Altoona ălto͞o´nə [key], industrial city (1990 pop. 51,881), Blair co., central Pa., on the eastern slopes of the Allegheny Mts., near the source of the Juniata River settled c.1769, laid out (1849) by the Pennsylvania RR as a switching point for locomotives preparing to mount the Allegheny Plateau inc. as a city 1868. It is a railroad center with construction and repair shops. Manufactures include fabricated metal products, food, machinery, electrical equipment, and chemicals. Nearby tourist attractions are the Horseshoe Curve constructed by the Pennsylvania RR, a world-famous engineering feat and Wopsononock Mt. (2,580 ft/786 m high). A branch of Pennsylvania State Univ. is in Altoona.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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