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Banner to adorn new bridge

Published April 19. 2010 05:00PM

A series of banners will soon adorn the new General Morgan Bridge in Slatington.

Northern Lehigh Future Focus will hold a news conference and banner unveiling at 11 a.m. Tuesday at D.L. Stevens Antiques, 560 Main St., Slatington.

The news conference and unveiling will introduce the new Main Street banners, which will be hung on light poles on the new bridge.

Designed by local artist Patrick Bechtel, the designs are based on old school slates, which were produced in large quantities at the turn of the century in Slatington.

School slates were individual pieces of slate, which were framed with wood and stitched together. Students would write their lessons on these double-sided slates, and they enjoyed widespread use until they were replaced by paper in post-World War I classrooms.

Robert Stettner, a member of the NLFF, said 16 24-inch-by-18-inch double-sided banners will grace the period light poles on the bridge and its approaches.

The banners depict a school slate, and also include writing on the "slate" portion with the words "Slatington established 1864," the year of the borough's incorporation.

Also, the words "Blackboard capital of America" are included, which is a nod to Slatington's one-time distinction of producing more school slates and blackboards at the height of the local slate industry than anywhere in the country.

Funding for the bridge banners was made possible with a Street Amenities Grant from Lehigh County. The Borough of Slatington will maintain the banners.

A Slatington-based community visioning group serving the Northern Lehigh area, the NLFF coordinated the banner project.

Previous banners were erected along Main Street in 2004, in recognition of Slatington's new National Register Historic District, and to welcome people to the borough.

The new banners will complement the existing banners in town, and will also be displayed yearly from spring to fall.

For more information regarding the news conference and banner unveiling, contact Stettner at (610) 767-7626, or stettner@ptd.net.

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