New Source of Railroad photos

Media High Bridge2

Image from Media Historic Archives Commission Stephen H. Appleton Collection

Member Adam Levine shares this information on a project of his involving about a year of scanning, editing, and cataloging glass plates ranging from 4×5 to 8×10 in size that have never before been available.  Adam is chairman of the Media (Pa.) Archives Commission. The group recently put online the Stephen H. Appleton Collection which includes more than 2,000 glass photographic negatives, taken in Media, Pennsylvania and vicinity from 1888 to 1909.  You can find the collection at

Adam is informing the Oliver Evans chapter because the collection includes about 200 photographs related to local railroads. These images can be located on the Archives website by using the Browse & Search by subject headings. He is hoping that members with knowledge of the subjects can provide more information about the photos. Adam adds, “The photographer was very cryptic in his descriptions, and while I have tried to more fully identify and locate the photos, I’m not a railroad expert and would appreciate any input people want to give.”

People can respond through the “Contact Us” link on the website.

10 Modern Marvels That Changed America



Tuesday, July 24, 08:00 pm on WHYY

Duration: 0:56:46

Description: Take a whirlwind tour of engineering feats that made our civilization possible, from the Erie Canal and Eads Bridge, to the Holland Tunnel and Hoover Dam. See how engineers connected our nation with bridges, rail networks and a continent-wide freeway system, and delivered water from distant rivers to our kitchen sinks.

View Additional Airings

Philadelphia Park Alliance Tours

The Parks Alliance’s ParkTours program features hikes and walks to magical and often unseen places in Philadelphia’s parks and surrounding countryside.  These evening, half-day and full-day adventures convey the history, power and value of our open space and the need to preserve and protect it. Parks Alliance founder and Board President Bob Thomas and local arborist Ken LeRoy have been designing and leading intriguing ParkTours for many years. Let us know if you would like to lead a park tour or if you are interested in having a tour visit your park.


Tuesday, August 7th, 2018, 5:00pm to 7:30pm / Raindate: Wednesday, August 8th

Finding the Frankford Creek Greenway

Through the efforts of the City of Philadelphia and the Tookany-Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, once derelict Frankford Creek is becoming a greenway linking Tacony Creek Park with the Delaware River and the East Coast Greenway.  Join Bob Thomas for an exploratory tour of new and proposed park and greenway development along once-neglected Frankford Creek as well as several local parks and a walk on the East Coast Greenway down to Port Richmond, including a stellar view of the Delaware River.  We conclude with an option dinner at an interesting local restaurant discussing the importance of The Circuit Trails in the revitalization and appreciation of the history of this industrial waterfront.

Information and reservations: online at or 215-879-8159. Meeting place: Benches at the north end of Womrath Park at Frankford and Kensington Avenues, a block south on Frankford Avenue from the Frankford Elevated’s Church Street Station  Terrain and Difficulty: Walkways and park paths — rated easy. Wear good walking shoes, dress comfortably, and bring snacks to eat along the way. Trip fee does not include the cost of the optional dinner. Total limit: 30 participants – Sign-up deadline August 6th, 5pm


Wednesday, September 5th, 2018, 5:00pm to 7:30pm / Raindate: Thursday, September 6th

Historic Callowhill and the Reading Viaduct

Drawing on its remarkable industrial and transportation history, the Callowhill neighborhood is seeing a significant resurgence, along with the development of the abandoned Reading Railroad Viaduct as an elevated linear park. Join Bob Thomas for a history walk through Calllowhill, and spend time visiting the newly opened portion of what is now known as the first section of The Rail Park.  Following the tour, we’ll conclude with an optional dinner nearby, discussing the history of the Reading Viaduct, and plans for future improvements. Over dinner we’ll also have a chance to see some historic photographs of the areas we will have just visited.

Information and reservations: online , or 215-879-8159. Meeting place: Beginning of the Rail Park at the northeast corner of Broad and Noble Streets, is short walk down Broad Street from the subway’s Spring Garden Street Station.  Terrain and Difficulty: Walkways and park paths — rated easy. Wear good walking shoes, dress comfortably, and bring snacks to eat along the way. Trip fee does not include the cost of the optional dinner. Total limit 30 participants – Sign-up deadline September 4 at 5 PM.


Saturday, October 13th, 2018, 8am to 6pm (All Day Tour) / Raindate: Spring 2019

Fall in Lancaster County

Mid-October is a superb time to enjoy the harvest in Lancaster County and the beginning of the fall leaf season. After a hearty hikers’ breakfast,  join Bob Thomas for an exhilarating walk through this picturesque countryside of farms, one-room schoolhouses, and old mills, visiting many areas not often seen, and sampling some of the local foods.  We’ll conclude this beautiful day in the Amish countryside with an optional dinner at a local eatery, and a discussion of farm life in this landscape just an hour or so from Philadelphia.

Meeting place: at Bob Thomas’ for a hikers’ breakfast: Please confirm address when registering.—Terrain and Difficulty: little-used country roads with few hills.  Rated moderate. Wear good walking shoes, and bring water, snacks, and a picnic lunch to eat along the way. Pre-registration required. Limit of the first 12 participants for the breakfast. Transportation will be by car pools – all are expected to share the cost of driving from Philadelphia.  Sign-up deadline October 8th, 2018.


Chester County 2018 Town Tours and Village Walks / Explore our Roots of Industry and Innovation

The Chester County Board of Commissioners through the Chester County Planning Commission; the Chester County Historical Society; Westtown Township; the Chester County Historic Preservation Network; and the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau announce the 24th summer of sharing Chester County’s heritage during the annual Town Tours & Village Walks.

Town Tours & Village Walks is a series of free summer strolls through historic neighborhoods, hamlets, villages and sites. This summer, you can explore Chester County’s heritage on Thursday evenings, June 14th-August 30th. Tours generally last 50 minutes and begin at 5:30 pm with the last tour leaving at 7:00 pm unless daylight allows for additional tours. Each tour is designed to inform, entertain and increase awareness of Chester County’s rich heritage and historic landscape. A number of our sites offer a selection of restaurants and shops to enjoy after your tour.

For descriptions, locations and other information visit:

July 12 — The Birth, Growth and Future of the Mushroom Industry

Sponsors: Kennett Township Historical Commission and Historic Kennett Square

July 19 — Industry Rebels: Women at Yellow Springs

Sponsor: Historic Yellow Springs

July 26 — The Milling that Made Chester County

Sponsor: The Mill at Anselma Preservation & Education Trust

August 2 — The Phoenix Column: A Bridge to the Future

Sponsors: The Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area and Schuylkill River Heritage Center

August 9 — Agricultural Antiques & Modern Machines

Sponsors: Upper Oxford Township Historical Commission & Chester County Agricultural Development Council.

August 16 — Fricks Lock: Birth of a Canal Village

Sponsor: East Coventry Historical Commission

August 23 — Special Supper & Lecture at the Springs — The Mills of Chester County

Sponsor: Chester County Historic Preservation Network

6 – 7:30 pm; limit 50 participants. Advanced reservations required!

Wayne Junction Historic District


The Designation Committee of the Philadelphia Historical Commission has called for recommendations concerning the creation of a new industrial heritage district in Nicetown/Lower Germantown. Kim Broadbent who wrote the nomination, gave our chapter a tour back in 2013. She has written a terrific, in depth nomination of the area and its industries. It can be accessed at this link:

The Chapter is sending a recommendation for approval of this nomination. If you have any comments, please send them to the committee members. Here is their request and contact information.


The Wayne Junction Historic District will at last be on the Agenda of the Phila Historical Commission July 13, 2018 (It has been on the National Register since 2012.) At this time the commission will vote to determine if the district will be added to the local register. It is important for the commission to know there is support for this important nomination. We need you/your organization to send letters of support. They can be emailed or mailed see below information. You are welcome as always to attend the public hearing July 13, 9 am-noon, 1515 Arch St 18th flr.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Regards -Allison Weiss,, 215 843 5555

link to nomination:

Email Support:

Designation Committee/Historical Commission

Executive Dir: Jonathan Farnham,

Staff: Kim Broadbent,

Committee Chair: Robert Thomas