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The website provides a visual record of changes in economic, social, and environmental life in the region as depicted in the evolving technology of photography. The time period covered in the website begins with the announcement in the Pittsburgh Gazette of the invention of a chemical process by Louis Daguerre. This process would later become known to the world as photography and would be used by generations of photographers to explore life and changes in Western Pennsylvania. “Life in Western Pennsylvania 1840-1970” is organized into three major categories:
1) Searchable database 2) Timeline 3) Section on preservation and identification of photographs. There are also sections on student activities, picture puzzles, e-cards, a teacher’s guide, and project documentation.
All photographs are accompanied by descriptions that provides context and background. Through this website, students can examine the visual history of Western Pennsylvania beginning in 1840, including the Civil War era, industrial expansion, social history, the world wars, and the renaissance of Pittsburgh.
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