ENIAC, the First All-Purpose Digital Computer

Seventy-five years ago, in February 1946, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer — ENIAC — was publicly demonstrated as the world’s first large-scale general-purpose digital computer. It was designed by John Mauchly (1907–80) and J. Presper Eckert (1919–95) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering in Philadelphia. Research began during World War II in...
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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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Marketing Patriotism: Pennsylvania Railroad Advertising During World War II

During World War II, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) spent lavishly on patriotic magazine advertising. No other railroad put so much effort, money or creative talent into a campaign to boost the war and create favorable public opinion for itself. As the single largest railroad in the United States, the Philadelphia-based “Pennsy” carried 10 percent of all freight in America and 20 percent of all...
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After Suffrage: Pennsylvania’s Inaugural Class of Women Legislators

“For one born and reared as this writer was in hidebound Pennsylvania, it is startling to find eight women in the Legislature of that State. Moreover, to learn from their men fellow-members of the natural way they take their place and do their work.” – Ida Tarbell, 1924 “I believe these eight women are going to make an impression. I believe they are going to ask themselves on...
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Editor’s Letter

This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage was produced mostly through teleworking, as all of us in the Keystone State — and the world — have been in the midst of what already has become one of the most momentous episodes in contemporary history. In the devastating weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, every realm of human existence has been profoundly affected. As we continue through the crisis, history...
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The Women’s March to Perry Square in Erie

The tranquil view of Perry Square on this circa 1915 postcard belies the flurry of activity that occurred here on July 8, 1913, when one of the earliest women’s suffrage marches in Pennsylvania took place. On that day hundreds of supporters answered the call of Erie suffragist Augusta Fleming, president of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Equal Franchise Association, to march for women’s rights...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Spring 2020 Newsletter: PHF Sponsors Opening Reception for Violet Oakley Exhibition PHF Cosponsors Workshops in Archaeology, with Focus on PA’s Native American Cultures America250PA Honors Servicemembers and Veterans  ...
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Ahead of Her Time: Pennsylvania Aviator Helen Richey

It was the era of plucky barnstorming aviators. Charles Lindbergh had flown across the Atlantic in 1927 and in the ensuing decade the romance of the skies was in full flower. Flight records were being chased and broken with regularity. Faster, sleeker airplanes were being introduced. Air races with cash prizes were in vogue across the country. The public, fed by an eager press, was fascinated....
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Editor’s Letter

As part of our mission “to introduce readers to Pennsylvania’s rich culture and historic legacy,” we at Pennsylvania Heritage seek to connect the commonwealth’s past with what Pennsylvania is today or what it is anticipated to become in the future. In this effort, we strive to publish stories on a variety of subjects, some of which have been overlooked or underrepresented in history, that relate...
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Women Made the Breadbasket of Democracy

Picturing the Pennsylvania home front during World War II might call to mind images of women working in munitions plants or shipyards. Rosie the Riveter, immortalized in a 1942 war work-incentive poster, was said to be inspired by women employed in the Westinghouse East Pittsburgh Works. Outside the factories, however, women also sustained and transformed agriculture, feeding the war effort....
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