Siegmund Lubin: The Forgotten Filmmaker

In Philipsburg, the summer of 1914 ended with a crash that could be heard for miles and seen around the world. On the slopes of Centre County’s Collision Field, a stadium formed by nature, five thousand festive, flag-waving spectators gathered to watch the wrecking of two great Pittsburgh & Susquehanna Railroad locomotives. Bands entertained the Labor Day celebrants with musical...
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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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The Merry-Go-Round Kings

Murmuring voices and laughter, mingling with the strains of band organ music and the rustling of long white skirts and crisply starched shirts, filled the sum­mer air of 1904 at Philadel­phia’s Woodside Park. A new carousel, one of the finest in America, had just introduced a kaleidoscope of festive color and design to the familiar old amusement grounds. It was, especially, the onset of...
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The Man Who Bought Alice in Wonderland

On April 3, 1928, a slightly tipsy world, still reeling through the heady Twen­ties, focused its attention on Sotheby’s in London, where one of history’s most famous and beloved of all books was about to be auctioned. Through Sotheby’s dark pas­sages, an excited throng tum­bled into the large auction gallery to see who would offer the winning bid for Lewis Carroll’s...
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Original and Genuine: Unadulterated and Guaranteed!

John Wanamaker felt ill. He didn’t have time for an autumn cold. There was so much work to do, espe­cially now as his great department store readied itself for the coming Christmas season. Anticipating a busier day tomorrow, he made an heroic effort to stem the cas­cade of papers across his desk into orderly piles before taking a parting glance around his office. Banks of filing cabinets,...
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Live From Pittsburgh‰…

It was the evening of Tues­day, November 2, 1920. In Pittsburgh’s cold, rainswept streets, patient crowds stood waiting for the Harding-Cox presidential election returns to be posted on newspaper bulletin boards. Meanwhile, across town in a makeshift shack atop one of the Westinghouse Company’s factory buildings in the city’s Turtle Creek section, Leo H. Rosenberg began...
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Eyedazzlers: The Two-Century Romance of Navajo Weavers and Germantown Yarn

The cavernous nineteenth-­century factory buildings of Philadelphia’s John Wilde & Brother, the oldest independent rug yarn mill in the United States, seem out of place against the trendy restaurants and galleries of Manayunk, a showplace of modern urban renewal in the city’s greater Germantown neighborhood. A mural on the wall of the smallest mill building depicts images...
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