Industrial Beaver County

Image: Elizabeth Marine Ways online: "Steamboat Building in Elizabeth, PA: A journal of daily activities at the Elizabeth Marine Ways 1898 to 1925.

Towboat Aliquippa (1914 - 1952)

The only known recording of the Towboat Aliquippa’s steam whistle.  Owned by the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company, this coal-fired stern wheeler worked the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Who's Listening to History?

Welcome to our online exhibit, Historic Sound: Industrial Beaver County.

In this innovative presentation, we explore the sounds of industry, which is generally defined as the processing of raw materials and the manufacturing of goods in factories, mills, or other such facilities. But here we also include agriculture and transportation as part of our complex of industrial activity.

We might even consider as important the sounds of “stuff” created by industry.  The brief sound montage presented here is a sonic demonstration of things in use–ordinary sounds from daily life that we tend to take for granted until presented to us as part of the historical record of our material culture. We explore this topic a little more in our section, “Listen to History.”

In our “Soundscapes” room you will have a chance to hear examples of our industrial landscape–past and present.  Some of our sonic samples are a cacophony; swirling around you are loud and chaotic soundscapes of machinery in motion.  Listen to the tradesmen cutting, hammering, milling, and joining materials together.  In other sound clips, you will hear a work done in more bucolic settings, such as on the farm, in the fields, and along the rivers.

Our “Recording History” section will give you a sense of how soundscapes are recorded, and how you can become a local history recordist to help capture, preserve, and share the soundscapes of our lives.

And finally, our “Reading Room” is where you will find a wide range of resources for further research and study.

The sounds of things from the 1970s

What's Inside the Exhibit

This exhibit and the Beaver County History Podcast are productions of The Social Voice Project. We welcome factual corrections and meaningful clarifications regarding the content on this page.