Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation presents

A Book Talk with authors Harry Kyriakodis and Joel Spivak

Wednesday, September 18th, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Philadelphia’s relationship with the underground is as old as the city itself, dating back to when Quaker settlers resided in caves alongside the Delaware River more than three hundred years ago. The City of Brotherly Love later became a national and world leader in the delivery of water, gas, steam, and electricity during the industrial age. Join authors Harry Kyriakodis and Joel Spivak as they reveal the curious aspects of the Quaker City’s underground experience.

Historic Gloria Dei Church, 916 S Swanson Street, Philadelphia, PA

Admission is free, no registration required.








Historic Gloria Dei Church, 916 S Swanson Street, Philadelphia, PA


Admission is free, no registration required.


Mill Creek to Sewer

Mill Creek Sewer, ca. 1883, at 47th Street and Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia. The effort to encapsulate and bury Mill Creek in a 21-foot (6.4 m) sewer pipe ran from 1869 to 1894

June 25th, 6:30 pm

Adam Levine, historian at the Philadelphia Water Department, will talk on the fascinating history of Mill Creek, encapsulated as a sewer from 1869 to 1895. Hear updates on work happening this summer at 43rd and Baltimore.

June 25th at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. The McNeil Science and Technology Center, University of the Sciences, room 145 , 600 S 43rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

RSVP recommended but not required at facebook.com PhillyH2O. Check out Adam’s website, a great resource on Philadelphia water history. http://www.phillyh2o.org/index.htm

Underground Philadelphia: From Caves and Canals to Tunnels and Transit


Philadelphia’s relationship with the underground is as old as the city itself, dating back to when Quaker settlers resided in caves alongside the Delaware River more than three hundred years ago. The City of Brotherly Love later became a national and world leader in the delivery of water, gas, steam, and electricity during the industrial age. The construction of multiple subway lines within Center City took place during the early twentieth century. An intricate subsurface pedestrian concourse was also developed throughout the downtown area for the city’s inhabitants. From Thirtieth Street Station and Reading Terminal to the Commuter Rail Tunnel and transit lines that were never built, Philadelphia’s infrastructure history is buried under the earth as much as above. Join authors Harry Kyriakodis and Joel Spivak as they reveal the curious aspects of the Quaker City’s underground experience.

Harry Kyriakodis is a librarian, historian and writer about Philadelphia and has collected what is likely the largest private collection of books about the City of Brotherly Love—more than 2,800 titles, new and old. He is a founding/certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides and gives walking tours and presentations on unique yet unappreciated parts of the city for various groups. Once an officer in the U.S. Army Field Artillery, Harry is a graduate of La Salle University (1986) and Temple University School of Law (1993). He is also the author of Philadelphia’s Lost Waterfront (2011) and Northern Liberties: The Story of a Philadelphia River Ward (2012), both published by The History Press, and The Benjamin Franklin Parkway (2014), a postcard history book from Arcadia Publishing. Harry is a member of the Philadelphia chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology and also writes regularly for the blog Hidden City Philadelphia.

Joel Spivak is an architect, artist, author and community activist in Philadelphia, where he helped lead the renaissance of South Street in the 1970s and early 1980s by coordinating with artists and builders. He opened his own specialty toy store, Rocketships & Accessories, and in 1992 co-founded Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, an artists’ collective. Nicknamed the “Trolley Lama” for his expertise in Philadelphia’s public transit history, Joel has a degree in industrial arts and is a member of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. His books include Philadelphia Trolleys (2003) and Philadelphia Railroads (2010), both with Allen Meyers and part of Arcadia’s “Images of Rail” series. Joel also self-published Market Street Elevated Passenger Railway Centennial, 1907–2007 for the 100th anniversary of the El. He originated Philadelphia’s National Hot Dog Month celebration, which spotlights both non-vegan and vegan sandwiches. His wife is artist Diane Keller.

ISBN: 9781625859730
Publisher: The History Press
Date: 02/11/2019
State: Pennsylvania
Images: 67 Black And White
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)

Below is a link to the publisher’s website where the book can be ordered.

The Oliver Evans Chapter is planning an authors’ presentation this coming Spring. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at this event.


Dinner Deadline Extended

Dear Members,

A final reminder to make reservations for our 34th Annual Dinner Meeting to be held at Gallo’s Restaurant on Roosevelt Blvd. at Stanwood St. in Philadelphia. By various personal  testimonials, the food at Gallo’s is excellent. The dinner will be buffet with four different main course selections.

Please note that we have changed the day from our usual Friday to Saturday, Feburary 2nd to avoid the ever-present Friday rush-hour traffic. the speaker for the evening will be Fred Moore, Historian with the Northeast Philadelphia History Network and his subject will be “The Birth of the US Airmail Service” with its first stop at the Bustleton Airfield in NE Phila.

New Deadline for reservations is this coming Thursday, January 31st.

Just phone or email Tom Brady with number of reservations

PHONE 215-518-8038                   EMAIL tabradyjr43@gmail.com


Reminder: Oliver Evans Chapter Event


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: info@philachaptersah.org

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.

Poth Brewery, Brewerytown


A post from Rich Wagner

Wow, Brewerytown is poppin’. Took the Hidden City tour of Poth brewery with people from the firm that is planning to develop the building for housing. This joins a growing list of brewery preservation success stories in Philadelphia!

I hadn’t been inside since my Philadelphia Brewery Tour in 1996 when it was Red Bell and people on my tour got to sample beer from the zwickle thanks to Jim Cancro, brewer, who gave us the tour. Well, the Red Bell sign is faded but they’re breathing new life into this beauty.

At the conclusion of the tour Larry Handy and I did a “pop up” breweriana exhibit of Poth and Brewerytown breweriana!

Across the street the 200 horse stable of the Bergner & Engel Brewing Co. is also being restored.

Then there’s the mural a block away which is fantastic composite, showing names of the breweries of Brewerytown, old and new.

And of course, around the corner up Girard Ave. is Crime and Punishment, currently the only brewery in Brewerytown.

Below is a link to the story of the F.A. Poth Company from the 1860s to the 1930s The Jewel of Brewerytown: Past, Present, and  Future at the Poth Brewery, A Thesis in Historic Preservation by Mary Elizabeth Feitz, 2015 




This November 11th marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, bringing an end to “The War to End All Wars”. The treaty was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

For years people would stand at that time for a moment of silence to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Over 3,000 Philadelphians made that sacrifice.

To commemorate this historic event and the contribution that Philadelphians made, I am bringing to Philadelphia a travelling exhibit that will include photographs of those who served from our area.

The exhibit will be here for two days – November 11th (the actual day) and November 12th. I am looking for sponsors and a site on the commercial corridor for the exhibit and for photos of those that served in the war.

Please contact me at joelspivak@comcast.net.

Please copy this information and send to anyone you think who may wish to participate.


New Source of Railroad photos

Media High Bridge2

Image from Media Historic Archives Commission Stephen H. Appleton Collection

Member Adam Levine shares this information on a project of his involving about a year of scanning, editing, and cataloging glass plates ranging from 4×5 to 8×10 in size that have never before been available.  Adam is chairman of the Media (Pa.) Archives Commission. The group recently put online the Stephen H. Appleton Collection which includes more than 2,000 glass photographic negatives, taken in Media, Pennsylvania and vicinity from 1888 to 1909.  You can find the collection at mediahistoricarchives.org

Adam is informing the Oliver Evans chapter because the collection includes about 200 photographs related to local railroads. These images can be located on the Archives website by using the Browse & Search by subject headings. He is hoping that members with knowledge of the subjects can provide more information about the photos. Adam adds, “The photographer was very cryptic in his descriptions, and while I have tried to more fully identify and locate the photos, I’m not a railroad expert and would appreciate any input people want to give.”

People can respond through the “Contact Us” link on the website.


Carter Litchfield was an early member of the society and a generous supporter of the Chapter. His research focused on linseed oil mills and processing. His press publications can be viewed at this link.: https://openlibrary.org/publishers/Olearius_Editions.

Several current Oliver Evans Chapter members have been involved with this title.


This gazetteer provides historical background on the linseed oil industry and detailed histories of more than 70 mills in the Garden State, which was a center of production during the 19th century. Many of these mills were “combination” mills, manufacturing not just linseed oil but a variety of other products by waterpower, so the book will also be of interest to fans of gristmills, tanbark mills, and the like. Well illustrated. Hardcover, 223 pages. Written by Carter Litchfield [SIA], Richard L. Porter [SIA], and Paul W. Schopp, with contributions from Dorothy White Hartman, Patrick Harshbarger [SIA], and Stephanie Stevens. Published posthumously by Litchfield’s Olearius Press, all proceeds have been generously donated to the SIA by the Litchfield estate.

SIA Member Price: $25 ($20 plus $5 shipping). Members outside of U.S. please email sia@siahq.org for additional shipping charges. You must be a current member of the SIA to buy this book.

Download Table of Contents.

Order online.


Brewing and Malting in Early Philadelphia

In addition, Rich will be giving the Oliver Evans Chapter a presentation on Breweries along the Schuylkill River coming up in May

Rich Wagner, Pennsylvania Brewery Historian

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118


THURSDAY, APRIL 19 | 7:00 pm

Members: $15

Non-Members: $20

Anthony Morris, ancestor of Arboretum founders, John and Lydia Morris, became Philadelphia’s second brewer in 1687. The Morris family founded several breweries to supply ship captains with necessary sustenance for their long voyages and serve the city’s thriving tavern culture that supplied the growing city with food, drink, and lodging. When Philadelphia was the second largest English-speaking city after London, and the largest seaport in the colonies, it produced more beer than the rest of the colonies combined. William Penn and later the founding fathers promoted the development of the brewing industry as a solid foundation for a temperate society and as an engine for promoting industry and technological innovation. Brewing gave agriculture production a boost since brewers needed barley and hops, which encouraged their cultivation. Rich Wagner began interpreting the brewing process in 1990 at William Penn’s home, Pennsbury Manor. Since then he has constructed his own brewing system to demonstrate the brewing technology of the late seventeenth century. Using this experience along with primary source material he gives us a view of the city’s earliest breweries.