Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentines of Yesteryear Display on display February 1-28, 2013

During the month of February the library will feature a display of antique valentines presented to teachers by their students during the early years of the last century. These valentines were given to relatives of Loralyn Whitney, acquisitions librarian, and passed down through the family. Other personal effects owned by the teachers will also be on display. The recipients of the valentines include two great-aunts who taught elementary school in Streetsboro, Ohio, a rural community South of Cleveland; the third was her grandfather, Arthur Lee Whitney, a school principal and graduate of Edinboro Normal School, class of 1909. Some of the valentines are very elaborate examples. The display includes an antique inkwell, school bell, and items of clothing worn by the women. The public is invited to view this exhibit. The exhibit will be of interest to collectors and students and faculty in graphic arts.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Heating with Coal in Pennsylvania

During World War II, many Pennsylvanian’s heated their homes with coal.  Coal was (and in some counties still is) a major natural resource in our state.  After the war, natural gas became the first choice of most Pennsylvanians for heating.  In my hometown, where gas was not available, most homes turned to oil.  When my father retired and moved back to our hometown, he bought a furnace which could heat with either oil or coal. 
In 1973, the United States had its first fuel crisis.  Because of our involvement with Israel, the Gulf States refused to ship oil.  The price of heating with oil rose from 5 cents a gallon to over 1 dollar.  My father began heating with coal.  He did this until he died.  When my parents went away, they switched the heating to oil. 

Do people in Pennsylvania still heat their homes with coal?  There are a surprising number who still do.  The Pennsylvania Data Center’s Map-of-the-Month is
“Coal as the Primary Heating Source, Pennsylvania Counties: 2007-2011” - online at:

Take a look, my home county is one of those in black.