Mailbox

Mailbox features classified advertisements related to Pennsylvania history.

Songs of the iron industry, and clothing which would have been worn by iron workers in southeastern Pennsylvania be­tween 1800 and 1860, are currently the subjects of research. Infor­mation regarding these topics is requested by: Richard N. Pawling, Box 3451 R. D. 1, Elverson, PA 19520; telephone (215) 582-8773.

 

In preparation for an exhibit of Pfaltzgraff pottery to open in spring 1989, the Historical Society of York County is seeking materials pertaining to the company from the early nineteenth century to the present. Especially needed are historical docu­ments, photographs, early company records, catalogues, as well as fine and unusual examples of Pfaltzgraff pottery. Correspon­dence may be directed to: Wade Lawrence, Curator of Collec­tions, Historical Society of York County, 250 East Market St., York, PA 17403; or telephone (717) 848-1587.

 

In preparation for the five hundredth anniversary, in 1992, of the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World, a survey is underway to identify and locate statues and memorials erected in Pennsylvania to honor the explorer. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is seeking the locations of such commemorative memorials, including statuary, plaques and monuments, as well as information regarding dates of construc­tion and erection, identities of artists and craftsmen, current ownership and present condition. Correspondence may be di­rected to: John L. Kraft, Columbus Celebration Coordinator, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, P. O. Box 1026, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026; or telephone (717) 783-8599.

 

For a forthcoming book on the history of “Rewards of Merit” – usually small pieces of paper or cards given by teachers to pupils as awards during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries­ – the Ephemera Society of America is seeking examples from Pennsylvania. Although such rewards were common in New York and New England, scholars believe that they were circulated widely throughout the country at the time. Most of the Rewards of Merit were made of paper, stenciled, hand drawn or printed, but some were fashioned of cloth, soft paste, china, white metal, tin, silver and even gold. Especially sought for study are exam­ples associated with famous and influential individuals; signed by artists or printers; and those embellished with original de­signs, elaborate script, poetry and decoration attributable to a particular immigrant or ethnic group. Individuals able to share such information are encouraged to write: Patricia Fenn, 11 Yel­low Circle, Middletown, CT 06457; or telephone (203) 347-2828 or 347-7066.

 

Between 1854 and 1929, more than one hundred and fifty thousand abandoned, orphaned and homeless children were taken from the streets and institutions of New York City and placed on trains, destined for “better homes in rural America.” At stops along the way, the children were lined up on station platforms, in school houses and on theater stages where they sang or recited poetry, endeavoring to win the affection – or, at the very least, the attention – of the townspeople. Children not taken in by families were again placed on the train and repeated their performances in other town and villages until they were chosen. According to available documentation, thousands of these children eventually found homes in Pennsylvania. The Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, recently established to collect and document family histories of such children, is actively seeking information on individuals, institutions and railroads involved in this massive nineteenth century movement. Interested individuals should write: Donann Easterwood, Presi­dent, Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, 3435 Yarmouth, Kalamazoo, MI 49002.