Instagram accounts concerning the historical past of Pittsburgh

Meet some of the Pittsburghers who make history on Instagram.

Posted on Friday April 16, 2021

Are you interested in learning about local history? Do you like to look at old photos? Have you ever looked at an old photo and wanted to find out more about what’s in the frame? You’re not alone. From archivists to conservationists to historians, these Pittsburghers share photos and history on their Instagram accounts.

Greater Hazelwood Pittsburgh Historical Society @HazelwoodHistory

The Greater Hazelwood Historical Society in Pittsburgh was founded by JaQuay Edward Carter and is dedicated to the preservation and transmission of the history of zip code 15207. Hazelwood is located on the Monogahela River and was the site of a steel mill until 1998. Listen to our interview with JaQuay to learn more about Hazelwood.

Rich Condon shares the history of the Civil War in Pittsburgh via the @CivilWarPittsburgh Instagram account. To learn more about some of Lawrenceville’s Civil War locations, listen to our interview with Rick here and read this story Rich wrote for us about how Pittsburgh closed the city in the 19th century.

Brian is an author who has written several books on places in Pittsburgh. He is also the editor of Western Pennsylvania History Magazine, published by the Sen. John Heinz History Center. We met Brian to learn about a 1907 lion attack in Oakland.

Brian’s Instagram account features photos of local signage and street signs from across the county.

You may also want to read some of Brian’s books:

  • 📕 “Diners of Pennsylvania” 2011-, Amazon
  • 📕 “Greetings from the Lincoln Highway: A Road Trip Celebration for America’s First Coast-to-Coast Highway” 2019 –, Amazon

Charles Succop works in the Pittsburgh City Archives. He runs 3 different Instagram accounts on local history (more on this below). The @ PittsburghHistory account shares some of the lesser-known stories in Pittsburgh history. One of the posts is a fascinating story about Thomas Edison and Henry Ford stopping in Pittsburgh and playing with some local Boy Scouts in Squirrel Hill.

Archives and special collections at the University of Pittsburgh @PittArchives

This Instagram account shares photos and stories from the University of Pittsburgh library archives, including some images from the George A. Romero archives now in Pitt.

The @pghthenandnow account shows photos of a specific place or intersection over time. If you want to know what used to be in the building where the Square Cafe in East Liberty is, check out this photo gallery on the Instagram account @pghthenandnow.

Doors Open Pittsburgh is a nonprofit that offers tours of historic buildings and neighborhoods. They have given a large number of online lectures on the history of Pittsburgh since the pandemic. Follow @DoorsOpenPGH on Instagram for some behind the scenes photos, facts about Pittsburgh history, and a preview of upcoming events. (And we love their hashtag #benebby!)

Sue Morris tells a myriad of stories about Pittsburgh’s history on her blog, The Historical Dilettante. Don’t miss her profile at the Pittsburgh Natatorium, an ornate downtown indoor pool that was demolished in 1935. Read our story on Sue Morris to learn more about her research.

Felix Strater set up this Instagram account to share some historical photos of the University of Pittsburgh campus. The account continued to share vintage photos from Pittsburgh. Check out our story on Vintage PGH’s Instagram account to learn more about how photo sharing helped Felix in his post-college career.

This is a Preservation Pittsburgh committee dedicated to modern architecture and art in Pittsburgh.

The Chatham University Archives has some information on famous alums, as well as some photos and the history of the houses and buildings around the campus.

The Sewickley Valley Historical Society uses Instagram to share historical photos of the area and some impressive items from their archives.

Heinz History Center @HistoryCenter

This Instagram account is a nice mix of local photos and items from the archives. We are happy about the allusion to the movie Flashdance in your last post.

Historian and archivist Charles Succop uses this Instagram account to share photos of houses that have been adapted for other purposes. There are some interesting buildings hidden behind familiar shop windows.

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