Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How Pittsburgh lost its ‘H’ and then got it back

H-less Pittsburg appears
under the Penn Station
rotunda Downtown.

via nor and the post gazette
“Richardson Clover had a problem, and a pretty good idea how to fix it. As assistant hydrographer in the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Navigation in 1889, Lt. Clover was in charge of producing its maps. He’d noticed that many place names were spelled several different ways, especially in Alaska, where there were 20 indigenous languages. He suggested to Thomas C. Mendenhall, superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, that the two offices work together on standardizing place names on government charts and other official publications. Thus was born, in 1890, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. One of its first acts, on June 2, 1891, was to take away Pittsburgh’s “H.” On Dec. 23, President Benjamin Harrison made it official. Merry Christmas, Pittsburg! Nothing personal, mind you. The board ruled that all cities and towns with name endings pronounced ‘berg’ should be spelled ‘burg.’... ”
Read the rest here.

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