Historic fife orchestrates the Battle of Lake Erie

Historic fife orchestrates the Battle of Lake Erie

The grog ration being served out, drums and fifes struck up the thrilling air “all hands, all hands, to quarters”, calling all to their respective stations. So wrote Usher Parsons, Surgeon’s Mate onboard the U.S. Brig Lawrence, describing the onset of the Battle of Lake Erie, a turning point in the War of 1812 and …

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Top hat connects Drake Well to its historic founder

Top hat connects Drake Well to its historic founder

This black top hat made its most famous appearance in a photo taken in 1866 of Col. Edwin L. Drake and Peter Wilson standing in front of the engine house and derrick of the Drake Well. In the iconic image, Drake sports the 1860s hat, an artifact currently on exhibit at the Drake Well Museum …

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How this rare Luzerne County bead blends history with technology

How this rare Luzerne County bead blends history with technology

In the early 1980s, Emanco Inc. archaeologists recovered a glass bead, three gunflints and two musket balls from the Gould Island site in Luzerne County, Pa. Most unusual was the discovery of this blue-and-white glass bead. On one side, the artifact depicts symbols of a man-in-the-moon and two stars. The reverse side features a shooting …

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Old Economy Village mural illustrates hardships of the Great Depression

Old Economy Village mural illustrates hardships of the Great Depression

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched the New Deal in 1933 to alleviate massive unemployment, stimulate industrial recovery and create economic growth in the wake of the Great Depression. His relief programs gave work to millions of unemployed Americans including not only construction workers and laborers, but also artists, musicians and writers. A 1932 graduate of …

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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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