19th Century Foods—what we ate, recipes & methods

October 1, 2013

Sunday, October 13th, 2013 from 1pm-4pm, the Pasto Agricultural Museum will focus on 19th Century Foods. In addition to a 45 minute special presentation beginning at 2:30 pm, recipes will be available to take home. Visitors can make their own hand marbled paper to bind a personal collection of historic “receipts”. Our special guest speaker is Marilyn Roossinck, a Professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and studies Virus Ecology in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State. She grew up on an "old MacDonald farm" in Michigan, where the family raised most of the food they ate. Marilyn started cooking dinner once a week for the family of nine when she was 10 years old, because her mother was a terrible cook. She has had a life-long interest in cooking and food preparation, and has a collection of 20th Century cookbooks. She used the Michigan State University's on-line cookbook library to research her presentation next Sunday on 19th Century foods, and will discuss cooking methods and common ingredients used in household cooking, comparing them to modern cooking. American cooking in the 19th Century was based on English and European methods, but Native American foods added many new ingredients

Open House Featuring Apples

September 15, 2013

We will be pressing apple cider from locally grown apples with an antique cider press. Tours of the museum and hands-on exhibits and activities will be available – including peeling apples, apple prints, and a bit of apple history and lore. Bring your favorite apple recipes to share.

Home Football Sunday Afternoon Open Houses

September 8, 2013

If there is a PSU home football game Saturday, the museum is open Sunday from 1 to 4 and brings focus to special parts of our collection: dairy and butter churning, fibers and rope making, and wood turning, food preservation and home canning...each week will be different. Hands on exhibits and special demonstrations connect the history and science of agriculture to the present day. Admission is free, donations welcome. Our first open house of the season is Sunday September 8th. For program details visit our website at www.agsci.psu.edu/Pasto.

Volunteer Work Days

August 27, 2013

Volunteer work days resume this week, every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 2pm. We will work on programs, exhibits, collections and fundraising ideas to support the work of the museum. Bring a lunch, beverages and light snacks provided. Check with State College Area School District for weather-related closure and delay info.

Silent Auction

August 13, 2013

After great success in 2012, we are pleased to announce that we expect the Silent Auction to continue as an annual part of our fund raising efforts. Funds raised in this Silent Auction help the museum complete exhibits, offer programs that highlight the collection, provide hands-on activities and demonstrations that connect our agricultural past to the present day.

Ag Progress Days 2013

August 13, 2013

Ag Progress Days (APD) at Penn State is Pennsylvania's largest outdoor agricultural exposition. This year’s show will be held August 13, 14, and 15th. The event is held annually during three days in August at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, PA. Ag Progress Days is sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and features exhibits that showcase the latest in Penn State research, as well as information on best management practices and changing regulations in the agricultural industry. Details at http://apd.psu.edu. The museum will feature demonstrations of small grains from harvest to table, Annual Silent Auction, and new hands-on exhibits. Animal driven and hand-operated trashing and milling equipment will be demonstrated, and visitors can taste mid-19th century foods baked in a wood-fired brick oven.

History of Small Grains at Ag Progress Days

August 13, 2013

With an exhibit titled "Small Grains from Threshing Floor to Table," the Pasto Museum portrays the historic endeavor of bringing small grains from field to fork. Featuring daily demonstrations of a horse-treadle-powered thresher and oxen-driven burr mill, and depictions of early baking practices, the display will draw a complete picture of vintage grain production and utilization.

WPSU Records Oral Histories at Ag Progress Days

August 13, 2013

Producers of WPSU's Story Corps will work with the Pasto Agricultural Museum to interview visitors about their experiences on the farm, according to curator Rita Graef.

Annual Friends of the Pasto Agricultural Museum Luncheon

June 25, 2013

Visit the museum at 11am, lunch and meeting to follow until 2:30 pm. Luncheon of soup, sandwiches and desserts will be served. Join us to review what we have accomplished, see what we have planned, be a part of our future. Bring a friend!

Timber Show

June 7, 2013

Timber 2013 to be held June 7-8, 2013, aims to put attendees “in the driver’s seat” with hands-on demonstrations of state-of-the-art machinery. This is an opportunity for forest-product companies to enhance their business and production practices, as well as shop for goods and services from commercial vendors, all in one convenient location. Museum will be open in conjunction with the show

Open House

April 12, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum will hold its first open house of 2013 during Blue-White Weekend on Sunday, April 21.

Pasto Agricultural Museum founder and namesake dies at 97

March 31, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Jerome K. Pasto, associate dean emeritus in the College of Agricultural Sciences and founder and namesake of the Pasto Agricultural Museum, died March 17, 2013 at the age of 97. For more about Dr. Pasto, his life and legacy, visit http://news.psu.edu/story/271956/2013/04/05/academics/agricultural-museum-namesake-and-associate-dean-emeritus-dies-97 Current curator Rita Graef noted that the information and artifacts featured in the museum --thanks to Pasto's vision and determination to sustain the history of agriculture -- represent a huge contribution to our culture. "As founder and namesake of the Pasto Agricultural Museum, Dr. Pasto left a legacy of visible and tangible evidence about the history of the creation of food, fuel, feed and fiber that will educate and enlighten generations to come," she said. Friends will be received at the Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College, on Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. A Celebration of Life Service will follow in the funeral home at 11:30 a.m., burial will be private. The Pasto Agricultural Museum will open for friends and family from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. An obituary published April 7 on the Koch Funeral Home website is available at www.kochfuneralhome.com, or read more here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/centredaily/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=164121370#storylink=cpy

Happy New Year! Thank you for your support thru the past year. We have accomplished so very much and look forward to an exciting 2013.

January 1, 2013

The museum lays under a cover of snow as we head off to Farm Show 2013 in Harrisburg this week. Visit us at the College of Agricultural Sciences Booth in the Main Hall, not far from the butter sculpture. We’ll feature “What do you think?” objects each day, for a chance to win a T-shirt. And at 1pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll share some of the “Secrets Hidden in Old Recipes & Antique Tools” that we’ve uncovered as we research for our new exhibits. We are busy planning new exhibits and programming for our 2013 season. Our first public open house is the Sunday afternoon of Penn State’s Blue & White football weekend, April 21. Our full calendar of events will be posted on our website, and again includes the Spring Festival & Master Gardener Plant Sale, Ag Progress Days, and every Sunday afternoon of Fall home football games. We are open for tours mid-March to mid-December; contacts us to arrange a visit. Weather permitting, volunteer work days resume in February. Look for announcements of work days, projects and wish list items we seek to complete new exhibits. We look forward to seeing you at Farm Show or at the museum!

Open House Featuring Lighting Before Electricity

November 25, 2012

In today's modern society, we take electrical lighting for granted, and most seldom consider how the development of lighting technology provided an opportunity for people to read and work at night, and to extend working hours in a day, noted Rita Graef, Pasto Museum curator.

Open House Featuring History of Timbering

November 18, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The next in a series of open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum will focus on the history of timbering in Pennsylvania and its significance in America's past.

Lighting before electricity featured at Pasto Ag Museum open house Sunday 11/25 1 to 4 pm

November 1, 2012

The last in a series of Sunday 2012 open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum during home football weekends this fall will focus on the history of lighting before the advent of electricity. The event is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 25. In today's modern society, we take electrical lighting for granted, and most seldom consider how the development of lighting technology provided an opportunity for people to read and work at night, and to extend working hours in a day, noted Rita Graef, Pasto Museum curator. "This would have been especially important in agricultural communities, where families spent all day tending crops, taking care of livestock or working in cottage industries," … "Come to the Pasto Museum Nov. 25 and experience the soft glow of early lighting from the candle and kerosene lamp era," Graef said. "Our featured guest will be Rudolph Hershey from Dover. For more than 35 years, he has been collecting early lighting and antiques, with many from the 1860 to 1930 period."… Visitors at the event also can make a pair of Colonial-era wax candles to take home. And to celebrate the success of the 2012 fall open house series, guests will be offered Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream while supplies last.

History of timbering featured at Pasto Ag Museum open house Nov. 18

November 1, 2012

The second to last open house of the 2012 fall Sunday Afternoon Series will feature the history of timbering in Pennsylvania and its significance in America's past.

Open House Featuring Haymaking

October 7, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. 2012 -- The next in a series of fall open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum will focus on the history of haymaking. The event is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 7. Many people wonder, what's the difference between hay and straw? What was hay like a century ago? Why was baling technology developed in the very late 19th century, and what did farmers and animal owners do before then to feed their horses and livestock? Our newest exhibit at the Pasto Agricultural Museum answers these and other questions, with photographs and video footage to show how horse-drawn field equipment worked and what kind of work was involved in 'putting up the hay.' Hay and forage expert John Baylor, Penn State professor emeritus of agronomy extension, will be on hand at the open house to share stories of the history of haymaking and answer questions. Visitors can make straw stars to take home, and see demonstrations of hay forks and harpoons.

Pasto Ag Museum open house puts spotlight on natural fibers, Sunday Oct 28 1pm to 4pm 2012

October 1, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The next in a series of fall open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum will feature natural fibers and historical textile making from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 28. Special guests from local craft guilds will share their expertise and demonstrate spinning and weaving techniques, according to curator Rita Graef. Members of the State College Weavers Guild will demonstrate traditional techniques from Bolivia and Peru. "Andean weavers use a backstrap loom. However, Julia Weldon, a longtime guild member, has adapted the technique to a small-band loom," Graef said. Centre Spinners will bring spinning wheels and hand cards to demonstrate the traditional way of preparing wool to spin. "Drop spindles and various spinning wheels will be demonstrated," Graef added. "Susan Reel, coordinator of the guild, promises to bring samples of unwashed wool fiber, complementing the samples of wool, flax and silk fibers on display." Families visiting the open house are encouraged to try their hand at spinning with a drop spindle and weaving with a heddle loom. Visitors of all ages also can make and take home a small portable pocket loom and weaving. The history of harvesting natural fibers and using them in clothing, storage, building material and other items of daily use, such as ropes and fishing nets, goes back thousands of years, Graef noted. All cultures of the world have used the natural fibers that were locally available to them. Flax, generally considered to be the oldest natural textile fiber, was found in sites dating back to 5000 B.C. Earliest use of cotton and wool are estimated to be between 3000 B.C. and 5000 B.C. Hemp was cultivated in China in 2800 B.C. Silk is believed to have been discovered by a Chinese princess in 2600 B.C. The Pasto Museum features hundreds of rare farm and home implements from the "muscle-power era," before the advent of electricity and gasoline-powered engines. "By seeing and touching tools and equipment used in early agriculture and rural life, people will better understand and appreciate how early technological developments led to modern-day technologies," Graef explained. The museum is welcoming visitors this fall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday during Penn State home football weekends as part of an initiative to increase public awareness of the museum's collection. Bring a friend!

Sunday October 30th 2012 1-4 pm Pasto Agricultural Museum Open House features CORN

October 1, 2012

Corn has been the most widely grown crop in the country for many generations, so it's not surprising that it's the subject of the next open house at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum, Oct. 30. October 30 we’ll be cuttin’ and huskin’ corn & makin’ corn husk dolls. We’ll be demonstrating antique corn cutting and corn husking tools in the field (in the field weather permitting, or in the museum). Come early to visit the museum and participate in hands-on corn husk doll craft, stay for the demonstration and discussion starting at about 3pm. November 13 Hay making with our forage expert Dr. John Baylor, video screening of field demonstrations with antique machinery. Our last of the Fall 2012 Open House Series, we’ll celebrate with Creamery Ice Cream while supplies last.

Open House Featuring Corn

September 23, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. 2012 -- The next in a series of fall open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum will focus on old-fashioned corn production and its historical significance in America's past. The event is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23. Activities will include demonstrations of antique corn-harvest tools on a standing corn crop: corn knives, a leg-bound cutting tool, corn horse and shock-cord in the field to cut and bind corn for drying. Husking pegs will be available for visitors to try their hand at husking corn. A corn sheller and meal grinder will be demonstrated.

A look at communications in the 1800's

September 23, 2012

Sunday, September 22, 2013 from 1-4 pm How did we get the word out before Twitter and Facebook? Before the telephone? What did people communicate and how did they get the message across long distances? Courier delivery is said to have begun with the Assyrian postal system, with credit given to Hammurabi (1700 BC) in Persia. And the Old Testament (Esther, VIII) makes mention of this system: Ahasuerus, king of Medes, used couriers for communicating his decisions. The first telegram in the United States was sent by Samuel Morse to his assistant, Alfred Vail on 11 January 1838, across two miles of wire at Speedwell Ironworks near Morristown, New Jersey. The Morse/Vail telegraph was quickly deployed in the following two decades; the overland telegraph connected the west coast of the continent to the east coast by 24 October 1861, bringing an end to the Pony Express. Western Union ceased telegraph service on January 27, 2006 after providing 145 years of service. Times change. Our youngest visitor stopped in last week and sharing information about next week’s program we asked how Mom had gotten word out about the new family member. “Facebook,” she shrugged. And of the grandfolks in the party we asked how they announced the birth of their daughter decades earlier. “Telephone,” they said without hesitating. And their parents? They might have send letters, telegrams, or formal printed announcements…it is interesting to think about what news was shared, how it was distributed and how quickly it reached its destination. The Pasto Agricultural Museum will ask visitors to image a time without cell phones and internet and explore bits and pieces of the timeline of communication this Sunday (Sept 22) from 1 to 4 pm. Try your hand at Morse code, semaphore code, or write an old fashioned letter with quill pen or old-fashioned typewriter. Several hands-on stations will be set up throughout the museum. We are partnering with the American Philatelic Society (www.stamps.org) to share some of the history of postal mail. They will also provide information about how to organize, identify, and handle stamps for collecting. Every Sunday afternoon following a Penn State Home Football game, the museum is open from 1pm to 4pm. Each Open House features a different part of our collection, with hands-on demonstrations, special exhibits, lectures, and tours. Coming up Sunday Oct 13th, we take a look at 19th century foods, recipes and cookbooks. November 3rd the focus is Fibers, partnering with local spinning and weaving guilds to bring visitors hands on spinning and weaving experience, as well as a sample of various types of fibers used today and in the past. Our final open house November 24 will feature oral history and showcase the interviews that were captured by WPSU Public Broadcasting as part of our StoryCorpsAg project this past Ag Progress Days.

Open House Featuring Washboards

September 16, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The next in a series of fall open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum will focus on washboards and their historical significance in America's past.

Open House Featuring History of Butter

September 2, 2012

History buffs, agricultural enthusiasts, "foodies" and others can learn about the annals of butter during an open house at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum, Sunday, Sept. 2. The event will feature butter and churns and their historical significance in America's agrarian past.

Home Football Sunday Open House Series

September 1, 2012

September 1, 15, 22 October 6, 27 November 17, 24

2011 Volunteer Meeting at the Museum

September 1, 2012

Thursday Sept 29, 9-11 am We will identify programming and projects to accomplish through 2012, identify the volunteer resources that might be available, and begin the discussion of forming Voluntary Advisory Committees to assist with museum Operations & Fundraising, Collections & Exhibits, Programming & Education.

New Hay Making Exhibit at Ag Progress Days

August 16, 2012

Join us Thursday Aug 16 at 8:30 am to celebrate our new Hay Making Exhibit, made possible with funding support by the Schroeder Family Fund. We will celebrate with coffee and pastries.

1905 Panama Hay Press Demonstration at Ag Progress Days

August 14, 2012

Live demonstration of the 1905 Panama Hay Press powered by a team of young oxen, every day at 10 am and 1:30 pm

Silent Auction

August 14, 2012

Silent Auction with something for everyone - antiques, collectibles, gift certificates, game tickets, agricultural materials and equipment...stop by to bid and to support the museum in our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Split Oak Basket Making Demonstration at Ag Progress Days

August 14, 2012

Pasto Agricultural Museum


Museum Address:
2710 West Pine Grove Road, Gate K

Pennsylvania Furnace, PA 16865