Registration for Chapter 35th Annual Dinner

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Geography, Geology and Genius: How Coal & Canals Ignited the American Industrial Revolution, an illustrated presentation on her new book by author Martha Capwell Fox, Archives & Museum Coordinator, National Canal Museum, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Easton, PA
Martha Capwell Fox is in charge of maintaining the Museum’s collection of photographs, artifacts, books, films and videos, and historic documents which preserve the history of anthracite mining and the canals which carried the coal to market as well as the industries which sprang up as a result. This presentation is based upon the book of the same name written by Ms. Capwell Fox and recently released. Geography, Geology and Genius focuses on how the unique blend of natural features and mineral assets were used by several extraordinary men to create new forms of industrial activity, dependent on anthracite coal.  Books will be available at the program or online at

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 2020
6 PM – cash bar  7 PM – dinner 8 PM – presentation
PLACE: Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant, 4120 Main St., Philadelphia 19127
(between Shurs Lane and Lock St.; enter on Lock St.)
We are in the Jazz Room on the first floor

MENU: Field Green Salad, Choice of Entree, Vegetable, Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes, Hot Apple Cobbler, Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks
1) Chicken Marsala – Sautéed chicken breast in marsala demi-glace
2) Harry’s Grilled Salmon, topped with Bing cherry demi glaze
3) Mediterranean Pasta – Fresh tomatoes, red onions, spinach, fresh herbs and wild mushrooms tossed with penne pasta and hearty tomato sauce
4) Flat iron steak – marinated & grilled to medium temperature

COST: $40.00 per person, DEADLINE: JAN. 18th
Send check with entree selection by January 18th payable to OE/SIA
MAIL TO: Helen Schenck, Treasurer, 169 West Federal St., Burlington, NJ 08016
include your name, the names of your guests, your phone number and your email address with your check
AUTOMOBILE: Public parking behind restaurant in public lot across the Canal. Easy access to restaurant by rear deck next to Canal locks
TRAIN: SEPTA #R6 to Manayunk then 5 block walk
BUS: SEPTA #61 from the Wissahickon Transfer Station to Main Street


Geography Geology, and Genius: How Coal and Canals Ignited the American Industrial Revolution


The Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is proud to announce the release of Geography, Geology and Genius: How Coal and Canals Ignited the American Industrial Revolution. This is the first comprehensive telling of the little known story of how eastern Pennsylvania, from the anthracite coal fields to the tidal waters of the Delaware River, became the birthplace of the United States’ Industrial Revolution. The 246‐page book is illustrated with over 200 photos, maps, and historic drawings—including several rarely seen color images.   

Geography, Geology, and Genius focuses on how the unique blend of natural features and mineral assets were used by several extraordinary men to create new forms of industrial activity, dependent on anthracite coal. Several industries were founded in what is now the D&L Corridor—iron, cement, and silk among them. In this way, the book captures the nationally significant history of the Corridor.  

“For more than 30 years, the public has heard snippets of the D&L’s amazing regional story that has national implications,” said Elissa Garofalo, Executive Director at the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. “Its high time the story is told and Geography, Geology and Genius tells it expertly.”

The narrative, decade by decade, describes the hardships, foresight, resolution, and engineering brilliance that led to the region’s national predominance in these and other industries.  In an epilogue, local economic development leaders Don Cunningham and Larry Newman describe the impact this industrial heritage still has on the lives of residents of the Corridor. 

“This is the comprehensive history of the industrial development of the Lehigh Valley that local historians and lovers of local history have been waiting for,” said Frank Whelan, Historian. “Well written and profusely illustrated, it takes the reader on a journey from the charcoal powered iron furnaces of the 18th century to the end of the glory days of Bethlehem Steel.”

Author Martha Capwell Fox and editor/book designer Ann Bartholomew have created an account of the people, places, and events that shaped the region’s past and present. Their sources included the archive collections and previous publications of the National Canal Museum and the Delaware &Lehigh National Heritage Corridor; they also received generous cooperation from many regional institutions, historical societies, and local experts.  

Geography, Geology, and Genius is available for $24.95 at the National Canal Museum’s shop, 2750 Hugh Moore Park Road, Easton, Pa, the National Museum of Industrial History, and at local museums and historical societies.  Publication of the book was supported by a grant from Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. 


Martha Capwell Fox grew up in Catasauqua, a daughter of the owner of the last operating silk mill in Allentown. She has had a lifelong interest in local and industrial history and is the archivist and historian for the D&L National Heritage Corridor.  

The author will be speaking on her research at the Oliver Evans Annual Dinner, Saturday, January 25, 2020, 6 pm, Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant, 4120 Main St., Philadelphia 19127. Books will be available for purchase.

Delaware Valley Shipyards and their Contribution during War

Over 2,400 ships, boats, and barges built by over 200,000 shipyard workers in 31 shipyards large and small.


The Ship That Saved Malta, Sun Ship Built SS Ohio, Chris Mayger 1973

A presentation by Dan Cashin, Rigger Instructor – Philadelphia Navy Yard and Philly (Aker) Shipyard

With the major ship information courtesy of Tim Colton at

Tuesday, December 10, 2019   7:30 PM

The painting depicts the struggle of the SS Ohio, the Sun Ship all-welded tanker, during “Operation Pedestal.” This convoy was tasked with resupplying the fortress island of Malta in August 1942. Our story is about the Ohio, and her many Delaware Valley sister ships, which struggled through the worst the enemy threw at her and succeeded.

Combat, first and foremost, requires heroics and steadfastness; it also requires tons of food, water, shelter, mail, weapons, ammo, fuel, medicine, and a myriad of mundane things needed to keep a human being operating in a distant, hostile environment. In the tri-state area 31 ship and boat yards, with over 200,000 workers, built over 2,400 ships, boats, and barges. 

Prominent builders were the Big Three shipyards of Chester’s Sun Ship, Camden’s New York Ship, and Philadelphia’s Navy Yard and providing no less support were Wilmington’s Dravo and Pusey & Jones, and Kensington’s Cramp. These 6 yards built 20 aircraft carriers, 4 battleships, 2 battle cruisers, 20 cruisers, 14 submarines, 294 tankers, 78 cargo ships, 39 destroyers and destroyer escorts, 6 hospital ships, 16 LSTs, 9 repair ships, 213 landing ships and craft plus hundreds of smaller vessels and landing craft.

In addition, there were over 20 smaller yacht, barge, and boat builders that provided the absolutely vital support vessels needed to get the supplies to their final destination. Nowhere was their contribution more vital than through the efforts of over 400 LCM(3)s built in Wilmington by Bethlehem Steel at the old Harlan & Hollingsworth yard. Any beachhead photo will have a picture of one of these  vessels on the beach disgorging men and machines.

Our story is also about the thousands of unskilled men and women who came to the yards and quickly learned their trades, patriotically coming to work each day in the heat, the cold, the dirt, and the danger to turn out the weapons arming the men and ships of the Navy. 

More information on shipyards at

The Historical Society of Frankford
1507 Orthodox Street
Philadelphia, PA 19124
Tuesday, December 10, 2019   7:30 PM
Parking is available in the lot across the street thanks to Frankford Friends


30th Annual Wright Stuff Film Fest

Lukens Steel

Lukens Steel Co., Coatesville, Pa. Card postmarked August 1947.


30th Annual Wright Stuff Film Fest
presented by
Martha Capwell Fox, Archives & Museum Coordinator, National Canal Museum, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Easton, PA 

Martha Capwell Fox is in charge of maintaining the Museum’s collection of photographs, artifacts, books, films and videos, and historic documents which preserve the history of anthracite mining and the canals which carried the coal to market as well as the industries which sprang up as a result. She creats and installs exhibits for the Museum’s changing exhibit gallery. In addition, Martha works as a docent and interpreter in the Museum, the Locktender’s House and aboard the Josiah White II, the only mule-drawn canal boat ride in Pennsylvania and does many presentations for historical societies and education programs.

This presentation will include a 1950 Lukens Steel view of The World’s Largest Plate Mill, a showing of Rolling on Rail from Steelton, a short Bethlehem Steel showing, a 1995 viewing from US Steel’s Fairless Mill, a National History Day finalist Jigs Do the Work Much Better about the impact of mechanization on the anthracite breaker boys and a very short showing on the Wanamie Mine steam engine.

Date: Monday, December 9, 2019
Time: 5:30 Refreshments 6:15 Program
Cost: $10 per person if pre-registered     $15 for walk-ins
Place: Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. You should be able to park on the Circle, close to the FWWIC.
Reservations: Contact Helen Schenck, Treasurer at: or 856-313-8301

Industrious Light, Baldwin Locomotive Mural


J.B. Lippincott & Co. publication, 1875

Phillip Adams is a local artist who has created several murals on Philadelphia Industrial history. They are located in neighborhoods formerly heavy in industrial production. The mural featured in this article  is rich with connections to the Baldwin Park neighborhood.

Adams created this mural as part of his Industrious Light series about Philadelphia’s industrial history. His others art works can be seen in this link. Don’t miss clicking on the Industrious Spirits image further down the page under INDUSTRIOUS LIGHT PROJECTS. It shows a much more spirited image of the mural.

Below is a rich website on the history of the neighborhood bounded by North to Spring Garden Street, South to Vine Street, East to Broad, West to Schuylkill River.

Congratulations to the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park. The mural will be dedicated November 14th at 6 pm, location: 417 N 20th Street.

American Keg Company Tour


Monday, November 4, 2019

American Keg Company is a stainless steel keg manufacturer located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA.  Our American craftsmen manufacture the highest quality 1/2 bbl (15.5 US gallons or 165 12-oz. pours) and 1/6 bbl kegs (5.16 U.S. gallons or 55 12-oz. pours), with pride, for the American Craft Brewer, Cider Maker, and Vintner from domestically sourced 304 stainless steel.

American Keg has been crafting 1/2 bbl and 1/6 bbl kegs since early 2015 when the company operated under the Geemacher name and will continue to be the ONLY steel beer keg manufacturer in the United States of America. Our ultimate goal is to be THE sole source for stainless steel beer kegs in the USA with the finest customer service and the highest quality keg available in the world.

American Keg Company
31 Robinson Street, Pottstown, PA

Arrive no later than 11:15 a.m., the tour begins PROMPTLY at 11:30 a.m.  We can not wait for latecomers because the factory is on a schedule which we must adhere to.

Cost: $20.00/person

The tour is restricted to 7 participants.  To make a reservation please email  To secure your space on the tour once your reservation is confirmed, send a check payable to OESIA for $20.00 to Reese Davis, Treasurer, 19 East Washington Street, West Chester, PA 19380.   DO NOT SEND A CHECK TO REESE UNTIL YOU RECEIVE AN EMAIL CONFIRMATION THAT YOU HAVE A SPACE ON THE TOUR

While on the tour these rules must be observed:
Park in the main parking lot at 31 Robinson Street, Pottstown, PA
No sandals or open shoes.
Bring safety glasses if you have them, American Keg will provide if not.
Bags and pocketbooks should remain in the cars.
Photos are allowed

 Following the tour your are invited to have lunch with the group in the tasting room at The Sly Fox Brewing Company, (331 Circle of Progress Drive, Pottstown, PA 19464, where we can watch beer being made.  Each person will pay for their own lunch.

The Path of the First Railway

Sunday, Oct. 20 at 2:00 pm

Nether Providence Historical Society presents a talk by Pierre Lacombe, with maps and pictures.
Many historians say the horse-drawn railway that Thomas Leiper laid out in 1809 from Crum Creek to Ridley Creek, through today’s “Gov. Sproul Estates” was the first commercial railway in the United States.
Lacombe, New Jersey geologic historian, has mapped out a more precise line than was known before.  

Helen Kate Furness Library
100 North Providence Road  | Wallingford, PA 19086


Explore Philly’s hidden past


October 5, 2019
10:00 am to 3:00 pm

At the National Constitution Center
Discover the history beneath your feet
Hear archaeologists talk about the latest discoveries 

A Free Conference
Presented by
The Philadelphia Archaeological Forum 

See the schedule of talks at this link:

National Constitution Center
Kirby Auditorium, 2nd floor
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Directions and parking:

Check out the PAF website for more information on archaeological activities in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.

The Art Deco Interiors of the 1928 Swedish-America Liner MS Kungsholm


Swedish American Line’s KUNGSHOLM sailing from New York, assisted by Moran tugs, Braun Brothers Collection, SSHSA Archives.

presented by Maritime Historian CHRISTIAN RODEN

An event hosted by
Society for Industrial Archeology – Oliver Evans Chapter
together with
Delaware Valley Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America
Independence Seaport Museum

 Christian Roden was a Fulbright scholar who spent a year doing research at the French Line archives in LeHavre, France focusing on the Art Deco interiors of the 1927 liner, Ile De France. He is currently on the library staff of the University of Pennsylvania and has presented programs for the Port of New York Chapter of the World Ship Society.

Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Time: 2 PM Program followed by a Reception
Cost: Donations requested
Place: Independence Seaport Museum
211 South Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Parking: Next to Museum at Walnut St. & Columbus Blvd.
Registration & Information: Steve Loveless at 215-495-8889 or

Deadline: October 14