Ned Schano 412-454-6382 [email protected]
Brady Smith 412-454-6459 [email protected]
Pickle Party! History Center to Unveil Perfectly Preserved 19 Century Pickles as part of New Treasures of the Arabia Exhibition th
-To celebrate the arrival of the 160-year-old pickles to Pittsburgh, the History Center will offer insider tours, free pickle pins, and a complimentary dill pickle spear to all visitors this Sat.PITTSBURGH, June 12, 2014 – Visitors can join the Senator John Heinz History Center this Sat., June 14, for a Pickle Party to celebrate the Pittsburgh arrival of a fun and fascinating addition to the History Center’s newest exhibition, Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia. As part of the Pickle Party event, the museum will offer all visitors FREE pickle pins and a complimentary dill pickle spear, courtesy of the museum’s MixStirs Café, on June 14. Most importantly, visitors can be the first to see perfectly-preserved, 160-year-old pickles – still green in their original glass jar – from the massive cargo of the Steamboat Arabia. In 1856, the Pittsburgh-built vessel carrying more than one million objects hit a snag and sank in the Missouri River. More than 130 years later, a group of modern day treasure hunters rediscovered the Arabia buried 45 feet below a cornfield a half-mile from the river. Remarkably, the anaerobic (oxygenfree) environment perfectly preserved most of the boat’s cargo in excellent condition, including fine dishware, clothing, and even bottled food such as pickles and ketchup. The “sweet pickles” were bottled by Wells, Provost & Co. of New York and loaded on to the Steamboat Arabia in 1856, about 13 years before H.J. Heinz founded his famous ketchup and pickle company in Sharpsburg, Pa. Steamboat Arabia Excavator to Provide Insider Tours of Exhibition The pickles will be hand-delivered to Pittsburgh this week by Dave Hawley, the lead excavator of the Steamboat Arabia and the director of the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, Mo. This Sat. at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Hawley will share stories about the famous pickles – including how a fellow excavator took a bite into one of the 19th century vinegar-soaked cucumbers – along with numerous stories about treasure-hunting and discovery as part of two insider tours of the Treasures of the Arabia exhibition. The insider tours are included with regular museum admission. -more-
The 1856 pickles are one of nearly 2,000 perfectly preserved objects from the Steamboat Arabia’s cargo on display in the Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia exhibit. The 8,000 square foot exhibit, presented in partnership with the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, explores Pittsburgh’s important role as a Gateway to the West and a national hub for the steamboat building industry in the mid-19th century. The pickles will be on display through the remainder of the Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia exhibit, which closes on Jan. 4, 2015. The exhibit is included with regular History Center admission: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (age 62+), $6 for students and children (age 6-17), and free for children (age 5 and under). The exhibit is sponsored by David McCullough, BNY Mellon, The Hillman Foundation, UPMC Health Plan, W. P. Snyder III Charitable Fund, the Bozzone Family Foundation, Dollar Bank, Beverlynn & Steven Elliott, The Heinz Endowments, Jendoco, the Master Builders of Western PA, Ann & Marty McGuinn, Mylan, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. For more information on the exhibit, including videos, photos, and fact sheets, please visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org. The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region’s remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District, and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center’s museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa. in Washington County. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
Visitors to the History Center’s Pickle Party event this Sat., June 14, can be the first to see perfectly preserved, 160-year-old pickles – still green in their original glass jar – from the massive cargo of the Steamboat Arabia as part of the museum’s new exhibition, Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia.
Bob Hawley admires a perfectly preserved jar of 1856 pickles during the excavation of the Steamboat Arabia outside of Kansas City in 1989.
The 8,000 square foot Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia exhibit explores Pittsburgh’s important role as a Gateway to the West and a national hub for the steamboat building industry in the mid-19th century. # # #