Perhaps it’s not the most traditional image of him, but, yes, that’s Santa Claus getting a chest x-ray. Even Santa needs to take care of his health with the occasional wellness screening. He’s got to stay in shape so he can deliver presents to all the good girls and boys all over the world in record overnight shipping time. So, here we see him in December 1953 getting his lungs x-rayed in of the American Lung Association’s mobile chest x-ray units. These mobile units were essentially trucks outfitted with the proper equipment for, of course, taking chest x-rays in an effort to diagnose and combat lung disease – primarily Tuberculosis. This particular truck was parked at Penn Square in Lancaster and was open to any passersby who wanted an x-ray while doing some last minute Christmas shopping.
Beginning in 1925, Lancaster’s tuberculosis patients were treated at Rossmere Sanatorium in Manheim Township. Originally opened as a hotel in 1898, the Rossmere was turned into a sanatorium and served the county’s tuberculosis patients for several decades. In the 1940s, the discovery of the antibiotic streptomycin provided relief to those stricken, and the number of patients at Rossmere began to decline. The sanatorium closed its doors in 1958. Santa’s chest x-ray was just one way to help ensure a happy and healthy holiday season!
One hundred years ago it was just The Great War. Sometimes the War to End All Wars, but mostly The Great War. After all was said and done and historians began to realize the global impact of the conflict, World War seemed a more fitting name. And it was one hundred years ago that the United States entered The Great War – sending more than 4,000,000 men and women to serve in various branches of the military at home and overseas. Over 5,000 from Lancaster County saw active duty, including Sgt. Ray Baker Hall, pictured here with his ukulele. Sgt. Hall was part of Ambulance Company 111, part of the 28th Division of the United States Army. Prior to his military service, Hall worked at the Kirk Johnson Music Store on West King Street in Lancaster. Knowing that entertainment might be difficult to find at the front, he packed his trusty uke for company.
Check out Sgt. Hall and other images of Lancasterians during the Great War – both on the homefront and at the very front – in our latest photograph exhibit in LancasterHistory.org’s lower level.
Perhaps the best way to spend a warm Lancaster County day is cooling off by the Susquehanna River. Swimming, fishing, boating, enjoying the summer breeze, sitting in a Susquehanna Pothole. Yes. Susquehanna Pothole. Those well-worn rocks – dimpled, donut-holed, deeply dug out – all a testament to the eroding powers of sediment-laden water and most often sighted when the water levels of the river drop below normal. The best spot to view them, as seen in this photo snapped by Ed Shopf in September of 1953, is along the shores of Conoy Township, just below the mouth of the Conewago Creek.
Schopf was staff photographer for the Safe Harbor Water Power Company. This photo is part of a collection of photographs that he took during the construction of the Safe Harbor Dam from 1931 to 1933. Although it was taken much later, it captures a truly unique feature of the Susquehanna River. This image is among a handful of photos of Susquehanna summer fun on display in LancasterHistory.org’s lower level through the beginning of October. Stop by and enjoy the river!