Myth Busted

Cutting Ancient Americans Down to Size -- Among those interested in prehistory -- and presumably that's everyone reading this -- there is the knowledge that the average ancient Indian of the Ohio River Valley was rather taller than most of us today. Maybe even much taller. Myth. Myth. Myth. It turns out, if you were to meet a prehistoric American walking down t...
Read More

Exploring the Belly of the Burgh, Part 4: Oil

Whale oil lamp How Pittsburgh 'Saved' the Whales, For a While Most of us are dimly aware (no pun intended) that before electric lights, but after candles, the civilized world got around at night with oil lamps. Few of us know that initially most of that oil came from harpooned whales whose blubber had been boiled. So, it was a great relief to the wh...
Read More

It Ain’t Easy Saving the Past

Don't mess with these ladies, the Pittsburgh DAR chapter in 1906. So, you want to preserve an old historic building? Of course not. You want someone else do it. Let's look at two examples where people did come forward. First we'll detail the effort, setbacks and determination of a group of women who ensured the Fort Pitt Block House was not broken up and ...
Read More

A Desire to Keep The Streetcars Rolling

Mr. McFeely mixes with visitors at trolley museum Pennsylvania Trolley Museum There are hundreds of places throughout the region with ongoing connections to the past. Chances are you have not gotten around to visiting them. Maybe you just need a scouting report. Here's one to check out: A streetcar named Washington regularly rolled 25 miles through the woods...
Read More