Painting of Slovak neighborhood seen from the window in his rectory, by Joseph Murgas, Wilkes-Barre, PA, circa 1904
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Slovak neighborhood, exterior homes and surrounding grounds

Credit: Courtesy of WVIA-TV Public Television and Radio

After entering the priesthood, Father Murgas attended art school in Munich. A man of multiple talents, he financed his experiments in wireless telegraphy in Wilkes-Barre by selling his own paintings. After ending those experiments he continued to paint and write poetry. An avid fisherman–he registered a patent for one of the first spinning reels–and a naturalist, Murgas also amassed a collection of 9,000 butterflies before his death in 1929.

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