Western Pennsylvania History has presented scholarship for a broad audience since 1918 as the region’s oldest continually-published magazine. History Center members receive a free subscription to this award-winning quarterly publication.
The Summer 2021 issue of Western Pennsylvania History includes feature articles on:
- Pittsburgh’s role in the development of George Catlin’s Indian Gallery, 1833–1836
- Railroad surgeons of Western Pennsylvania
- How Pittsburgh’s radium rescued Marie Curie’s research
- The Flick family’s divergent relationship with Pittsburghese
As well as columns about:
- An inquisition in the “Town of Fort Pitt”
- Sports team “fanimals” and the long relationship between the natural world and athletics
- The architecture of local YMCA buildings
- Citizens Library & District Center
- Curator and collector Michael Kraus
- A Flaherty family connection in the History Center’s collection
- Ida B. Wells and her campaign against racial violence
- The art deco Latonia Theater in Oil City
Current issues of Western Pennsylvania History magazine are available for $7.95 in the Museum Shop, online shop, or by phone at 412-454-6300, and are mailed to all History Center members, who may choose between the print version an an e-version. For a sample of the e-mag that members can choose to receive, click here. A selection of back issues are available for $4.95 per magazine.
Exclusive Online Articles & Book Reviews
Read expanded online-only articles from past issues of Western Pennsylvania History Magazine.
- Getting to Know George Washington, by Jeffrey H. Schwartz
- America’s Toughest Golf Course: Oakmont Country Club, 1903-1922, by Steven Scholssman
- County Fair Encounters, by Richard M. Voelker
- Petroleum Pioneers, by Alfred N. Mann
Be the first to know about Pittsburgh-related books with the History Center’s online reviews.
Exclusive Online Book
Radium City: A History of America’s First Nuclear Industry
By Joel O. Lubenau and Edward R. Landa
About the Book
In 1921, Marie Curie, recipient of Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry and co-discoverer of radium, visited the U.S. to receive a gift of one gram of radium from the women of America. Costing $100,000, the gift was presented to her by President Harding at the White House. A Pittsburgh enterprise, Standard Chemical Company, founded by James J. and Joseph M. Flannery, produced the radium. After receiving the gift, Marie Curie travelled to western Pennsylvania to see the company’s and radium production and refining plants.
“Radium City” is the story of how the two brothers, undertakers-turned-industrialists, founded the first and largest American company to produce radium and the company’s legacies.
About the Authors
Joel Lubenau’s introduction to the Pittsburgh based company that produced radium occurred in July 1963 when, as a green U.S. Public Health Service officer detailed to the Pennsylvania radiation control program, he was sent to Pittsburgh to investigate a report of radioactive property found at an auction house. It came from the estate of a gentleman who lived in Dormont, a suburb of Pittsburgh. His name was Arthur L. Miller, once employed by the radium production company, Standard Chemical Company (SCC). His house was — no surprise — contaminated by radium that had to be remediated. He would encounter Miller’s name and that of the SCC again and again. His articles on the history of the use of radiation and radioactive materials and their impact upon popular culture have appeared in scientific journals and as well as popular journals such as Pennsylvania Heritage and Western Pennsylvania History.
After receiving his Ph.D. in soil science, Edward (Ed) R. Landa joined the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). He was assigned to Denver, Colorado where the USGS was assisting the state in assessing former radium mining and production sites. To better understand what went on in that era Ed became a miner himself by digging into newspapers, technical journals, Congressional records, and other sources to reconstruct the story of America’s “First Nuclear Industry.” The wealth of information he uncovered became the basis for “Buried Treasure to Buried Waste: The Rise and Fall of the Radium Industry” published in 1987 by the Colorado School of Mines. Ed’s monograph became and remains the primary reference on American radium production. SCC, of course, was a prominent part of his monograph.