secthead Resources

The History Bucket

No Spoiling Here


Written by Stephanie Yu, Curatorial Intern


mason1The Mason jar—simple in design, yet innovative in the food preservation world. Nowadays, they've become more versatile in usage, as they can be used not only for canning, but for arts and crafts and beverage services. The jar in front of me is aqua in color, and unlike the others I have seen, the lid is still attached. Unscrewing the lid, I hold my breath. Would the jar smell like nothing because someone had let the jar air out days ago? Would it smell like the fruit that was previously canned in the jar? The lid is off, let's take a small whiff. Maybe I should have held my breath longer. The air just smelled stale.

Some of you may be wondering how the Mason jar got its start. Prior to the 19th century, it was difficult to preserve perishables. Methods for doing so included drying, salting, smoking, fermenting, pickling, and storing in a cool, dry place. Napoleon is thought to have a strong effect on the canning industry as he offered the French population a large sum of francs to develop a new way to preserve food as the government was having a difficult time sending unspoiled food to its armies. Thus, although it took nearly a decade and a half to perfect the method, Nicolas Appert responded to his request by developing a method involving a wax sealant, wire, and boiling.

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Diversity of People, Ideas and Economy

When Lancaster County was established on May 10, 1729, it became the prototype for the sixty-three counties to follow. The original three counties, Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester, were created as copies of typical English shires. The frontier conditions of Chester County's backwoods, from which Lancaster was formed, presented knotty problems to the civilized Englishmen. Lancaster County, therefore, was an experiment in pragmatism erected on the periphery of Penn's "Holy Experiment". Pennsylvania's "first western county" would test the genius of English government and political common sense. Not only did the pragmatic experiment succeed, but it has continued to color the life and government of Lancastrians during the last 250 years.

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The History Bucket


Because the world is a bucketful of questions.  And someone's gotta answer them

While working with the object collections of we come across many questions.  Visit here to see some of the more unusual stories that we have uncovered.

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Historically Speaking


The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections.  Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!

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Marianne's PhotoBlog


Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.

You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!

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Wheatland: A Love Story

Who would have guessed that a young lady would fall in love with an old President and his old house?

One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History

I’m Jennifer Walton, Museum Associate at President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past nine years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!

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