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Former Zinc Town Opens Smog Museum

The natural world is enhanced with the arrival of tourist attractions — some of them quite innovative and even symbiotic — although the relationship between the two is often strained. In fact, the environment has been used in the past as a reason to eliminate attractions, whether they deserved it or not.

Smog death anniversary t-shirt art.That’s why it’s refreshing to see that abused nature has now spawned an attraction of its own. The Smog Museum has just opened in Donora, Pennsylvania — and although we’re tempted to cheer, an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cautions that “it is not something to celebrate.”

The bad air enshrined in the Smog Museum is not your garden-variety brown haze smog. This was a killer smog, belched out of a nearby U.S. Steel zinc plant, that killed at least 20 local citizens in October 1948.

The museum, which occupies a former Chinese restaurant, joins a monument to the smog that was erected in 1995. T-shirts commemorating the smog’s 60th anniversary are also available, and would make unique holiday fence-mending gifts. Killer Smog and merchandising, together at last.

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RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Smog Museum

Address:
595 McKean Ave., Donora, PA
Directions:
Downtown. Take Hwy 837 into town. Turn west onto 5th St., then take the second right onto McKean Ave. The museum is on the left, just before you reach 6th St.
Hours:
M-Sa 11 am - 3 pm or by appt. (Call to verify)
Phone:
724-823-0364
Admission:
Free, donations accepted.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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