Heinz History Center

Pittsburgh’s John Kane: Coming to America

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Pittsburgh’s John Kane: A Laborer’s Life

“For I was nineteen when I came to America and then I at once became an American Workman.” -John Kane

Pitt vs. WVU: The History of the Backyard Brawl

Separated by just 70 miles, feelings run strong in the football rivalry between the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Sept. 1, 2022 marks the first time in more than a decade that the two teams will clash in what fans affectionately refer to as the “Backyard Brawl.”

Wait For It: Hamilton in Pittsburgh

  Alexander Hamilton. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. The last time Hamilton came to Pittsburgh, he wasn’t quite as popular. In fact, he was arguably one of the most hated men in Western Pennsylvania in the late 1700s, thanks to his liquor tax that sparked the Whiskey Rebellion. As Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical…

Asian American Heritage at the Heinz History Center

  May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To mark the occasion, explore artifacts from the Heinz History Center collection that speak to Asian and Asian American heritage in Western Pennsylvania. You can also check out a previous post that showcased stories highlighted in the wonderful cookie portraits of Pittsburgh artist Jasmine Cho.…

Celebrating National Nurses Week

  A photograph in the collection of the History Center’s Detre Library & Archives captures a moment in the life of an operating room nurse from Montefiore Hospital, c. 1910. Clothed head –to-toe in white, only her eyes are visible. Although we do not know much else about her, the image speaks across decades, evoking…

Daisy Lampkin

  Born in Washington, D.C. and educated in Reading, Pa., Daisy Lampkin was a suffragette, civil rights activist, organization executive, business woman, orator, and community leader. Gift of Earl L. Childs, DDS. Daisy Lampkin once said that, “nothing is done unless women do it,” and throughout her life, she was a woman who did it…

Meet Winnie the Welder

  “No. We were not Rosie the Riveter. We welded ships. Rosie got all the attention. No one even gave us a name. Anne Jurjevic Thomas, welder at Dravo during World War IIi Today “Rosie the Riveter” symbolizes all American women who worked in the nation’s defense industries during World War II. Congress confirmed this…

The Rise and Fall of Pittsburgh’s Diamond Market

  Traffic running under Diamond Market, c. 1960. At the time it was developed, planners saw the traffic throughway as a solution to creating space for both cars and commerce. From the Detre Library & Archives at the Heinz History Center. From 1915 until it was demolished in 1961, Diamond Market shaped the life of…

The Tuskegee Airmen

  Photo of William A. Johnston. Johnston grew up in Sewickley, Pa. He enlisted in the Army Air Force at the age of 17 and served as a Second Lieutenant with the 15th Air Force of the 332nd Fighter Group of the Tuskegee Army Air Corps from 1944 to the end of the war. Following…

The Crawford Grill

  Crawford Grill #2, c. 1975. From the McBride Sign Company Photographs, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. The Crawford Grill in Pittsburgh’s Hill District served as the epicenter of jazz music from the 1930s through the 1950s. Located on the corner of Crawford Street and Wylie Avenue, the club was founded in…