See How the Brooklyn Bridge Was Built

A Roebling Museum road trip presentation

Wednesday, December 1 at 6pm

Join us as Author Jeffrey Richman shares a selection of 19th-century images from his new book to explore the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Many of the images have never been published on the printed page before. Mr. Richman’s new book, Building the Brooklyn Bridge 1869-1883: An Illustrated History with Images in 3D, is avilable for purchase at local bookstores and online.

Check out this feature on CBS Saturday morning:

Register here for Free Event. Sign up here!


The Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society presents


In person at the Hagley Center
The program will also be live streamed on Haley’s YouTube channel

During the nineteenth century, heroic individual inventors such as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell created entirely new industries while achieving widespread fame. However, by 1927, a New York Times editorial suggested that teams of corporate scientists at General Electric, AT&T, and DuPont had replaced the solitary “garret inventor” as the wellspring of invention. But these inventors never disappeared. In this talk, Eric Hintz (Lemelson Center, Smithsonian Institution) will argue that lesser-known inventors such as Chester Carlson (Xerox photocopier), Samuel Ruben (Duracell batteries), and Earl Tupper (Tupperware) continued to develop important technologies throughout the twentieth century. Moreover, Hintz explains how independent inventors gradually fell from public view as corporate brands increasingly became associated with high-tech innovation. The independents enjoyed a resurgence, however, at the turn of the twenty-first century, as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner heralded a new generation of heroic inventor-entrepreneurs. By recovering the stories of a group once considered extinct, Hintz will show that independent inventors have long been—and remain—an important source of new technologies.

Registration of Eric Hintz’s talk is exclusively available through Eventbrite at
It will be live streamed from Hagley’s YouTube channel. Register at the link above to view the program.

View this link for other Hagley programs.

The Industrial and Neighborhood History around Matthias Baldwin Park, Philadelphia

Industrious Light: Baldwin Locomotive Works
The new mural by Phillip Adams for the Mural Arts program.
Note turtle; flowering plants; locomotive; and factory shop with wheels, hoist, and rivets on steel support columns.

The Oliver Evans Chapter presents
“The Industrial and Neighborhood History around Matthias Baldwin Park”
A talk by Joe Walsh, vice president of the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park

 Tuesday, December 14, 2021 6:30 – 8:30

Matthias Baldwin Park is a two-acre Philadelphia city park at 423 North 19th Street. The Friends post a monthly hyperlocal history article about sites within two blocks of the park at, under the History tab. There are over fifty articles so far, many dealing with industrialists such as Matthias Baldwin, William Sellers, Asa Whitney, William Bement, and even Oliver Evans. There are minimal remnants of these former machine shops, foundries, coal yards, and locomotive factories, but Joe will mention two in his talk. In addition, he will use the Baldwin Park neighborhood as an example of the sequence of events that changed this and many Philadelphia neighborhoods from Lenape homeland; to colonial estate; to “workshop of the world;” to a deindustrialized target of redevelopment; and finally to glass high-rises.

Joe is retired from the medical field and has spent 16 years in Philadelphia. He lives in the Baldwin Park neighborhood and has long been interested in all things related to coal, iron, and machine makers — basically the 19th century history of his neighborhood. He is on the board of the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park and serves as webmaster for the group’s website at, and wrote many of the monthly history articles on the site. He is constantly impressed at how a few neighbors can adopt a wee bit of Philadelphia and make it the centerpiece of a real community.

Below is a link to an article by Joe with detailed information on the elements depicted in the mural including the Baldwin locomotive.

Save the Date 

This presentation will be on Zoom and a link will be posted closer to the time of the event.


What’s Joel Doing?

South Street Museum Opening
523 S. 4
th St. – Phila. PA 19147

The Museum is a collection of artifacts from the South Street Renaissance as it happened from1962 to
the present including a history of the neighborhood.

The Museum will be open:
Saturday December 4,  2021  2 until 6
Saturday Dec. 11, 2021  12 until 6
Saturday Dec 18, 2021 12 until 6

And by appointment, contact: 

The Industrial Archaeology of the West Point Foundry

Join the SIA for the 15th session of IA Online Wednesday, November 10 at 8 p.m. Eastern (US & Canada)

T. Arron Kotlensky & Steve Walton – “Where Archaeology and History Collide: The Industrial Archaeology of the West Point Foundry”

The establishment of the foundry was encouraged by President James Madison, who, after the War of 1812, wanted to establish domestic foundries to produce artillery. Cold Spring was an ideal site: timber for charcoal was abundant, there were many local iron mines, and the nearby Margaret’s Brook provided water power to drive machinery. The site was guarded by West Point, across the Hudson River, and the river provided shipping for finished products.

This collaborative presentation will last 40 minutes followed by 20 minutes of Q&A with the presenters.

Register to join us on Zoom:

Also, videos of past IA Online presentations can be viewed on the SIA YouTube Channel.

Alchemy Illuminated: The Art of Crafting from Trash

Oliver Evans chapter member Joel Spivak is exhibiting at the Neon Museum in Northern Liberties. He is a member of  the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers , a found object art collective formed 29 years ago

Grand Opening this Weekend!

Friday, November 5th
First Friday soft opening of the exhibit

Saturday, November 6th
Grand opening with the Dumpster Divers in attendance

Know Before You Go

The Museum recommends reserving tickets, though walk-ins are welcome.
$10 admission per adult. 7 to 12 year olds enter for free.

Here is a link to full information on the museum and exhibit and to make a reservation:

Former Budd Plant, Nicetown, Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Vacant Budd Plant Becomes a Biomanufacturing Center

Aug 6, 2021

A facility that once fabricated metal products for the automotive and transportation industry central to a bygone era of Philadelphia’s economy, has found a new life as a biomanufacturing center, a key industry for the city’s economic future.The Plymouth Group, which owns the property, has partnered with Centerbridge Partners, L.P. to turn the former Budd Plant in Philadelphia into a facility that will support biomanufacturing efforts of companies across Cellicon Valley. The new site will position Philadelphia as a key lynchpin in biomanufacturing and continue the city’s growth as one of the top biopharma hubs in the United States.

The historic Budd plant will become known as the Budd campus. The first phase of the 2.4M square-foot project includes the 450,000 square-foot Budd Bioworks. It will include 300,000 square feet of cGMP drug manufacturing space along with 150,000 square feet of lab and office space which is expected to become available as soon as the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021. The full scope of the redevelopment encompasses six buildings spread across 25 acres in the City of Philadelphia.  It is conceived as a mixed-use transformation with residences, restaurants, and retail space complementing the Budd Bioworks once complete. 

The former Budd Company plant is located between Philadelphia’s Center City and the suburbs. The Budd Company began operations in Philadelphia in the 1920s, fabricating metal for multiple automobile companies, including General Motors, Buick, Ford, and Dodge. The Budd Company plant operated for decades until the plant was shuttered as imported automobiles began to dominate the market. It sat dormant for years, with multiple proposals to turn the property into a casino or mixed-use site. In 2019, the vacant building and campus were acquired by Plymouth Group, which set the stage for the Budd plant’s latest mission.

Michael Davis, the founding partner of Plymouth Group, touted the transition of the Budd plant from an automotive-focused facility to one designed to support the biomanufacturing community. He said few things ”capture the spirit of transformative change” in a city like the repurposing of a facility. He said the Budd plant will transition from making metal car parts one stamping machine at a time to building a state-of-the-art cell and gene manufacturing facility in the heart of the community.

”This won’t be known anymore as the ‘former’ Budd assembly plant. It will be the world’s leading biomanufacturing facility,” Davis said.

The investment into the rehabilitation and transformation of the Budd plant comes at a time when the biopharma industry in Philadelphia is seeing significant growth. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) placed Philadelphia in the seventh out of 10 top biopharma markets. In the overall rankings, the greater Philadelphia area took sixth in venture capital funding, secured the seventh place spot in jobs and lab space, and eighth place in funding from the National Institutes of Health. 

Philadelphia is home to more than 25 different cell and gene therapy companies, as well as outstanding research institutes, such as the University of Pennsylvania. In all, there are approximately 5,000 life sciences employees in the city and that could grow due to new manufacturing facilities like Budd Bioworks, Discovery Labs suburban Philadelphia campus, as well as training facilities like the Jefferson Institute of Bioprocessing. Approximately 409 drugs are currently in development within Philadelphia and 105 funding events have been completed so far this year that total approximately $4.48 billion.

Joseph Fetterman, head of the Colliers Life Sciences practice group in the Philadelphia market, said being able to deliver a tenant-ready biomanufacturing space in Philadelphia is crucial for the city to compete as a rapidly expanding and maturing market in this space. He said Budd Bioworks will become a preeminent facility in the Mid-Atlantic market.

The unique ability of Budd to expand through subsequent phases will provide opportunities for biomanufacturing tenants to grow along with them.” Fetterman said in a statement. “Budd Bioworks will enable us to support an end-to-end solution right here in Philadelphia.”

Davis added that Budd Bioworks will benefit from its proximity to academic research taking place at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, as well as a rapidly evolving biopharmaceutical culture in the city that he said is ”unmatched and full of wonderful potential for transformative change.”

Alex Keown is a freelance journalist who writes about a variety of subjects including the pharma, biotech, and life science industries. Prior to freelancing, Alex has served as a staff writer and editor for several publications.

This link show the extent of the plant complex in Nicetown.

Here is a link to the Budd Plant in the Workshop of the World publication produced by the Oliver Evans Chapter.