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Landis Valley’s Visitor Center Gallery houses theme-based exhibits where we showcase the best items in our collection, along with related objects on loan from other institutions and private collections. All tell part of the story of the Pennsylvania Germans or of life in this part of Pennsylvania and America from the mid-1700’s to the mid-1900’s.
This specific exhibit is an amazing American story of overcoming immense obstacles through ingenuity and intelligence to become an ingenious inventor. Having grown up in a rural Pennsylvania family that came out of slavery, William Chester Ruth learned blacksmithing and mechanics to become an inventor of agricultural equipment and devices that made the business of farming easier and more profitable. During WWII, he also invented multiple top secret devices for the military. In all, he held over 50 patents.
You will be inspired by this unique story. Click on the image below to see for yourself.