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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Pennsylvania fossils: How a church held the secret to a new species of trilobite

Pennsylvania fossils: How a church held the secret to a new species of trilobite

Not all fossils are uncovered by digging in the dirt and breaking open rocks. While all fossils originate in various types of rocks, they can take a varied path before they reach scientists. An important example of this involves specimens housed in the Invertebrate Paleontology collections at The State Museum of Pennsylvania that were once …

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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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Landis Valley weathervane: At the crossroads of promotion and folk art

Landis Valley weathervane: At the crossroads of promotion and folk art

Henry Landis (1865-1955) of Landis Valley, Lancaster County, believed that weathervanes were significant pieces of folk art that personified Pennsylvania German heritage. He collected, researched and studied these artifacts, many of which were often crafted to resemble various figures such as cows and horses, fish and roosters. Landis took notes on the weathervanes, or wetterhahn …

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WGAL superstar makes broadcast history with “Percy Platypus and His Friends”

WGAL superstar makes broadcast history with “Percy Platypus and His Friends”

  In the late 1990s, Jim Freed donated to The State Museum the original Percy Platypus and Wikilou Wombat puppets from the popular children’s program, “Percy Platypus and His Friends.” To celebrate, Freed and Marijane Landis performed a re-creation of an original “Percy Platypus and His Friends” episode at the museum. A recording of that …

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Schrank: From ordinary to exceptional thanks to a little sulfur

Schrank: From ordinary to exceptional thanks to a little sulfur

In late 18th century Pennsylvania, a technique using sulfur inlay to decorate furniture sprang up around Lancaster County. This beautiful and unique approach is visible in the construction of this schrank, a Pennsylvania German variation of the French armoire now on exhibit in Pennsylvania Icons at The State Museum. Typically, schranks stored clothing, extra linens …

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