Making History: the Heinz History Center Blog
June 16, 2020

Johnny Garneau: Smorgasbords & Sneeze Guards

If you grew up in Western Pennsylvania from the 1950s to ’80s, Johnny Garneau’s Smorgasbords were the name in buffet restaurants. The challenge—then and now—is that customers can be careless with good hygiene around all that food. More than 60 years ago, Garneau took a big step to resolve that when he patented a sneeze guard, the angled plate of glass or plexiglass that shields your food from others’ airborne germs.

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June 10, 2020

Remembering Johnny Majors

The History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum were saddened to hear of the passing of coaching legend Johnny Majors. Though his home state of Tennessee always remained his first love, he left an indelible mark on Western Pennsylvania.

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June 9, 2020

Maude Y. Hawkins: Charting an Independent Path

Tempted by the lure of being their own boss, many dream of opening a business. Few will follow through, perhaps warned off by statistics detailing the high percentage of businesses that fail within their first years. Maude Y. Hawkins took this risk, seizing the opportunity to create a better work environment for herself. A small group of archival materials held by the Detre Library & Archives documents the challenges faced by Hawkins as repercussions from tumultuous events placed obstacles in her path.

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June 8, 2020

From the Author: New Italian American Collection Book

Thirty years ago, the Senator John Heinz History Center embarked on a mission to preserve and interpret the history of Italian migrants that settled in Western Pennsylvania.

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June 4, 2020

Resilience in Ruffles: A New Look at Pittsburgh’s Suffrage Shirtwaist Ball

While the Shirtwaist Ball’s basic story has been told, examining it more closely within the context of the suffrage movement and anti-suffrage imagery underlines the resilience of the Pennsylvania women who sponsored it and who fought so long and creatively for women’s right to vote.

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