Stability and Change: Culture During Three Periods

“Religion, … the best bond of human society, provided man did not err in the meaning of that excellent word.” – William Penn   Culture, broadly de­fined, is the way of life of a group of people; it includes all their behavioral patterns, beliefs and ar­tistic expressions. Culture is not static; it varies over time and place. Culture does not arise in a vacuum; it...
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Delaware County: Where Pennsylvania Began

Delaware County is part of the densely populated belt around Philadelphia, stretching from the city’s western boundary to the circular Delaware state line. Covering approx­imately 185 square miles, it is the third smallest Pennsylvania county yet the fourth largest in population. Its southern boundary is formed by the Delaware River, from which the county takes its name. The site of early...
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Clinton County: Still Part of Penn’s Woods

Clinton County, one of the sixth-class counties of Pennsyl­vania, occupies 900 square miles of river valley and mountain land near the geographical center of the state. Nearly two-thirds of the area re­mains forested, al though most of the trees are second growth after a near denuding of the land by a booming lumber industry in the second half of the last century. It was in the wood­lands of...
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The Erie Warner: From Movie Palace to Movie House to Civic Center

Once upon a time, brightly lit marquees of movie palaces of Pennsylvania’s streets dazzled the eyes of pleasure seekers. Today, the genre, described as possibly “the most dis­tinctly American contribution to archi­tectural history,” is all but extinct. And when a survivor is found, as on Erie’s State Street, the structure is a reminder of the gaudy and the phony, the...
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Eagles Mere: Of Cottages and Kings

No longer defending their fortifications from hostile Indi­ans nor protecting their territory from grasping foreign governments, late nineteenth century Americans – encouraged by the prosperity of the rampant Industrial Revolution, as well as improved transportation systems – were able to indulge in but one of the many advan­tages of peacetime prosperity: the pursuit of pleasure. And...
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Pennsylvania’s First Television Station: “Loving What We Were Doing”

No champagne corks popped at Philadel­phia’s old Philco plant on October 17, 1941, to celebrate. The achievement failed to rate even a few lines in local newspapers as reports of the increasingly grim drama unfolding in Eu­rope took chilling precedence. Like so many of the seemingly minor events that herald major changes in our way of living, America’s first commercial network...
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Ben Solowey: The Thing Speaks for Itself

In a career that spanned more than six decades, Ben Solowey (1900-1978), painted, sculpted and created exactly as he wanted. He paid no attention to what was fashionable or lucrative at the moment, cultivated no distinguished patrons, sought little publicity and asked for no exhibitions; unsolicited, the work nevertheless came to him. Although he gained renown for his portraits of the American...
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“Dapper Dan” Flood, Pennsylvania’s Legendary Congressman

During the early morning hours of Friday, June 23, 1972, U. S. Representative Daniel J. Flood sat work­ing in his Washington apartment when news of the devastation in his congressional district in northeast­ern Pennsylvania reached him. Rains of tropical storm Agnes had caused the Susquehanna River to rise forty feet. Water was pouring over the dikes protecting the twenty-two communities...
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Unconventional Patriot: An Interview with Ann Hawkes Hutton

Shadyside, the Bucks County home of Ann Hawkes Hutton, sets the perfect stage for an animated conversation with one of the country’s foremost promoters of patriotism and historic preservation. With its views of the picturesque Delaware River, its collection of fine furnishings, and its hundreds of books, photographs, and documents chronicling American history, Shadyside embodies what many...
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Keystone Born, Hollywood Bred: “Movie Buff” David Mallery Reviews the Acting Careers of James Stewart and Grace Kelly

There is magic in the movies. They draw viewers away – even if but for a few hours – from mere ordinary, everyday life to see their own experience and the experience of others in a detached but powerful way. Some induce laughter, others bring tears. But audiences seem grateful for the opportunity to know the richness, the complex­ity, and the irony of events without their having to...
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