Guyasuta Visits Pittsburgh, 1787

Statue of Guyasuta in Sharpsburg

This article appeared in the Maryland Gazette (in Annapolis), February 1, 1787; it seems to have been reprinted from the Gazette in Pittsburgh. The narrative drips with sarcasm: Guyasuta led the Senecas in the attack that destroyed Hannah’s Town (or Hanna’s Town or Hannastown) in 1782, and the memory obviously had not grown cold in Pittsburgh. But Guyasuta was now appearing in a diplomatic capacity, and it is very interesting to see how he and the growing town of Pittsburgh reacted to each other. He gawked at the sights; Pittsburghers gawked at him. They discovered that they shared a common love of Monongahela rye, and after that everything seems to have gone smoothly.

PITTSBURGH, January 6.

We are happy to have an opportunity of congratulating our fellow citizens on the arrival in this town, of the great, the mighty, and the warlike Giosoto the First, king of the Seneca nation; defender of Hannah’s-town; protector of the widow and orphan, &c. &c.

There was an elegant entertainment (consisting of three gallons of whiskey and twenty pounds of flour) prepared for his majesty and retinue, which they enjoyed with an uncommon relish, as these articles have become exceedingly scarce within his majesty’s, Giosoto, dominions.

His majesty amuses himself whilst he remains here, in walking about to view the curiosities of this place, in quaffing good whiskey; and smoaking tobacco and the bark of willow trees, through his curiously ornamented wooden pipe.—As anecdotes of great men can never fail to be interesting, we shall not neglect to add, that his majesty was observed to be particularly fond of viewing the game of billiards—some biographers pretend to assert that his majesty has been a great gamester in his time, but whether billiards or football was his favorite game, we cannot pretend to assert.

The Modern Bathroom, by Edward Trumbull

Edward Trumbull is remembered primarily for his murals today. He did a number of famous ones for Pittsburgh; his work can still be seen on the ceiling of the Supreme Court Room in the City-County Building. (His most famous work in Pittsburgh, the ceiling of the Grant Building lobby, was either covered or destroyed—we hope the former—in the ill-conceived 1980s redesign of that lobby.)

Trumbull lived in Pittsburgh for a couple of years and continued to work for many prominent Pittsburghers for years afterward. Here we have an illustration he made for a 1924 advertisement for “Standard” plumbing fixtures. The Standard Sanitary Mfg. Co. of Pittsburgh had a lot to do with the shape of the modern bathroom. It later merged with American Radiator to form American-Standard, which still dominates the toilet trade today.

Frank & Seder Department Store, 1927

Frank & Seder

An image from an advertisement in the National Vaudeville Artists’ Annual for 1928. You and your dancing poodles are invited to shop here. This building is now under renovation, and with the removal of some later accretions the shadows of the Frank & Seder signs are visible (see the recent photos here).

Westinghouse Works

How do you give a good impression of how big the Westinghouse dynamo factory is? This extraordinary film from 1904 begins with an aerial tracking shot that goes on uninterrupted for two minutes. Then we see an army of women assembling the more delicate parts, and finally quitting time, when many of the younger workers literally run out the doors.


Colonial flag with One PPG Place

Something like this might still be our flag but for some good luck and a great deal of help from the French. This colonial-era British Red Ensign flies at Point State Park near the Blockhouse.