Edit ModuleShow Tags

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance. History, at its core, is a story. Each of these objects is a part of a bigger story — of a confluence of three rivers flowing down through the ages, and of the people who came to live by those rivers, and what they made and said and did.



(page 3 of 10)

Surveyor’s transit for Liberty Tunnels project  (1919)
Burrowing a mile through Mount Washington to clear a passageway for cars — and horse-drawn  carriages too, at first — led to a South Hills housing boom when the Liberty Tunnels opened in 1924. The project’s chief engineer Amos Neeld used this tool; he had just three years to brag that he built the world’s longest road tunnel before the Holland Tunnel opened in New York. (MH)
~ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Oakland



 

Early published work by Rachel Carson  (1922)
Four decades before the publication of her groundbreaking environmentalist work “Silent Spring,” in which she asked readers to imagine a world in which pesticides had killed off all songbirds, 14-year-old Springdale native Rachel Carson submitted an essay to St. Nicholas, a literary magazine for children, entitled “My Favorite Recreation” — naturally, about birdwatching.  (MH)
~ Rachel Carson Homestead
 


 

Milkshake mixer  (1950s)
Klavon’s, the Strip District ice-cream parlor that opened in 1923, keeps things decidedly old-school with its decor. It get seriously modern with its milkshakes, though. Those shakes — chocolate, cookies ‘n’ cream and peanut butter are popular flavors — are blended in an original 1950s Jadeite green porcelain Hamilton Beach triple-milkshake mixer.  (HBK)
~ Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor



 

Mellon mansion marble  (1909)
Among the grand touches in Richard B. Mellon’s Squirrel Hill mansion, completed in 1909 on land that now is Mellon Park, was an archway of French marble. The mansion was demolished in 1941. Decades later, pieces of the marble were discovered in storage in Minneapolis and now are part of the decor at BLEND Cigar Bar, Downtown.  (SC)
~ BLEND Cigar Bar



 

Erroll Garner’s microphone  (1958)
This vintage condenser microphone was used by Wilkinsburg-born pianist Erroll Garner, whose many popular compositions include the 1954 romantic jazz standard “Misty.” But it wouldn’t have recorded any nonsense about helpless kittens in trees; Garner played “Misty” for you, he didn’t sing it. The lyrics were added later for a Johnny Mathis recording.  (KP)
~ University of Pittsburgh

 
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Ben and Bud Light ‘Dilly Dilly’ Mashup is Hilarious

Watch: Ben and Bud Light ‘Dilly Dilly’ Mashup is Hilarious

If the creator of the latest Bud Light commercial wasn't a Steelers fan, he is now.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

The over-the-top holiday-themed bar opens at the Original Oyster House the night after Thanksgiving.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

The winner received the most votes among five dogs, four cats and a bunny.

Comments


Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

The new escape game is instantly among the best in town.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

The time has come for the offense to more often resemble what everyone thought it would become this season, as opposed to sinking on occasion to a Cleveland Browns-esque level of ineptitude.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Justice League Could've Been Worse (But Should've Been a Lot Better)

Justice League Could've Been Worse (But Should've Been a Lot Better)

Reviews of "Justice League," "Wonder" and "Lady Bird," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
One for the History Books: A Cathedral of Learning Proposal

One for the History Books: A Cathedral of Learning Proposal

This groom-to-be popped the question at new heights, potentially making him the first person to propose on top of the University of Pittsburgh’s signature structure.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Iconic Kaufmann’s Building Gets New Lease with Luxury Apartments, Hotel

Iconic Kaufmann’s Building Gets New Lease with Luxury Apartments, Hotel

The developer behind Kaufmann’s Grand on Fifth Downtown promise to meld the historic with the modern as it readies to open more than 300 residential units featuring voice-command system Amazon Alexa, plus a rooftop infinity pool, restaurant and bar.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module