Author John L Busch to Speak at Steamtown NHS

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Date: October 4, 2010

SCRANTON, Pa. – Independent historian and author, John Laurence Busch, will present a lecture on his just-published book, "Steam Coffin: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break the Barrier," at Steamtown National Historic Site on Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17.

"Steam Coffin" is a non-fiction book written about the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a steamship, the Savannah, under the command of Captain Moses Rogers. The book "chronicles the first strides of the first generation of 'steamboats' in history, including the steamboat Phoenix, [which was] the first commercially successful steamboat on the Delaware River." The Phoenix was also under the command of Captain Rogers. The book contains much never-before-published material, and is presented in traditional storytelling style. Mr. Busch opines that, "most importantly, every high technology that followed [steamship technology] – from railroads, to the electro-magnetic telegraph, to the automobile and airplanes – rests upon the successful introduction of, and psychological breakthrough provided by, the first high technology, steam vessels." "Put differently," he continues, "from a psychological and technological standpoint, the steamship Savannah is the ancestor of railroads."

Mr. Busch's presentations will take place in the Steamtown Theater at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on both days, and will include PowerPoint visuals and some artifacts. Mr. Busch's book will be available for purchase at the Steamtown Bookstore, and he will also conduct autograph sessions after each presentation.

The special presentations are included in the Park's $6.00 daily Entrance Fee for ages 17 and older; children 16 and younger are admitted at no charge with an accompanying adult. Seating is still available for most Fall Foliage excursions to either Moscow or Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, which are offered on October weekends through Saturday, October 30. Additionally, the Park continues the "Scranton Limited" train rides in the Steamtown Yards at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. The "Scranton Limited" train rides operate Wednesdays – Sundays through December 4. Cost for the "Scranton Limited" train rides are $3.00 for all, ages 6 and older, in addition to the Park Entrance Fee.

Located in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania, Steamtown is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. From I-81 follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then, follow the signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues. Reservations are strongly recommended for Fall Foliage excursions, and may be obtained by phoning (570) 340-5204 daily, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Additional details regarding interpretive and educational programs and activities may be obtained by phoning (570) 340-5200 during business hours, or by visiting the Park website at anytime!

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