Nature as Currency

Birds, beasts and blossoms fascinated the region's earliest settlers. Amazed letters home to England and Europe told of the strange and wonderful variety of whatever was growing. Even a novice could farm this rich soil, it seemed, and waves of naive immigrants were inspired to come and put the New World environment to the test.

Some farmed when they arrived; others worked in city shops. One of the latter, ink-maker Joseph Breintnall ambled the woods collecting and identifying leaves when he wasn't concocting inks. Benjamin Franklin described Breintnall as "very ingenious in many nicknackeries" and the two were colleagues in Franklin's workingman's think tank, the Junto. [Read more...]

Joel Rose, Producer and Editor
Viet Le, Rachael Berenguer and Jennifer Lynn, Associate Producers
Elisabeth Perez-Luna, Executive Producer
Kenneth Finkel, Executive Director, Arts & Culture Service

Funding was provided by The William Penn Foundation.

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Marking Pennsylvania History

ExplorePAHistory.comHoney Hollow
The Honey Hollow Watershed in Bucks County was part of two major environmental movements during the 20th century. Honey Hollow became a national symbol of soil conservation during the Great Depression. Since the 1960s, the watershed has faced a new threat -- suburban sprawl. WHYY's Jennifer Lynn reports. [Listen]

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