A special tour of the Neon Museum of Philadelphia

Saturday, November 19, 2022 – noon

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/

The Neon Museum of Philadelphia

Save the Date
Saturday, November 19, 2022 – 12 noon

The Oliver Evans Chapter will be sponsoring a tour of the Museum. Details to follow.

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://neonmuseumofphiladelphia.org/

Neon Museum of Philadelphia
1800 North American St, Unit E
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Southwest corner of North American and Berks Streets

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)

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:


Railroads on Parade

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. 

Below is the link for the meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 814 9559 4025
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AECOM’s I-95 Archaeology Center Tour

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. 

https://diggingi95.com/project-information/project-overview/
Prominently featured were pieces from the Dyott Glass Works. The glassblowers often created fanciful pieces on their off hours. https://diggingi95.com/archaeological-sites/dyottville-glass-works-site/
Other cases displayed household items recovered from backyard privies behind houses once located in the neighborhoods along the highway. https://diggingi95.com/uncategorized/northern-liberties-3/
Wooden remnants of a canal were found when excavations proceeded up Aramingo Avenue. https://diggingi95.com/archaeological-sites/aramingo-canal-site/

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.

http://www.penntreatymuseum.org/

Northeast Philadelphia History Fair

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)

Indigenous Ancestors, Immigrants and Industry

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 tabradyjr43@gmail.com

Here is a link to AECOM’s excavations along I-95:

https://diggingi95.com/explore-all-sites/

Guided Tour of AECOM’s I-95 Archaeology Center

Society for Industrial Archeology
Oliver Evans Chapter
Presents

Guided Tour of AECOM’s I-95 Archaeology Center –
Indigenous Ancestors, Immigrants and Industry

 Saturday, January 29, 2022  TIME: 10 AM

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

 

 

 

More than just trains…homage to “workshop of the world”

The Oliver Evans Chapter presents
A virtual presentation by Ron Hoess, OE Chapter Member
Tuesday, January 11, 2022  6:30pm

Over the last 7 years I have been constructing what is referred to as a prototype train layout, meaning a layout that represents a very specific time and place. The layout is set in North Philadelphia circa 1958 and depicts approximately 3 miles of the Pennsylvania Railroad starting just south of North Philadelphia Station and encompassing the first two miles of the Chestnut Hill Branch. In order to accurately portray the area all the structures on the layout are scratchbuilt so they actually look like the buildings that were there. This work is based on research using Sanborn maps and photographs from the city archives or aerial photographs taken in the 1930s. 

Muriel Kirkpatrick is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 865 0203 9316
Passcode: 291706
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