Ephrata Cloister’s Glass Trumpet is likely “one of a kind”

Ephrata Cloister’s Glass Trumpet is likely “one of a kind”

It’s not often that an archaeological find is classified as “one of a kind.” However, a glass trumpet discovered in Pennsylvania merits such a distinction. Archaeological investigations have been conducted at Ephrata Cloister, an unusual German religious commune founded in 1732 in Lancaster County, since 1993. In 1995, this unique artifact was unearthed from a …

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Historic decanter hints at link to former Treasury Secretary

Historic decanter hints at link to former Treasury Secretary

Abraham Alphonse “Albert” Gallatin was born into a wealthy Swiss family in 1761. Orphaned at a young age and raised by an austere relative, Catherine Pictet, Gallatin attended the best Swiss schools. However, he was unhappy with his traditional upbringing. Seeking adventure and a new life, he immigrated with a childhood friend to North America …

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Biblical guidance cast in iron

Biblical guidance cast in iron

  Stove plates are notable for their artistic depictions of biblical stories and Germanic text. This stove plate dates to 1753/1763 and is the only satirical plate known to survive today. The image features a Hessian rider astride an animal, possibly a goat or a horse. Another figure blocks the road and holds a sword …

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Carving out a seat at the Reinhart factory

Carving out a seat at the Reinhart factory

In 1872, furniture craftsmen employed by George Reinhart Steam Chair & Cabinet Factory created this green-painted, wooden chair. German immigrant Martin Reinhart founded the factory in Hazleton, Pa. in 1840. In addition to the factory, Reinhart also operated a retail furniture store at the same location. The operations were the first of its kind in …

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Curator inspired by whimsical work of art

Curator inspired by whimsical work of art

John Scholl constructed this wood and wire sculpture, titled “Fountain with Peacocks,” around the year 1900. Standing more than 6 feet tall, the work of art depicts two peacocks seated on the edge of a fountain. The fountain is perched on top of a delicate, colorful base adorned with wooden beads. The peacocks are joined …

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Who crafted Eastern State Penitentiary’s Noah’s Ark?

Who crafted Eastern State Penitentiary’s Noah’s Ark?

The journey of this hand-crafted Noah’s Ark toy began in the solitary confinement wing of Eastern State Penitentiary and ended under little Sadie Green’s Christmas Tree. By the end of the 19th century, Noah’s Arks were one of the most popular toys in America. A jump in immigration to the United States brought with it …

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Hunting down an Easter egg mystery: Who is MH?

Hunting down an Easter egg mystery: Who is MH?

The Pennsylvania German tradition known as oier gritzel, or egg scratching, created colorful Easter eggs from chicken, goose or duck eggs. Each member of the family would receive a decorated egg to mark the holiday. This decorated egg is dated “April 16, 1790” and marked “MH,” most likely the initials of the person the artist …

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Midcentury Modern dinnerware dishes out durability and taste

Midcentury Modern dinnerware dishes out durability and taste

Popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s for its bright, fashionable colors, incredible durability and varied shapes, melamine dinnerware earned its place among other innovative products that swept America following World War II. This Color-Flyte set by Branchell, chosen by CAP Curator Jennifer Gleim as this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure, was purchased by the donor’s parents in the mid-1950s …

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Who is the creator of this 175-year-old German love poem?

Who is the creator of this 175-year-old German love poem?

“Put your seal on my heart like the seal on your arm for love is strong.” This is a translation of one of the many verses about love that wind their way around this scherenschnitte. German for “scissor cuts”, scherenschnitte is a traditional Pennsylvania German art form brought to Pennsylvania in the 18th century by German …

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Berks County mousetrap captures Pennsylvania ingenuity

Berks County mousetrap captures Pennsylvania ingenuity

Mice and other rodents have plagued humans since the age of agriculture. Yet, the first known U.S. patent for a mousetrap wasn’t filed until 1870. This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure is a mousetrap that may have been handmade. Lawrence A. DeTurk donated the artifact to the State Museum in 1929. The trap comes from Huff’s Union …

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