South Philadelphia sisters battle back after Pearl Harbor

South Philadelphia sisters battle back after Pearl Harbor

The Military History collection of the State Museum of Pennsylvania is home to a memento that marks the launching of the USS Cassin and USS Shaw at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on October 28, 1935 . A small celluloid and metal button commemorates the day in the appropriate colors of navy blue and gold. The …

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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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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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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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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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Popular period pattern turns up inside historic waffle iron

Popular period pattern turns up inside historic waffle iron

This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure, as selected by CAP Curator Diana Zeltmann, is a mid-19th century waffle iron. This artifact appears in the recently opened Pennsylvania Icons exhibit at The State Museum. This waffle iron was manufactured by Abbott & Lawrence of Philadelphia, Pa., which launched Liberty Stove Works in 1851. The company’s factory was located …

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Border dispute paves way for the Mason-Dixon Line

Border dispute paves way for the Mason-Dixon Line

Originally 5 feet tall and weighing roughly 600 hundred pounds, this stone was cut from a limestone quarry in Portland, England. The stone, and others like it, were shipped to the American colonies and installed every five miles along what is now known as the Mason-Dixon Line. Each stone was inscribed with the Penn family crest …

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Marian Anderson: A voice that would challenge intolerance

Marian Anderson: A voice that would challenge intolerance

This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure is a 1952 recording of classical opera singer Marian Anderson performing four works by Austrian composer Franz Schubert including “Ave Maria.” Selected by CAP curator Jennifer Gleim, this record is featured in Pennsylvania Icons at The State Museum. Marian Anderson was born in 1897 in South Philadelphia to working-class parents. At age …

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The Whiskey Rebellion: Carrying the flag of a militiaman

The Whiskey Rebellion: Carrying the flag of a militiaman

This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure is a flag carried by a militiaman during the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Selected by CAP curator Jennifer Gleim, this flag is featured in Pennsylvania Icons, a new exhibit at The State Museum. The Whiskey Rebellion protested taxes on distilled spirits levied by the federal government in 1791. Three years later, …

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Hires Root Beer: Sweet recipe keep profits pouring in

Hires Root Beer: Sweet recipe keep profits pouring in

“A pure food temperance drink that satisfies every thirst, revives the appetite, creates nerve force – prepares you for the daily task…” It’s hard to believe that this quote from a Victorian trading card is actually in reference to one of the first commercially-produced soft drinks, Hires Root Beer. Originally known as Hires Herb Tea …

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