Pennsylvania history on the auction block

    Pieces of Pennsylvania history will be auctioned off to the public this weekend. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is getting rid of hundreds of historic items culled from the collections of state museums.

    Pieces of Pennsylvania history will be auctioned off to the public this weekend. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is getting rid of hundreds of historic items culled from the collections of state museums. From WHYY’s Arts and Culture desk, Peter Crimmins reports on why this auction is also a look into the region’s past.

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    The auction will be heavy on railroad items and 19th century farming tools. Some items were pulled from the Landis Museum in Lancaster. That museum was founded on a collection mostly accrued in the early 20th century by the Landis Brothers, who bought tens of thousands of hand tools from people who were going modern.

    Curator Bruce Baumberger says one of the more interesting items is a wagon with a removable bottom once used to haul stones.

    Baumberger: The wagon was used by the Lehigh Transit Line. It was used to dump railroad ballast on an inter-urban trolley line. You don’t find work vehicles like that – they are not fine coaches that are usually given to museums. It’s a rare survival.

    The commission is auctioning off items of which they have too many duplicates, or are too expensive to repair. Baumberger says the money generated by the auction can only be used to maintain the remaining collection or acquire more items.

    The auction will be held Saturday morning in Hummelstown, near Harrisburg.

    Photos of available items

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