The Wizard of Menlo Park helped ease a housing crisis in Donora.
A prominent bronze plaque at the southern entrance to Donora honors smog victims...and then some.
Who was Opechancanough, and what did he have to do with blast furnaces in Donora?
Who was Prince Wells, and how did he get the great William Donner so blinkin' high? William Henry Donner, founder of Donora, was an astute,…
The second part of two posts linking Donora's founder with the industrial titan Andrew Carnegie.
William Henry Donner, founder of Donora, was never a titan in the mold of Rockefeller, Carnegie, or the Mellon brothers were, but he learned a great deal from them all. Including how to build his mills in Donora.
After Susan Gnora died in the smog, a settlement with US Steel allowed each of her eight children, all of whom were age 20 or older, to receive a bit over half the cost of a new TV.
How has the Donora smog tragedy affected the way we live today?
We tred carefully through the brambles, weeds, and bushes devouring a hillside cemetery in the north end of Donora, Pa. We step from one small…
Knowing where each victim lived — and died — can be instructive for several reasons. Consider how many of those victims and their families must have known each other.
Stacey is right, race relations in the town were indeed strange, but it didn't seem to bother anyone much, apparently not even black residents.
For decades during the mid-1900s a Chamber of Commerce sign at the Donora town line read, “NEXT TO YOURS THE BEST TOWN IN THE USA.” Donorans found an odd pride in being a second-best town, no matter where a visitor came from. Perhaps that was to be expected. The town didn’t originate naturally, as a place people moved to because they liked the area or as a natural outgrowth of an urban area. No, it originated because industrialists in Pittsburgh thought it would make the best spot to build steel and zinc mills.
Certainly there have been strides made in the nation's ability to combat air pollution. The greater Pittsburgh area, which once served basically as "Air Pollution Central" due to the many steel plants there, has seen continued progress (right) for many years, as have most cities throughout the U.S. We need to remain fully committed to this path to attain truly clean air.
He strapped on the oxygen tank he kept at home, the green one, labeled TO BE FILLED WITH COMPRESSED OXYGEN ONLY, and walked out the back door, onto Thompson Avenue, into the dark fog. Bill Schempp at a fire practice Walking had become so difficult by then that he dropped to his hands and knees and crept through the heavy, burning fog, feeling his way from house to house.
Cancer was once a word uttered soto voce, a word so dangerous it would conjure demons and visions of the Spectre of Death. A barely-known radiologist named Marjorie B. Illig helped to change that, and the women of Donora readily jumped aboard her world-changing vision.
It seems that not everyone received a death certificate in 1948, or, if they did, it was lost or never archived. Marriage applications, census data, immigration passenger lists, and so forth, are also often inaccurate or provide inconsistent information.
Most people know Donner, if they know him at all, as the founder of Donora, a town with a name unlike any other in the world. They might know that Donner was connected to the Mellons —Andrew W. and Richard B. — and that he was instrumental in creating the zinc and steel mills in Donora at the turn of the 20th Century. They might not know much else.
Donora, Pennsylvania, would likely not exist today if town founder William H. Donner hadn't finally persuaded Margaret Heslep, a surprisingly crafty negotiator, to sell her land.