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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World War I medals honor soldier’s sacrifice

World War I medals honor soldier’s sacrifice

Memorial Day, as the day has come to be known, traces its origins to the American Civil War. People observed the day, initially known as Decoration Day, by decorating the graves of Union soldiers who had fallen in battle. The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, selected May 30 as the …

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The Face Pot: The distinctive pottery of the Susquehannock Indians

The Face Pot: The distinctive pottery of the Susquehannock Indians

The first chronicled contact between Europeans and the Susquehannock Indians occurred in 1607 when Captain John Smith encountered 60 Susquehannocks near the head of Chesapeake Bay. Captain Smith’s account states that . . . “Those are the strangest people of all those countries, both in language and attire” . . . and that . . …

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Native American pottery vessel tells story of winter survival

Native American pottery vessel tells story of winter survival

Native American culture groups remain an important component in the development of our commonwealth.  This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure, now on exhibit in Pennsylvania Icons at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, features the significant archaeological recovery of a native-made clay storage vessel. Archaeologists have developed a strategy for dating sites, based in part on the artifacts recovered.  …

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Rare portrait peers into William Penn’s younger years

Rare portrait peers into William Penn’s younger years

This portrait is one of only two definitive images known to exist of William Penn that were created from life. A copy of a lost original, William Penn in Armor depicts the founder of the Pennsylvania Colony as a young man being groomed for the life of a noble at a time when he was …

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Preventing polio: A grateful nation honors Dr. Jonas Salk

Preventing polio: A grateful nation honors Dr. Jonas Salk

For many children in the 1940s and 1950s, the polio disease was an ever-present fear. Prior to the 1950s, the main option for treatment was an iron lung, a machine that used negative air pressure to mimic natural breathing. The iron lung compensated for paralyzed respiratory muscles damaged by the poliovirus. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who …

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Discovery magnified: The brilliance of Joseph Priestley

Discovery magnified: The brilliance of Joseph Priestley

British scientist and Unitarian theologian Joseph Priestley used this brass-and-glass telescope in his laboratory at his home in Northumberland County, Pa. Selected by CAP Curator Jennifer Gleim as this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure, the telescope, on loan from the Joseph Priestley House, is featured in The State Museum’s Pennsylvania Icons exhibit. The earliest known working telescopes …

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Press Release: February 2016 Highlights

Press Release: February 2016 Highlights

The State Museum of Pennsylvania today announced its program schedule for February 2016: Artist Conversation: PA Modern Join us 2:00 PM Sunday, February 21 for a special presentation and tour focusing on the architecture of The State Museum and Archives Complex as captured by photographers in The State Museum’s changing exhibit PA Modern: A Photography …

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The collapse of the “People’s Bridge” marks 20th anniversary

The collapse of the “People’s Bridge” marks 20th anniversary

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the partial collapse of the western section of Harrisburg’s Walnut Street Bridge. In mid-January 1996, Pennsylvania was still recovering from the devastation wrought by that year’s North American Blizzard when the temperature began to rise. Rainfall, coupled with the increasing warmth, caused the Susquehanna River to swell. On …

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Print highlights pivotal maneuver at the Battle of Lake Erie

Print highlights pivotal maneuver at the Battle of Lake Erie

This circa 1815 print entitled, Perry’s Battle on Lake Erie, depicts the most pivotal maneuver of the Battle of Lake Erie, illustrating the moment when Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry transferred his men from the heavily-damaged USS Lawrence to the U.S. Brig Niagara. Aboard the Niagara, Perry ordered an attack that broke the British line and …

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