A Triple Tour in Trappe plus the Berman Museum of Art


Henry Muhlenberg House, Trappe (Collegeville)

Saturday, March 17

10:00 a.m, to approximately 1:30 p.m.

$15 for Philadelphia Chapter SAH members/OESIA members and their guests, payable on site.

Registration required, please email your name and the names of your guests to info@philachaptersah.org

We will be guided through three historic properties: The Speaker’s House was the home of Frederick Muhlenberg (1750-1801), the First and Third Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1781-1791.  The house is currently being restored to its late 18th-C appearance. The Augustus Lutheran Church, a National Historic Landmark built in 1743, was where the Reverend Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (1711-1787), Frederick’s father, preached and became known as the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in the United States. And the Henry Muhlenberg House, a fully restored house museum furnished with many original family artifacts where Henry and his wife Anna Maria raised their large family, several of whom had a significant impact on colonial life in North America as pastors, military officers, and politicians. (www.speakershouse.orgwww.augustustrappe.orgwww.trappehistoricalsociety.org)

Then we will go to The Philip & Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College for a special tour of the exhibit Real Estate: Dwelling in Contemporary Art with Museum Director, Charlie Stainback.  Named by the Philadelphia Inquirer as one of “Fall’s 13 must-see art exhibits” it features the work of contemporary artists working with or responding to the varying aspects of real estate vernacular—buildings, rooms, structures, monuments, properties and houses.  From the monumental to ubiquitous building, the ordinary, or derelict piece of property to the historic site, architectural details or the room itself, the artists presented in Real Estate consider an array of norms that fall under the much broader term of “architecture”. (www.ursinus.edu/berman).

We will begin at the Speakers House, 151 W. Main Street, Collegeville (Trappe), PA at 10:00 a.m. and tour the three properties through noon, then we’ll gather at the Berman Museum, 601 E Main Street, Collegeville, PA, at 12:30 p.m.  All of these sites are within 1.5 miles along Main Street.



Technology and Society: Engineering Cultures, Chemistry, and Social Order in the Second Industrial Revolution (1890 to 1930)

The lecture is concerned with the major surge of modernization and industrialization in the Western world around 1900 and contemporary debates among engineers—including chemical engineers—about the “consequences” of technology in society. The United States and Germany were the two leading countries of the Second Industrial Revolution, and it was here that engineers first formulated political theories, ethics, and metaphysics of technology and traded them across the Atlantic Ocean. Engineers were also at this time trying to constitute themselves as a new profession and social elite, facing often fierce opposition from traditional elites, such as the nobility, military, attorneys and physicians, practitioners of the “hard” sciences of chemistry and physics, and senior members of the civil service. Engineers, who had concerns about transferable skills, migration, philosophical reflection, and upward social mobility, were also a microcosm of larger segments of the population who were aspiring to become recognized citizens of the emerging secular bourgeois states. Taking the example of the relationship between engineers, chemical engineers, and chemists, I explore this understudied intersection of industrial experts and traditional social elites. I lay bare the diverse types of social and cultural capital that engineers used to carve out places for themselves in a society in which they were not unequivocally recognized as members of leading and distinguished classes.

The speaker, Heidi Voskuhl, teaches the history of technology in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

March 15, 2018

6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

Science History Institute

315 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event is free, registration requested. Here is the link:



Reminder: Canal Museum Book Sale

March 3, 10:00 to 3:00

Don’t miss it!  Book sale will offer titles on canals and waterways, railroads, industry, technology, industrial archaeology, biography and history, and  Current Canal History and Technology Press books.  And although a few, mostly the most recent titles, will be full-priced, buyers present at the sale can avoid paying for shipping.

The sale will be at the National Canal Museum, 2750 Hugh Moore Park Rd.  Easton, PA  18042.  Directions to the museum are at www.canals.org

the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Philadelphia Piers 122 & 124

PR Pier 122-3

The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s

Philadelphia Pier 122 & Pier 124


Gregory Vlassopoulos, Jr.

On February 5th we heard Jim Rubillo speak about Philadelphia’s Hog Island Shipyard. In March we will hear another program related to South Philadelphia: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the PRR’s Philadelphia Piers 122 & 124. In this visual presentation, Gregory Vlassopoulos will explore the PRR’s transloading facilities in South Philadelphia’s Greenwich Yards, specifically, ore handling facilities at Pier 122 and coal export operations at Pier 124. The future state of these former PRR piers will be discussed, as will be Greenwich Yards overall- from birth to death to rebirth. It should be noted that much of Broad Street Station and the Chinese Wall, when demolished about 1953, wound up under Piers 122 and 124.

Gregory Vlassopoulos, Jr. is a technology solutions executive working with Office Depot to support clients in the Greater Philadelphia region. He is a member of multiple railroad historical organizations and has an affinity for the monumental part railroads played in building America from the industrial revolution to the present. His focus of research is from 1900 to 1962, climaxing with the end of the steam locomotive era. Gregory has a special allegiance to railroads of Greater Philadelphia, as well as the Baldwin Locomotive Works, where his immigrant grandfather worked as a gantry crane operator. He resides in South Philadelphia with his wife and two children.

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Time:  5:30 Refreshments

   6:15 Program

Cost: $10 per person if preregistered       $15 if not reserved in advance

Place: Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, 640 Water Works Drive

           You can park in the Circle, closer to the FWWIC

Registration: E-mail names and phone numbers of members and guests to reesepdavis@gmail.com or phone Reese at 610-692-4456


This link will take you to some photographs and a bit of background on the piers. The site is the work of photographer Michael Froio.  Below is a bit more about his site. I hope you will explore more of it in leisure with pleasure.


“Through exploring both building and place within the American landscape, Michael’s work reveals an era where industry, wealth, and power impacted the land. His work examines the remarkable architecture and engineering projects for the benefit of the public as well as the remains of a post-industrialized nation in the back lots, wooded areas and small towns throughout the Northeast region. Represented here are three major projects: The Watershed Series is some of the earliest works, exploring the impact of man on the diverse landscape of the Delaware River Watershed. The Relic series highlights prominent historic buildings in the Philadelphia region that served the public for many years and have either been lost, restored or repurposed. Finally, the ongoing project From the Mainline examines the former Pennsylvania Railroad, once the largest railroad in the world. Highlighting its massive infrastructure and groundbreaking engineering accomplishments the project also considers the historic landscape it travels.”

Great Opportunity Book Sale



March 3, 10:00 to 3:00

A fair sized book sale will offer titles on canals and waterways, railroads, industry, technology, industrial archaeology, biography and history, and some odds and ends as well. Current Canal History and Technology Press books will also be available; some will be discount priced.  And although a few, mostly the most recent titles, will be full-priced, buyers present at the sale can avoid paying for shipping.

Everything will be priced to Sell!

The sale will be at the National Canal Museum, 2750 Hugh Moore Park Rd.  Easton, PA  18042.  Directions to the museum are at www.canals.org


Information provided by Martha Capwell Fox | Archives and Museum Coordinator

Flying Dutchman” airport in Somerton


The next meeting of the Northeast Philadelphia History Network will be Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7:00 PM at historic Pennepack Baptist Church, 8732 Krewstown Road 19115 Philadelphia, in Bustleton.

In honor of Black History Month, the topic will be Emory Conrad Malick (1881-1958), the first licensed African American aviator. Malick received his international pilot’s license in 1912 and in the late 1920s reportedly helped establish the “Flying Dutchman” airport in Somerton in Northeast Philadelphia.The program will be given by Mary Groce, Malick’s great-niece.

The program is also in anticipation of the centennial of the first scheduled US Airmail Delivery, which took place on May 15, 1918 at Bustleton Field (today’s Red Lion Rd and Roosevelt Boulevard).  Saturday May 19, 2018 NPHN will present a program on the first regularly scheduled air mail delivery in the US.