know the 16th Arrondissement better than the third ward.” They were Pottsville fellows, Shaefer, Cullum, and Ulmer – and so was the boy. He was John...
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Mailbox

On March 18, 1811, Gov. Simon Snyder approved an act of the legislature for the creation of Schuylkill County from parts of Northampton and Berks counties. A map of Pennsylvania by John Melish, dated 1822, shows a “Kaups Creek,” a tributary of the Little Schuylkill River, to the east of Orwigsburg (which served as the county seat until 1851). Information regarding this creek is...
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Scooping the Editor: Inside Pennsylvania Heritage, An Interview with Michael J. O’Malley III

For fifteen of its twenty-five years, Pennsylvania Heritage has been edited by Michael J. O’Malley III. It is a task he clearly embraces with enthusiasm – and wonder. “It’s a learning experience each and every day,” he says, “and there’s not a moment in which I don’t learn some­thing. To be able to satisfy one’s curiosity and to learn more...
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Spalding Memorial Library – Tioga Point Museum

The Spalding Memorial Library-Tioga Point Mu­seum, in Athens, Bradford County, is an important civic building designed by architect Albert Hamilton Kipp (1850-1906) in the Colonial Revival and Classical Revival styles. Kipp studied with James Renwick, architect of New York’s Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Smithsonian Institution’s “Castle” in Washington, D.C....
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Lost and Found

Lost Shamokin, Northumberland County, native William H. Lee (1884-1971) was well known as an architect of theaters and academic buildings, designing more than two hundred movie theaters, including the Victoria Theatre in his hometown. Opened in 1918, Shamokin’s Victoria Theatre – known affectionately by generations of residents as “the Vickie” – was commissioned by...
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Giving a New Shine to an Old Boot and Shoe Factory

Named for Tahkamochk (or Tam-a-kwah), a Tuscarora Indian chief of the Turkey Clan, Tamaqua, in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill County, was known as the “the land where the beaver dwells in the water” and “the valley among four mountains.” It began as an anthracite (hard coal) mining town with related manufacturing interests. Tamaqua’s first settler, Burkhart Moser, is credited with...
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Saving Documents Today for Future Generations

For three years, from 2008 through part of 2011, the archival staff of the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), has been involved in an initiative to improve the management of the Commonwealth’s historical records maintained by its sixty-seven county governments. Known as the Itinerant Archivist Project, the program...
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