Mammal Hall project forecasted to restore groundhog’s original shadow

Mammal Hall project forecasted to restore groundhog’s original shadow

To scientists, it is known as Marmota monax, or the woodchuck. This medium-sized mammal found from Canada to southern Alabama goes by many common names, including groundhog, hoover pig, whistle pig and marmot. In various parts of Pennsylvania, this ubiquitous herbivore is known as a grundsow. Garden pest or meat for a stew, the groundhog …

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Discovery of Susquehanna County fossil leads to ancient fish

Discovery of Susquehanna County fossil leads to ancient fish

Fossils are often fascinating windows into the plants and animals of the past. Some of these ancient animals are different from those alive today. Often, the discovery of these prehistoric creatures are made by those who keep their eyes and ears open to what is around them. This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure tells the story of …

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DNC memorabilia highlights Philadelphia’s presidential past

DNC memorabilia highlights Philadelphia’s presidential past

This week, Democratic delegates and party loyalists from around the country are converging on Philadelphia to formally select their candidate. It promises to be a history-making convention, but as this grouping of ephemera reveals, it’s not the first time that Democrats have chosen the City of Brotherly Love for its stage. That distinction was earned …

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Pennsbury Manor portrait painted by a student of Rembrandt

Pennsbury Manor portrait painted by a student of Rembrandt

In 1946, on the heels of the bicentennial of founder William Penn’s birth, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission acquired a striking portrait entitled Lady Springett. The sitter, Mary Proude Springett Pennington (1625–1682), was the mother of Penn’s first wife, Gulielma Maria Springett (1644–1694). An orphaned heiress at 3 years old, Lady Springett married, in …

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Drake Well printing plates: Here’s what early oil producers used for money

Drake Well printing plates: Here’s what early oil producers used for money

Charles Vernon Culver came to the burgeoning Pennsylvania oil fields in 1861 and started the Venango Bank in Franklin, Venango County. At the time, oil producers were in desperate need for banking services, locally, and in eastern cities. In December 1863, Culver and other investors started a bank in Philadelphia and another in New York …

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World Series photograph illustrates one governor’s love of baseball

World Series photograph illustrates one governor’s love of baseball

In this photo preserved by the Pennsylvania State Archives, Gov. David L. Lawrence proudly shows off the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette headline detailing the Pittsburgh Pirates’ victory over the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series. Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit a home run on a 1-0 pitch from Yankee hurler Ralph Terry over the …

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Clock at Old Economy Village keeps time with history

Clock at Old Economy Village keeps time with history

The main hall of Old Economy Village’s George Rapp House features a tall case clock with quite a history. Its story began in Harmony, Pa., north of Pittsburgh, where the Harmony Society formally organized in 1805. Just arriving in America from Württemberg (now part of Germany), the 800 members of the society pooled their resources …

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Schuylkill County Hercules : Toying with Pennsylvania’s mining history

Schuylkill County Hercules : Toying with Pennsylvania’s mining history

Handcrafted around 1950 by John Mayza of Schuylkill County for his nephew Dan Canavan, this toy dragline excavator is constructed from materials normally found at an anthracite coal colliery. Currently on exhibit at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, the toy sports the name Hercules painted across the cab section. Interestingly, the name predates the artifact, …

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Dauphin County projectile point collection dates to the Ice Age

Dauphin County projectile point collection dates to the Ice Age

This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure is the fluted projectile point collection from the Shoop archaeological site in Dauphin County. These artifacts, some of the oldest in the collections kept by The State Museum’s Section of Archaeology, hail from a site that made a significant contribution to our understanding of past cultural behavior in the Eastern United …

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A North American giant : Tracking the disappearance of the Eastern Hellbender

A North American giant : Tracking the disappearance of the Eastern Hellbender

Pennsylvania is home to an eastern North American giant and entirely aquatic salamander known as the Eastern Hellbender, otherwise called the Cryptobranchus alleganiensis. This magnificent creature grows to roughly 2 feet in length while remaining nearly flat as a pancake. Why? These cryptic animals rest by day under the flat rocks found within the cold, …

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