History and Change

The January program page has info on upcoming events.

My Twitter feed yesterday included a tweet from PA Museums (statewide association of museums and historical organizations) retweeting PA House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana County), who shared historian Michael Beschloss's tweet of the oldest known photograph of a presidential inauguration. The photo, in the collection of the Library of Congress, shows the 1857 inauguration of PA's only president, James Buchanan. Rep. Reed noted that Buchanan's home, Wheatland, is open as a museum in Lancaster.

The New York Times recently featured an article, "From Mystery to History: Pennsylvania's Bygone Lumber Industry," exploring the photography of William T. Clarke, who documented life and work in the lumber region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Clarke's work is the subject a new book, Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers, by Ronald E. Ostman and Harry Littell, published by Penn State Press in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Lumber Heritage Region and PHMC. Linda Ries, formerly on staff at the PA State Archives, worked with the authors to identify Clarke's work and research his biography; Ries also wrote the intro to the book. The State Archives holds a significant collection of Clarke's glass plate negatives and prints, and we used quite a few Clarke images in the "Challenges and Choices" exhibit at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. The Times article includes a slideshow of images from the State Archives and other repositories. Littell and Ostman's book is available from Penn State Press, online retailers, or at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum.

Logging camp, Potter County, ca. 1900
One of my favorites - "Feeding the hogs, logging camp near Nine Mile Run" (Potter County), W.T. Clarke (RG-6, PA State Archives)

We've included info in previous posts about a new play, Gunpowder Joe: Joseph Priestley, Pennsylvania, and the American Experiment, by Anthony Clarvoe. The play makes its debut this weekend at Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. Following Sunday's (Jan. 22) matinee at 3 pm, there will be an informal symposium. Director Laurie McCants provided a description:
"This isn’t a formal presentation; rather it’s a “chat” with the creative team (actors, designers, playwright, director, composer, choreographer, Priestley electricity machine builder, Bucknell engineering student Eli Raeker-Jordan), our consultants (Dee Casteel and Pat Martino, Chemistry Department, Joe Tranquillo, Engineering Department, Bucknell) and others (Priestley scholar Mary Ellen Bowden from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Tom Bresenhan of the Friends of the Joseph Priestley House, and there’s a very slim chance that Steven Johnson, author of THE INVENTION OF AIR, might show up!)."
I'll note that Dee Casteel is the current president of the Friends of Joseph Priestley House and Pat Martino is a board member. The play runs through Feb. 5; tickets are available on the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble website.

Keystone interns summer 2015
PHMC Keystone Summer Interns, 2015 (photo Amy Jukus)
PHMC's Keystone Summer Internship Program is currently accepting applications for the 2017 program, which runs from May 15 to August 4. Internships provide an opportunity to network with public history professionals, explore career options, and complete a project that advances their interests as well as PHMC's. (Not to mention a chance to write for Trailheads - that's the real prize.) Keystone internships are unpaid; students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program and are strongly encouraged to pursue academic credit through their home institution. Applicants are asked to specify their areas of interest and/or preferred location (in Harrisburg or at one of the Trails of History sites). Initial review will match applicants with potential mentors, who will contact students for interviews. The application deadline is Feb. 10. More information, including the application form and list of other materials required (essay, transcript, and letter of recommendation), is available on PHMC's website.


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