Hobo Homes During the Depression: Photographs of the Scranton Jungle by R.W. Jeffers Exhibit at Steamtown NHS
Scranton, PA – Steamtown National Historic Site, downtown Scranton, will proudly open a new photography exhibit, "Hobo Homes During the Depression: Photographs of the Scranton 'Jungle' by R.W. Jeffers", presented by Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., in the Park’s Changing Exhibits Gallery beginning Friday, February 1.
The exhibit documents the transient residents and shanty shelters of Scranton’s "East Mountain Jungle," which was a semi-permanent encampment located near the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad tracks near NayAugPark. The photographs were taken between 1930 and 1937 by the late R. W. Jeffers, a motorcycle patrolman with the Scranton Police Department. The camp was one of many shanty towns, or "Hoovervilles" (named for President Herbert Hoover), scattered throughout the country during the years of the Great Depression. Mr. Jeffers' notes on one of the photographs that men in the camp took work whenever they could get it, and "when they got enough money and work, they got out."
Dr. Lanning is director of the Hope Horn Gallery at the University of Scranton, where the exhibit debuted in January. She notes that she discovered the original snapshots in the Lackawanna Historical Society’s collection several years ago while working there as a part-time employee. Remembering those haunting images of a past many are not familiar with, Dr. Lanning decided to exhibit Patrolman Jeffers' documentation on another facet of Scranton's history. The exhibit will be on display during regular Park hours through March 29, and is included in the Park's Entrance Fee.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania, Steamtown National Historic Site is open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. through March 29, 2008; regular Park hours, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., resume on March 30. From Interstate 81, follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); follow signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna Avenue and Cliff Street. Additional details regarding interpretive and educational programs and activities, and weather related cancellations, may be obtained by calling (570) 340-5200, toll free (888) 693-9391, or by visiting the Steamtown NHS website at www.nps.gov/stea.
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Did You Know?
Many railroads, particularly Eastern roads, used anthracite coal for locomotive fuel during the early steam era. During World War I, the US Navy and the Allied Forces used anthracite coal to power the steam boilers of warships such as Admiral Dewey's USS Olympia, which is berthed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Burning anthracite resulted in low-smoke emissions from steamship boilers and gave the Allies a strategic opportunity to close-in on the enemy in a battle. With anthracite coal diverted to the war effort, locomotive builders adapted to using bituminous coal in their future designs.