History

Brief History of Energy in Pennsylvania


The articles in this section were originally published in the Spring 2009 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine.

Barbara T. Zolli on "A Drop of Oil"
Drake Well Museum, under the administration of Barbara T. Zolli, offers one of the most important and fascinating retrospections of the early oil industry. Pennsylvania Heritage is fortunate to have available, PHMC historian, author, and lecturer Kenneth C. Wolensky conduct a question and answer interview with Zolli about Drake Well’s role in oil history, the man Drake, and the impact of Pennsylvania's petroleum industry into the twentieth century, including the industry’s impact on local economies, environment.

"Atoms for Peace" in Pennsylvania
PHMC Archivist Willis L. Shirk Jr. writes about the history of the former Shippingport nuclear facility, built as part of President Dwight D Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" program. This fascinating history of the plant, the brilliant minds who conceived it, and the successful collaboration between business and government that made the plant possible, givse a fresh perspective of the nuclear industry.

Our Documentary Heritage
Archivist Willis L. Shirk Jr. of the Pennsylvania State Archives offers for readers' curiosity, Records of the Department of Internal Affairs in Record Group 14 and documents dating to the early 1930s, the series relating to Annual Reports of Manufactured Gas Companies.

Sharing the Common Wealth
This installment features the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's GG1 No. 4935 locomotive, built in 1943 at the Pennsy's shops in Altoona, Blair County.

Marking Time: Three Mile Island
This article focuses on the state historical marker for the "Nuclear Accident at Three Mile Island." Not everything in the development of alternative energy sources have gone smoothly. The real catastrophe was the negative impact on the nuclear power industry in America. This edition details some of the events of what happened on March 28, 1979, that focused world attention on the small community of Middletown, Dauphin County.

Dan Desmond, Eyewitness to Energy History
While serving in public office, Dan Desmond was regarded Pennsylvania's energy czar. For nearly two decades, he guided Pennsylvania in the growth of renewable energy sources. Michael F. Smith, deputy director of the Governor's Office of Press and Communications, sat down with the energy guru to talk about the history of energy in Pennsylvania and examine the way government policies can affect the use of alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, or perpetuate continued reliance on fossil fuels.


The articles in this section were originally published in the Summer 2009 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine.

Wish You Were Here!

The Shooting Stars of Drake Well

Holtwood Hydroelectric Power Plant

Lost and Found

Marking Time: McClintock Number 1