Tour of SMS Rail Lines Locomotive Shop in Bridgeport, South Jersey

an Oliver Evans Chapter/SIA event

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Time: 10:30 am – noonish
Place: SMS Rail Service, 513 Sharptown Road, Logan Township, NJ 08085

Number of attendees is LIMITED, so advance registration is required. To register, please send email to Reese Davis at reesepdavis@gmail.com, or call him at 610-692-4456.

Paul Harland, director of passenger operations, will show us over the coal-fired ALCO No. 9 steam locomotive and talk about the work that has been done in the locomotive shop to restore the engine to service for a tourist operation through Salem County.

The locomotive was built by the American Locomotive Co. in Schenectady, NY, in 1942, and was used to move military freight at Fort Dix, NJ. Retired by the U.S. Army in 1958, No. 9 was sold to Virginia Blue Ridge Railway (VBR) and was used in Virginia in freight service till 1964. Subsequently, it was purchased for tourist service on the New Hope & Ivyland RR (NH&I) in Pennsylvania, where it ran on and off until about 1981. In the mid-1990s the NH&I put No. 9 up for sale—and in 2009 Jeff Sutch, president of SMS Rail Lines, purchased it. Jeff Sutch, a lifelong railroader, had run the engine in the 1970s at the NH&I and had a soft spot for the locomotive.

Since then the engine has been restored at a cost of almost $1 million, in preparation for a return not only for freighting but also to pull tourists in restored antique cars, operating eventually as the Woodstown Central Railroad hauling passengers from Pilesgrove Twp to Swedesboro and back. The trips will commence at the end of this year, but on this tour we will get an early look at the engine before it leaves the shop. There is also a Baldwin diesel engine and passenger car in the shop.

Directions: From Philadelphia, cross the Walt Whitman Bridge and take 76 to 295 South. Stay on 295 for about 15 miles; take exit 10. At top of ramp take right fork toward Center Square and merge onto Center Square Road (County Rt 620); in about half a mile turn right onto Sharptown Road (Commerce Blvd is the left road—Sharptown Road on the right does not seem to be signposted) and continue to second driveway on the left after you cross the railroad tracks. There is a small sign for SMS there. (About 35-40 minutes)

From South Jersey, take 295 South to exit 10 toward Center Square then follow directions as above. (About 45 minutes from Burlington City)

From Philadelphia’s western suburbs, take 202 and 322 to cross the Commodore Barry Bridge. Once off the bridge, take 130 South for about 1.3 miles, then turn left onto High Hill Road and then, in about 1.8 miles, turn right onto Sharptown Road. The turn into SMS will be into the first of two conjoined driveways on your right, before the railroad lines. There is a small sign for SMS there. (About 35-40 minutes)

Up the Hills of East Falls: From Mill Town (Twice) to Suburb in City

Tuesday, October 4, 6 PM to 7:30 PM

presented by Steven J. Peitzman
Sponsored by the Preservation Alliance

Watch ONLINE via ZOOM from the safety and comfort of your home. A link with instructions will be provided two hours prior to this virtual lecture. 

The now submerged falls on the Schuylkill River, about five miles from central Philadelphia, once provided splendid scenery and excellent fishing (well-known to the Lenape, our predecessors). Several mills built as early as the late 1600s on the lower Wissahickon Creek and on Falls Run added industry to recreation and tourism. With the 19th century came a railroad, steam, and the immense Dobson Mills, which made blankets for the Union Army, and carpets for everyone else. The “Falls Village” became a busy, smoky mill town—”Falls of Schuylkill”–dense with workers’ rowhouses, churches, and breweries. But how did the renamed East Falls survive the closing of the mills, which at its peak employed 6000 women, men, and children, and find a new way to flourish?

Steven J. Peitzman, though partly retired, teaches at Drexel University College of Medicine and attends at a student-run free clinic. He is widely known as an historian of medicine, and is proud of his 2000 book on the history of Philadelphia’s Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania/Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Peitzman has resided just east or west of Wissahickon Avenue most of his adult life, so claims to be both Germantowner and Fallser. In recent years, as an active preservationist he has submitted several successful nominations to place significant buildings on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. He is active in the East Falls Historical Society and serves on the Advocacy Committee of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

$15 | General Admission

$10 | Alliance Member 

Students with ID, residents of the neighborhoods being presented, or individuals with financial difficulties free with email to vcheng@preservationalliance.com

Click the link below to register and pay for the event.

You do not need to register for the organization or check the register for site box to complete the event request and pay for a ticket.

https://25017.blackbaudhosting.com/25017/Up-the-Hills-of-East-Falls-From-Mill-Town-Twice-to-Suburb-in-City

Henry Disston & The Development of Tacony

A presentation by Alex Balloon

Sponsored by the Preservation Alliance

Tuesday, September 27 at 6:00 pm

Watch ONLINE via ZOOM from the safety and comfort of your home. A link with instructions will be provided two hours prior to this virtual lecture. 

This talk will trace the development of the Tacony neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia. Founded as a “company town within the City” by Henry Disston, Tacony became home to the world’s largest saw works. This planned community included housing, religious institutions, social organizations, and commercial developments. Tacony is home to a National Register Historic District and a number of locally-designated landmarks. The Tacony Community Development Corporation in partnership with the Tacony Historical Society and the Tacony Civic Association has worked to preserve and enhance the neighborhood through targeted revitalization efforts.

Alex Balloon is the former Executive Director of the Tacony Community Development Corporation. He has authored a number of historic nominations for Tacony Landmarks and worked to advance the most recent designation of the Disston-Taocny Waterfront Historic District. He has a background in Historic Preservation & Urban Redevelopment and a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.

$15 | General Admission

$10 | Alliance Member 

Students with ID, residents of the neighborhoods being presented, or individuals with financial difficulties free with email to vcheng@preservationalliance.com

Go to this link to register for the presentation:

https://25017.blackbaudhosting.com/25017/Henry-Disston–The-Development-of-Tacony

Roebling Chapter Presentation

ENGINEERING AMERICA: 
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHN A. ROEBLING

With Professor Richard Haw

Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 6 P.M. 

Presented both in-person and online
Tickets are $10.
The lecture will be followed by a Book Signing.
Presented in partnership with The New York Landmarks Conservancy.

In this lecture, Professor Richard Haw, will discuss his book, Engineering America: The Life and Times of John A. Roebling. John Roebling was one of the nineteenth century’s most brilliant engineers, ingenious inventors, successful manufacturers, and fascinating personalities.

The book is the most comprehensive biography of John Roebling and the first in over 75 years. It is based on immense amount of original archival material that sheds light on many unknown aspects of Roebling’s life and narrates Roebling’s life, not just as an engineer, but also the places and times in which he lived.

Raised in a German backwater amid the war-torn chaos of the Napoleonic Wars, Roebling immigrated to the US in 1831, where he became wealthy and acclaimed, eventually receiving a carte-blanche contract to build one of the nineteenth century’s most stupendous and daring works of engineering: a gigantic suspension bridge to span the East River between New York and Brooklyn.

In between, he thought, wrote, and worked tirelessly. He dug canals and surveyed railroads; he planned communities and founded new industries. 

Like his finest creations, Roebling was held together by the delicate balance of countervailing forces. On the surface, his life was exemplary and his accomplishments legion. As an immigrant and employer, he was respected throughout the world. As an engineer, his works profoundly altered the physical landscape of America.

He was a voracious reader, a fervent abolitionist, and an engaged social commentator. His understanding of the natural world, however, bordered on the occult and his opinions about medicine are best described as medieval.

For a man of science and great self-certainty, he was also remarkably quick to seize on a whole host of fads and foolish trends. Yet Roebling held these strands together.

John Roebling was a complex, deeply divided yet undoubtedly influential figure, and this talk will provide an overview of not only his works, but also the world of nineteenth-century America. Roebling’s engineering feats are well known, but the man himself is not; for alongside the drama of large scale construction lies an equally rich drama of intellectual and social development and crisis, one that mirrored and reflected the great forces, trials, and failures of nineteenth century America.

Richard Haw is a Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. He is the author of The Brooklyn Bridge: A Cultural History and Art of the Brooklyn Bridge: A Visual History.

To register In-Person, please click here

To register Online, please click here

Tickets are $10.

The book can purchased in person at the lecture or online through the following link

The SS United States

THE ATHENÆUM OF PHILADELPHIA
presents
The SS United States: The Hidden History of America’s Enduring Flagship
September 16 at 12:00 PM
A virtual presentation by Susan Gibbs

A national nonprofit organization, the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to save and repurpose America’s Flagship, the SS United States. The Conservancy raises public awareness and financial resources for the historic vessel’s maintenance, restoration and ultimate reuse. Through its curatorial collections, educational outreach, and digital exhibitions, the Conservancy works to ensure that the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean remains an inspiration for generations to come. For more information about the SS United States Conservancy, visit http://www.ssusc.org or the Conservancy’s Facebook page.

Susan Gibbs is the SS United States Conservancy’s President and co-founder. She is the granddaughter of William Francis Gibbs, the SS United States’ designer, who directed plans for more than 60 percent of the nation’s wartime fleet during World War II and designed over 6,000 ships during the course of his career. She has given presentations throughout the country on the SS United States and maritime history, and she has appeared in multiple media outlets, including the NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio, CNN, CBS Sunday Morning, Agence France Press, Channel N24 (Germany), Fox & Friends, and Al-Jazeera America. She has also worked for over two decades in the philanthropic sector primarily on global women’s issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Brown University and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Link for Registration for this free, virtual presentation:

This link will allow to register directly from this announcement. Click on the highligted register box, fill in the requested information, and click the box to accept the terms. FINALLY, the zoom link for the program will be sent the day of the meeting.

West Shipyard Tour June 8, 2022

Chapter members visited the site on Columbus Boulevard where AECOM has been doing final explorations of the site before development. The tour was hosted by AECOM, a company that does a lot of public outreach on their work. 
The site was first tested in 1987 by Carmen Weber, Philadelphia City Archaeologist back when the city had such a position. Her work exposed the wooden slip or ships way pictured above. 
The location became the first archaeological site to be listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

There is much more information about the West Shipyard on the website of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum. The site was first called the Hertz Lot because of an association with the national car rental company. The link is below.

Pictures of the tour were taken by OE Chapter Member James Knox.

Disappearing Industrial Architecture

July 15 – November 6, 2022
Now on view at The Met Fifth Avenue , 691–693 and 851–852

The renowned German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931–2007; 1934–2015) changed the course of late twentieth-century photography. Working as a rare artist couple, they focused on a single subject: the disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America that fueled the modern era. Their seemingly objective style recalled nineteenth- and early twentieth-century precedents but also resonated with the serial approach of contemporary Minimalism and Conceptual art. Equally significant, it challenged the perceived gap between documentary and fine-art photography.  

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/becher

Brewery Tour in Norristown

Oliver Evans Chapter/SIA

Presents

Tour of former Scheidt brewery complex & Von C Brewing Co. in Norristown

Tour is not limited to Chapter Members. All are welcome. Just register with contact information below.

DATE: Saturday, August 20, 2022
TIME: 10AM to noon
ITINERARY: We will meet in the Stony Creek Office Center parking lot, 151 W. Marshall St., Norristown. After reviewing the old Adam Scheidt brewery complex we will take the driveway from the parking lot down to Markley St. to the current U-Haul Self Storage Center (former Scheidt bottling house). This is located across Markley St. from the SEPTA Elm St. Station.
https://www.septa.org/stations/rail/elm.html

11AM Drive to Von C Brewing Co., 1210 Stanbridge St., Suite 300, Norristown for tour.
https://voncbrewing.com/home   12 Noon – Tap Room opens. Cash Bar.

Background Information
On this tour we will see remnants of the Adam Scheidt aka Valley Forge Brewery. The complex has been beautifully restored as the Stony Creek Office Center and is a shining example of brewery preservation.. There are two “ghost” sites on the tour. Norristown’s first brewery was established in 1830 at the southwest corner of Main and Markley Sts. and was ultimately the brewery of A.R.Cox. What became the Scheidt brewery got its start in 1866 and was a  much smaller business. When Cox died, Scheidt purchased the brewery and ran it as Plant #2.

 Norristown industry included the Wildman Mfg. Co. that produced knitting machines. Their Plant #1 was located in the block behind the Elm St. Station. In the 1940’s Wildman built their Plant #2 on Stanbridge St. and remained in business into the 1950’s. These buildings have been repurposed and one of them is occupied by Von C Brewing Co.

The Von Czoernig family was the last of Christian Schmidt’s descendants to own the Schmidt brewery in Philadelphia. Schmidt’s purchased the Scheidt brewery in 1954 and operated it as their Plant #2 for twenty years. The Von Czoernig’s had “beer in their blood” and decided to get back into brewing a short time ago. Fortunately they’ve made it easy on us by shortening the name to Von C Brewing Co.

 TOUR ORGANIZER & LEADER:
Rich Wagner has been researching Pennsylvania brewing history since 1980. In 1990 he brewed at Pennsbury Manor using reproductions of seventeenth century equipment. Two years later he worked with a cooper to make his own system and has taken it on the road to demonstrate the brewing process of antiquity at historical sites and festivals. 

In 1994 he earned a diploma in brewing technology from the Siebel Institute in Chicago and worked in Philadelphia craft breweries over a seven-year period. Since his retirement as a high school science teacher, he has devoted his time to writing and speaking. He has given tours of breweries in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Lehigh Valley and South-Central Pennsylvania and published guidebooks to go with each tour and is the author of “Philadelphia Beer, the Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty” (The History Press, 2012).

 REGISTRATION or QUESTIONS: E-mail or call Reese Davis at reesepdavis@gmail.com or 610-692-4456

Our tour guide has assembled an array of information relating to locations on our tour. 

BACKROUND INFORMATION, IMAGES

Here are some links for additional information on the Adam Scheidt Brewing Co. The Flickr Albums give people on the tour the ability to connect with information, historic maps and images of the brewery complex. Of course, they can be viewed any time, even for those who don’t take the tour, or to conduct their own self-guided tour. 

Flickr Collection of Albums: Tour of Scheidt and Von C Breweries:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/15424848@N07/collections/72157720942701060/

This Collection contains 5 Albums that correspond with our tour.

Album: A.R. Cox Brewery is a “ghost site” and location of a brewery which was purchased by Scheidt.

Album: Adam Scheidt Brewery Complex, including Bottling House on Markley St.

Album: Wildman Mfg. Co. Plant #1 “ghost site” in the blocks behind the Elm St. Station Wildman manufactured knitting machines.

Album: Wildman Mfg. Co. Plant #2 on Stanbridge St. is the property which has been subdivided and repurposed, a portion of which houses the Von C Brewing Co.

Album: Von C Brewing Co. Brewery and Taproom.

Article on Scheidt’s 1940s Czech Connection with Prior Beer. 
https://pabreweryhistorians.tripod.com/ScheidtPriorCzechStory.html

Article describing a reporter’s tour through the Scheidt Brewery in 1952.
https://pabreweryhistorians.tripod.com/Observer060952_Scheidt.html

Rich Wagner has been researching Pennsylvania brewing history since 1980. In 1990 he brewed at Pennsbury Manor using reproductions of seventeenth century equipment. Two years later he worked with a cooper to make his own system and has taken it on the road to demonstrate the brewing process of antiquity at historical sites and festivals. 

In 1994 he earned a diploma in brewing technology from the Siebel Institute in Chicago and worked in Philadelphia craft breweries over a seven-year period. Since his retirement as a high school science teacher, he has devoted his time to writing and speaking. He has given tours of breweries in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Lehigh Valley and South-Central Pennsylvania and published guidebooks to go with each tour and is the author of “Philadelphia Beer, the Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty” (The History Press, 2012)

Maps of the tour locations:


Model train collection auction

An Oliver Evans chapter member become aware of this auction which features some model railroad paraphernalia and thought some of our railroaders might be interested.

The link features images of the items available in the photo gallery and also in the lot listings. The auction site recommends checking back as they will be adding more photos of the uncatalogued items.

ON-SITE ESTATE AUCTION
Saturday, August 13th starting at 10AM

Location: 502 Fairmont Dr., Chester Springs, PA 19425

Preview on Friday, August 12th from 1PM to 6:30PM and Day of Sale from 8AM to Sale Time

Auction features a wide variety of items from a clean well-maintained home. Some of the highlights include:

1951 Packard Patrician 4-Door Sedan

John Deere D130 Tractor

Antiques & Collectibles incl. original WW1 posters, Political Pins, James Madison & James Monroe signed document, local Maps, Sterling Silver set (over 100-ounces)

Jewelry w/ Gold and Sterling

Model Train Collection w/ many layout accessories

Furniture incl. Leather Sofa & Chairs, Dining Room Tables & Chairs, Theater Room Sofa, Recliners, Book Shelves, Modern TV Stands, Sportcraft regulation size Ping Pong Table

Electronics incl. High-Quality Polk-Audio Speakers, flat-screen TVs, Receivers, DVD players & more

Large Selection of Tools

Office Equipment incl. electronics & desk

Large Selection of Household Goods, Clothing, and much more!

Call us at 610-942-2367 with any questions or to place absentee bids. Day of Sale Phone # – (610)-476-6965

***In-Person, Absentee, and Phone bidders will pay a 13% Buyer’s Premium reduced to 10% if paying by check or cash. Internet Bidders will pay an 18% Buyer’s Premium regardless of form of payment.

PA AU-002163-L  –  PA AU-002766-L     AuctionZip ID: 1651

https://www.auctionzip.com/Listings/3710499.html