Annual Dinner Date

In case you missed earlier postings from this website and from the secretary, the annual dinner is scheduled for this coming Saturday, February 2nd. The date for extension of reservations is this Thursday, January 31st.

Sorry this information wasn’t included in recent postings.

Correction on Annual Dinner

All entrees will be served buffet style. Selections may be made as you choose.

Garden salad, Honey soy glazed salmon, Gallo’s lump crab cakes,  Chicken marsala, Penne with pancetta and tomato vodka cream sauce, garlic & herb roasted potatoes, fresh vegetables, warm apple cobbler & vanilla ice cream, tea, coffee.

COST: $35 per person. Send check by January 26th, payable to OE/SIA

MAIL TO: Tom Brady, 2024 Glendale Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19152-4013 215-518-8038         


NAME:_______________________________________ PHONE:_______________________


No. of Reservations @ $35 ea. = Amount enclosed $_______  DEADLINE: JANUARY 26th


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Philadelphia and the Birth of Airmail

An Illustrated Lecture by

Fred Moore, Historian, Northeast Philadelphia History Network


With American forces still fighting in World War I, the famous U S Army Air Service Curtiss “Jenny” trainer planes were assigned to a new mission: Deliver the mail on a regular schedule between New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. Army pilots made history when the very first airmail was delivered from New York to Philadelphia,  May 15, 1918. The Washington-bound airmail took off in front of throngs of officials and excited citizens who came in Model T’s, farm wagons, and on horseback to Bustleton Airfield, located at today’s Red Lion Rd. and Haldeman Ave. Airmail instantly became an integral part of communications. Commercial aviation was born.

Fred Moore is an historian with the Northeast Philadelphia History Network, president of the trustees of Lower Dublin Academy, treasurer of Pennepack Baptist Historical Foundation and past president of Holmesburg Civic Association. Fred is a retired chemical engineer with Rohm and Haas Co. and a consultant on the history of Northeast Philadelphia.

Bustleton Airfield today is a shopping center, housing development, and a recreational field.


DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 2019

5:30 Cash Bar 6:00 Buffet    7:00 Program

PLACE: Gallo’s Seafood Restaurant, 8101 Roosevelt Blvd., Phila., PA 19152

The restaurant is on the east side of the Boulevard (use far right lane) at Stanwood St., one block north of Rhawn Ave. Free parking is available. Accessible by SEPTA bus routes 1,14, 20, 50.


Garden salad, 1. Honey soy glazed salmon, 2. Gallo’s lump crab cakes, 3. Chicken marsala, 4. Penne with pancetta and tomato vodka cream sauce, garlic & herb roasted potatoes, fresh vegetables, warm apple cobbler & vanilla ice cream.

COST: $35 per person. Send check by January 26th, payable to OE/SIA

MAIL TO: Tom Brady, 2024 Glendale Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19152-4013



NAME:_______________________________________ PHONE:_______________________


No. of Reservations @ $35 ea. = Amount enclosed $_______  DEADLINE: JANUARY 26th

Dinner Selection(s)  

 Salmon ______   Crab cakes ______  Chicken ______  Penne ______



2018-12- 05 Wm Rau Race St at Delaware Ave LOC 39906v

Rau photo, Race Street at Delaware Avenue

Oliver Evans Chapter/SIA, Philadelphia Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians and Wagner Free Institute of Science



A Glass Lantern Slide presentation by Martha Capwell Fox, Historian and Archives Coordinator, National Canal Museum/ Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Time: 6PM Program     Reception to follow

Cost: $15 for members of sponsoring organizations and guests. $20 for all others.


Place: Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19121

Questions: E-mail:

Using the Wagner’s vintage glass lantern slide projector Martha will present a program featuring 19th-C views of Philadelphia by famed photographer William H. Rau, (January 19, 1855 – November 19, 1920).  Born in Philadelphia, at the age of 13, he started doing photographic work for his future father-in-law, William Bell, a medical and survey photographer for the federal government. In 1874, with Bell’s recommendation, Rau joined an expedition to Chatham Island in the South Pacific to photograph the Transit of Venus. After returning, Rau worked for the Centennial Photographic Company, the official photographers of Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exposition. After the exposition, he joined his father-in-law’s stereo card studio, which he purchased in 1878. He operated this studio in partnership with his brother, George, until 1880. From that point into the 20th-C he traveled the world making photographs on commission for numerous groups.  He spent a significant portion of the 1890s doing photographic work for both the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad, and published collections of his railroad photos in 1892 and 1900. He was the official photographer for the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland the following year. His work is now included in the collections of several prominent museums, libraries and archives around the world.

The National Canal Museum’s collection of Rau glass lantern slides was a gift from Professor Charles Best, who was chair of the engineering department at Lafayette College.  There are over 1200 slides in his collection, but we will see about 80 of the best of Philadelphia.

Martha Capwell Fox has been with the National Canal Museum for six years, but has a three decades-long relationship with the Museum through former Director Lance Metz. She graduated from American University with a dual degree in International Relations and History. She spent most of her career in publishing; working at National Geographic and was a senior editor at Rodale Press. She has published seven books, four Arcadia books on local Lehigh Valley history, and YA histories of swimming, auto racing and Vatican City.  Her latest book, “Geography, Geology, and Genius: The Industrial History of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor” is in production and should be out by the end of the year.

The talk will take place in the historic Lecture Hall of the Wagner Free Institute of Science and is followed by a reception in the Museum.

About the Wagner: Founded in 1855, the Wagner Free Institute of Science is dedicated to providing free public education in science. Its programs serve all ages and include evening science courses—the oldest free adult education program in the country—lectures, field trips and children’s lessons. The Wagner is also committed to preserving and interpreting its National Historic Landmark building, designed by John McArthur, which opened in 1865. The building houses a Victorian-era lecture hall, a library, and three-story exhibition hall displaying more than 100,000 natural history specimens. The site is virtually unchanged since the 1890s. The Wagner today is both an educational institution that teaches contemporary science, and a historic site that presents a time capsule of Victorian science. It is open to visitors Tuesdays – Fridays, 9 AM to 4 PM, year-round, and offers an array of evening and weekend programs throughout the year. It is located at 1700 W. Montgomery Avenue, a few blocks from Temple University’s main campus and the Temple-Cecil B. Moore Broad Street Line station.

Chapter Program, Annual Meeting & Picnic

Waterworks with Canal

Monday, October 8, 2018

Inland: the Abandoned Canals of the Schuylkill Navigation

Photographer Sandy Sorlien of the Fairmount Water Works will present highlights of her recently completed documentary project. With the assistance of local canal historians and an urban archaeologist, Sandy has researched and photographed the entirety of the 108-mile Schuylkill Navigation slackwater-canal system, from anthracite coal country to tidewater at Fairmount. This is perhaps the most significant linear archeological feature in Pennsylvania, having been the original impetus for 19th century industrial growth in the Schuylkill Valley and beyond. The Navigation was built 1816-1828, but during the 1940s-50s Schuylkill River Desilting Project, much of the stone infrastructure was dismantled or buried, or left to overgrowth. Yet the intrepid explorer may still find beautiful Navigation landscapes and informative remains. In a lively slide talk, Sandy will present a selection of her color photographs of dams, locks, aqueducts, and canals, along with historic images and maps

Sandy Sorlien was born and raised in the Schuylkill Valley. She has worked at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center since 2013. Previously her career in landscape photography included three Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She taught photography at the University of the Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia University, and Moore College of Art & Design, and has exhibited at the Michener Museum, the Print Center, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and currently, in the Pennsylvania Landscape show at the Woodmere Art Museum. Sandy also consults in the urban planning field, writing design and zoning codes for towns and cities. In 2015 she won a Knight Cities Challenge Grant to train Roxborough citizens to write their own Neighborhood Conservation Overlays.

Time: 6PM Picnic           7PM Annual Meeting             7:15 Program

Place: Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, 640 Waterworks Drive

           You can park on the Circle, closer to the FWWIC

Cost: $15 per person by Advanced Reservation only

Note: Food is only ordered for reservations. Mail your name and number in party with check payable to OE/SIA, to arrive no later than October 6 to: Larry DeYoung, 54 N. Waterloo Rd., Devon, PA 19333. If you wish to pay at the door, e-mail Larry at

Questions: Send an e-mail to

DEADLINE: October 6, 2018


saylor cement kilns

Association for Preservation Technology Delaware Valley Chapter (APT-DVC)

and the Oliver Evans Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology




Please join APT-DVC and the Oliver Evans (Philadelphia) Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology on Saturday, June 9 for an expanded tour program as we explore the cement manufacturing industry in the Lehigh Valley. This tour will run from 11:00 am to approximately 4:00 pm and will include historic cement manufacturing sites such as the Coplay Cement Company vertical kilns; a museum dedicated to the Atlas Cement Company, the cement manufacturing giant of the 20th century; and an active cement manufacturing plant, LaFargeHolcim.

The Coplay Cement Company constructed 8 vertical-type brick kilns for the production of cement between 1893 and 1904. These kilns are among the last of the vertical-type kilns remaining in the US (and possibly the world), as the more efficient rotary-type kiln was developed soon after their construction. This tour will include an introduction to the history of the cement industry in the Lehigh Valley, the Coplay Cement Company, and the vertical kilns. A discussion of the kilns’ conditions, conservation issues, and attempts to stabilize and preserve the kilns will follow. Attendees will then take a hard hat tour of the kilns. Guides include Preston Hull of Building Conservation Associates, Inc., Brian Wentz of Keast & Hood, Erik Valentino of Masonry Preservation Services, and Vanessa Della Torre of Spillman Farmer Architects.

The Atlas Cement Company was one of the largest cement manufacturing companies of the 20th century. Started in the Lehigh Valley in 1889, Atlas manufactured cement out of their Northampton plant for such incredible structures such as the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, and the Holland Tunnel. Atlas closed their doors in 1982 and soon after Ed Pany, whose father worked at Atlas his entire life (and who himself worked there during summers in the 1950s), created the Atlas Cement Company museum, collecting over 3,000 artifacts. This tour will be conducted by Ed Pany, where he will talk about the history of the Atlas Cement Company through the many artifacts he has collected.

LaFargeHolcim is the largest cement and building materials manufacturing company in the world, with plants in 80 countries. The company was started in 1883 in France and their Whitehall, PA plant has been in use since 1899, making Whitehall one of the oldest operating cement plants in the United States. This tour will include a brief lecture on plant safety and the manufacturing process followed by a tour of the plant to see all of the equipment that used to make the product, from quarry to shipping.

Safety Equipment

The tour includes a hardhat walkthrough of the Coplay site. Please bring your own hardhat. If you cannot provide a hardhat, please email Kevin Wohlgemuth ( and APT-DVC may be able to provide one for your use. All Personal Protective Equipment for the tour of the LaFarge plant will be provided by LaFarge. All they ask is that you wear closed-toed shoes.


The tour will begin PROMPTLY at 11 am on Saturday, June 9 at the LaFarge Whitehall plant. It is about 1.5 hours north of Philadelphia at 5160 Main Street, Whitehall, PA 18052. Please arrange to carpool, as parking space will be limited. Please let Kevin know if you can volunteer to drive others. The registration fee for carpool drivers (at least 3 in a car) will be refunded as reimbursement for gas.


$20 for members of APT-DVC or SIA. A box lunch including sandwich (vegetarian options will be available), chips, cookie, and a bottled water, is included in registration. Please let Kevin know if you will not require a boxed lunch.

Free for carpool drivers (at least 3 in a car).

Limit 10 APT-DVC attendees and 10 SIA attendees. Please select the appropriate membership when registering so that we have an accurate head count.

Reference Material:

Program Reminder

Breweries of the Schuylkill: A Virtual Trip Upstream


Rich Wagner, PA Brewery Historian


Date: Monday, May 7, 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

You can park in the Circle, closer to the FWWIC

Registration: E-mail names and phone numbers of members and guests to: or phone Reese at 610-692-4456