Oat Foundry began in 2013 with a team of six Drexel Engineers on a mission to build cool stuff. They spent their early days prototyping and building a range of products from furniture for coffee shops to soft pretzel vending machines. In 2015 they were presented with the task to build a Split Flap Display that used modern technology while maintaining old-school functionality – and kept on building them.
Oat Foundry prides themselves in maintaining the high-quality materials and engineering of the Solari split-flap boards that once hung in many train stations and airports. They hand build all boards in-house to order and source materials as locally as possible. Oat Foundry boards are used in offices and headquarters, entertainment, retail, restaurants, transportation centers (though currently not as arrival/departure boards) and more.
Date: March 11, 2023 Time: 11am Location: 1735 East Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia PA 19148, between Morris St and Moore St.
Bryan Kravitz is passionate about typewriters. He has established a workshop with machines and tools for restoring them. As he puts it on his website,
“We work simultaneously as engineers and historians to perform comprehensive typewriter restorations. From specialized deep cleaning to custom fabrication of rubber pieces, we take special care to remedy the problems that come from these elegant machines sitting idle for decades…
Our goal is for you to take home a fully functional piece of history.”
Bryan is so committed to preserving a connection to these instruments that he has established the Philadelphia Public Typewriter Program.
He states,“The typewriter was designed and built during a golden age of manufacturing and industry where pride of workmanship and quality was expected. People who use typewriters today say that it helps slow down their thought process and provides a connection that is lost in our fast-paced world. But, fully functional typewriters can be hard to come by.
So, Philly Typewriter has committed to placing vintage, rare, fully working typewriters in hundreds of locations in the Philadelphia area. It will be a way for people of all generations and diverse communities to connect with typewriters and the non-digital, elegant world they represent.”
Bryan has invited us to learn more about the history of typewriters and their place in his world.
“Come visit our two thousand square foot location in South Philadelphia and see our workshop, meet our apprentices learning the trade, sign-up for a repair class or take in our exhibits and writers’ lounge.”
On Thursday, April 20 at 11 AM the chapter will be visiting the Oat Foundry at the Frankford Arsenal. The foundry makes announcement boards with a technology similar to that displayed on the 30th Street Station train schedule board, recently retired. On the tour we will learn the history of the company, their experience with the Split Flap boards, and we will see how they are made.
The Neon Museum of Philadelphia is a cultural and educational organization dedicated to preserving neon signage, Philadelphia history and art, and the 20th century American roadside. We’re an American art and history museum disguised as a neon museum.
The Museum’s signs are a window into pre-Internet America — communities built on mom-and-pop businesses, blue collar skills, kids playing in streets, and face-to-face interaction.
We celebrate facets of this 20th century culture. For example, when you visit try your hand at deadbox, a classic Philly street game. While the original was chalked on sidewalks, the Museum has produced a portable version featuring city icons
Unfortunately the Neon Museum is closing at the end of December so this is the last chance for such a tour.
The Museum’s collection contains over 150 pieces, from large, animated commercial signs to one-of-a-kind artworks, featuring:
-Historic Philadelphia Commercial Signs -National Commercial Signs -Animated Signs -Window Signs -Point of Purchase Displays -Neon Clocks -Neon Art, Folk Art, & Found Object Constructions
There is a $10 entrance fee for the museum in support of collections.
Location: Neon Museum of Philadelphia 1800 North American St, Unit E Philadelphia, PA 19122 Southwest corner of North American and Berks Streets There is a large parking lot at the location
Those attending the tour are invited to join members after the tour for a snack or meal at Sor Ynez, a Mexican restaurant at the same location. https://sorynez.com/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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)
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 email@example.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.
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)
The Oliver Evans Chapter presents A virtual Zoom presentation by Joel Spivak, OE Acting President Wednesday, June 29, 2022 7 pm
Joel Spivak’s Power point presentation brings together two of his favorite subjects, Railroads and Worlds Fairs and Expositions. See how the railroad was presented to the public at the 1851 “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations” London, and at the spectacular exhibit “Railroads on Parade” at the 1939 World’s Fair, New York.
Meeting ID: 814 9559 4025 Passcode: 110518 One tap mobile +16465588656,,81495594025#,,,,110518# US (New York) +13017158592,,81495594025#,,,,110518# US (Washington DC)
Dial by your location +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) Meeting ID: 814 9559 4025 Passcode: 110518 Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kZD8jiDxt
Saturday, April 9, 2022, 18 OE Chapter members visited the center and were treated to a thorough presentation on work at the lab and on material recovered from the excavations along I-95. There are a number of exhibit cases displaying artifacts representing previous houses and factories in the area.
The Penn Treaty Museum is housed in the same building as the AECOM lab. So our members were treated to a tour of the museum that features artifacts and images presenting the history of the treaty between William Penn and the elders of the Lenape.
Today, the museum has evolved from a website to a bricks and mortar facility with collection of Treaty related artifacts on display, a volunteer staff and projects to ensure that the story of the original stewards of the land and William Penn endures.
Presented by the Friends of Northeast Philadelphia History
Saturday, April 30, 2022 10:00am to 3:00pm
Free admission, All are Welcome
There will be over thirty presenters – local historical societies, historical organizations, museums, authors, and others – offering displays and a wide range of historical books, photos, maps, prints, and memorabilia.
And there will be two presentations: 11:00 AM – Louis M. Iatarola & Amarynth Ruch of the Historical Society of Tacony will present “Disston Saw Works, Past & Present”
1:00 PM – John H. Hepp IV, Ph.D., Professor of History, Wilkes University, “You Can’t Get to Heaven on the Frankford El: A Centennial History of the Frankford Elevated” (in honor of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Frankford El in 1922).
The Oliver Evans Chapter will be hosting a table presenting information on our group and its activities. Press Manager Tom Brady will be offering our publications for sale.
Located at: Cannstatter Volkfest Verein 9130 Academy Road, Philadelphia, PA 19114 (near the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Academy Road)
Society for Industrial Archeology Oliver Evans Chapter presents
Guided Tour of AECOM’s I-95 Archaeology Center – Indigenous Ancestors, Immigrants and Industry
DATE: Saturday, April 9, 2022 TIME: 1:30 PM
Located just north of Center City Philadelphia in the popular Fishtown neighborhood, the I-95 Archaeology Center is the temporary working laboratory and public-outreach venue for AECOM’s ongoing I-95 Girard Avenue interchange Improvement Project. The project area extends for three miles through the ancestral lands of the Lenape (Delaware) people, later settled largely by immigrants who brought diverse cultures to the growing industrial Delaware River waterfront. Approximately one and a half million artifacts dating from 6500 B.C. to the early twentieth century have been recovered thus far. The Center’s interpretive exhibits explore change over time through the material culture of everyday life, the archaeology of local industries and their products, and more.
LOCATION: The Center is located at 900 E. Columbia Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125. This is across N. Delaware Avenue from Penn Treaty Park. The Center is on the corner of Columbia Avenue and Allen St. On-street parking should be available on Saturday.
BY BUS: Take SEPTA Route 43 Bus to Delaware and Columbia Avenues, then a 2 minute walk.
NOTE: Participants must provide evidence of Covid vaccination and wear a Covid mask.
Space is limited to 30 participants.
REGISTRATION: Call Tom Brady at 215-518-8038 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
You must be logged in to post a comment.