Sewn in Coal Country, edited by Robert P. Wolensky

Sewn in Coal Country An Oral History of the Ladies’ Garment Industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1945-1995 edited by Robert P. Wolensky Pennsylvania State University Press, 416 pp., hardcover $99.95, paperback $39.95 This edited collection of oral histories provides an important ground-level perspective on the story of the ladies’ garment industry in northeastern Pennsylvania and the role...
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Remembering Lattimer by Paul A. Shackel

Remembering Lattimer Labor, Migration, and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country by Paul A. Shackel University of Illinois Press, 176 pp., paper $28 Amid significant industrial growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the United States actively pursued workers outside the country. From the 1850s to the 1920s people from across the world flooded American industrial areas, redefining...
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The Early Years of Reading Socialism

Socialist candidates were often elected to local public office in the early twentieth century. and it was not unusual for members of the party to serve as mayors and councilmen in some towns and cities. In I 912, it was estimated that approximately 1,200 Socialists held offices across the country. Though many held very minor posts, Socialists often believed that their movement would continue to...
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“Little Doc”: Architect Of Modern Nursing

Lavinia Lloyd Dock (1858-1956) labored long and hard as educator, settlement worker, historian, author, editor, columnist, pacifist and radical suffragist. Beyond this, she strove to internationalize the public health movement while continually elevating the status of women. But her contributions to the field of nursing­ – which helped transform what was then a despised trade into a...
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Dauphin County: Chocolates, Coal, and a Capital

Dauphin County celebrates its two hundredth anniver­sary this year. The events and themes that are the history of the county reflect the experience of Pennsylvania and the United States. Dauphin County has never been a homogeneous commu­nity; indeed, it is difficult to consider it as a single commu­nity. From the beginning it has comprised individuals of diverse ethnic, national and religious...
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Schuylkill County: Built on Coal

The history of Schuylkill County is inextricably bound to the story – and drama – of the great anthracite industry in the United States. Despite nearly two centuries of active mining, the county’s 783 square miles still boast the largest accessible reserves of hard coal known in the world. Its lives and lifestyles have been quasi-fictionalized by two of the county’s best...
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Cambria County: Coming Full Circle

Located in the highlands of west­-central Pennsylvania and amidst forbidding mountains – the Allegheny escarpment and the Laurel Ridge standing sentinel on its eastern and western borders­ – the territory that would become Cambria County was not easily accessible to early Pennsylvanians. Migrants bound westward during the second half of the eighteenth century avoided its...
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The Molly Maguires: Fighting for Justice

Early on the morning of Wednesday. Septem­ber 1, 1875, a young English-born mine foreman started from his Schuylkill County residence to the Shenandoah coal colliery where he was employed. A gunshot pierced the air. Scrambling for cover behind a neighbor’s house, he was met by another assassin who drew his revolver and fired. Struck in the groin, the young man staggered blindly and fell to...
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Pennsylvania Woman as Politician: Cornelia Bryce Pinchot (1881-1960)

On May 5, 1933, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a chauffeured limousine arrived at a textile factory. From inside the car emerged a tall, slender, red-haired woman whose bearing indicated social standing and purposeful self-confidence. De­spite a steady rain, the lady joined a picket line made up of girls from thirteen to eighteen years of age who had struck in protest of working conditions they...
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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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