The Industrial Archaeology of the West Point Foundry

Join the SIA for the 15th session of IA Online Wednesday, November 10 at 8 p.m. Eastern (US & Canada)

T. Arron Kotlensky & Steve Walton – “Where Archaeology and History Collide: The Industrial Archaeology of the West Point Foundry”

The establishment of the foundry was encouraged by President James Madison, who, after the War of 1812, wanted to establish domestic foundries to produce artillery. Cold Spring was an ideal site: timber for charcoal was abundant, there were many local iron mines, and the nearby Margaret’s Brook provided water power to drive machinery. The site was guarded by West Point, across the Hudson River, and the river provided shipping for finished products.

This collaborative presentation will last 40 minutes followed by 20 minutes of Q&A with the presenters.

Register to join us on Zoom:

Also, videos of past IA Online presentations can be viewed on the SIA YouTube Channel.

Former Budd Plant, Nicetown, Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Vacant Budd Plant Becomes a Biomanufacturing Center

Aug 6, 2021

A facility that once fabricated metal products for the automotive and transportation industry central to a bygone era of Philadelphia’s economy, has found a new life as a biomanufacturing center, a key industry for the city’s economic future.The Plymouth Group, which owns the property, has partnered with Centerbridge Partners, L.P. to turn the former Budd Plant in Philadelphia into a facility that will support biomanufacturing efforts of companies across Cellicon Valley. The new site will position Philadelphia as a key lynchpin in biomanufacturing and continue the city’s growth as one of the top biopharma hubs in the United States.

The historic Budd plant will become known as the Budd campus. The first phase of the 2.4M square-foot project includes the 450,000 square-foot Budd Bioworks. It will include 300,000 square feet of cGMP drug manufacturing space along with 150,000 square feet of lab and office space which is expected to become available as soon as the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021. The full scope of the redevelopment encompasses six buildings spread across 25 acres in the City of Philadelphia.  It is conceived as a mixed-use transformation with residences, restaurants, and retail space complementing the Budd Bioworks once complete. 

The former Budd Company plant is located between Philadelphia’s Center City and the suburbs. The Budd Company began operations in Philadelphia in the 1920s, fabricating metal for multiple automobile companies, including General Motors, Buick, Ford, and Dodge. The Budd Company plant operated for decades until the plant was shuttered as imported automobiles began to dominate the market. It sat dormant for years, with multiple proposals to turn the property into a casino or mixed-use site. In 2019, the vacant building and campus were acquired by Plymouth Group, which set the stage for the Budd plant’s latest mission.

Michael Davis, the founding partner of Plymouth Group, touted the transition of the Budd plant from an automotive-focused facility to one designed to support the biomanufacturing community. He said few things ”capture the spirit of transformative change” in a city like the repurposing of a facility. He said the Budd plant will transition from making metal car parts one stamping machine at a time to building a state-of-the-art cell and gene manufacturing facility in the heart of the community.

”This won’t be known anymore as the ‘former’ Budd assembly plant. It will be the world’s leading biomanufacturing facility,” Davis said.

The investment into the rehabilitation and transformation of the Budd plant comes at a time when the biopharma industry in Philadelphia is seeing significant growth. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) placed Philadelphia in the seventh out of 10 top biopharma markets. In the overall rankings, the greater Philadelphia area took sixth in venture capital funding, secured the seventh place spot in jobs and lab space, and eighth place in funding from the National Institutes of Health. 

Philadelphia is home to more than 25 different cell and gene therapy companies, as well as outstanding research institutes, such as the University of Pennsylvania. In all, there are approximately 5,000 life sciences employees in the city and that could grow due to new manufacturing facilities like Budd Bioworks, Discovery Labs suburban Philadelphia campus, as well as training facilities like the Jefferson Institute of Bioprocessing. Approximately 409 drugs are currently in development within Philadelphia and 105 funding events have been completed so far this year that total approximately $4.48 billion.

Joseph Fetterman, head of the Colliers Life Sciences practice group in the Philadelphia market, said being able to deliver a tenant-ready biomanufacturing space in Philadelphia is crucial for the city to compete as a rapidly expanding and maturing market in this space. He said Budd Bioworks will become a preeminent facility in the Mid-Atlantic market.

The unique ability of Budd to expand through subsequent phases will provide opportunities for biomanufacturing tenants to grow along with them.” Fetterman said in a statement. “Budd Bioworks will enable us to support an end-to-end solution right here in Philadelphia.”

Davis added that Budd Bioworks will benefit from its proximity to academic research taking place at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, as well as a rapidly evolving biopharmaceutical culture in the city that he said is ”unmatched and full of wonderful potential for transformative change.”

Alex Keown is a freelance journalist who writes about a variety of subjects including the pharma, biotech, and life science industries. Prior to freelancing, Alex has served as a staff writer and editor for several publications.

This link show the extent of the plant complex in Nicetown.

Here is a link to the Budd Plant in the Workshop of the World publication produced by the Oliver Evans Chapter.

Tour of the Mohegan Granite Quarry site


A 1926 photo of the quarry | Source: Milestone Heritage Consulting

Yorktown, New York

Saturday, November 6th, 10:30 AM

A Program of the SIA Roebling Chapter

From 1890 to 1941, the abandoned and long forgotten Mohegan Quarry was a major industry in Yorktown and a major New York State supplier of granite for buildings, including the Cathedral of St. John in Manhattan. At its peak in the mid-to-late 1920s, the quarry company employed between 200 to 300 workers, depending on the number and size of the contracts it had at any given time. Today, it is part of Yorktown’s 343 acre Sylvan Glen Park Preserve.

For some history of the quarry, please see Matt’s interpretive panels at (scroll down to “Mohegan Granite Quarry Interpretive Panels”).

Quarried stone was moved by a cable-drawn incline railway. There is limited evidence of the original machinery, and one building remains, an explosives shed.

MAP: Please go to for a trail map from the NY-NJ Trail Conference.

Meeting place: We will meet at the trailhead car park on Stoney Street near Winding Court in Yorktown (please see the map). Google Maps knows the location as “Sylvan Glen Eastern Trail Head”, and “2820 Stoney Street, Mohegan Lake, NY” should also work.

Do NOT go to the Grant Avenue trailhead (Dog Park). Do not go to the Granite Knolls Park, and do not go to the Granite Knolls Sports & Recreation Complex. We will not be there.

The tour will be led by Matt Kierstead — if you’ve been on any of his tours you know you will be in for a treat!

Google estimates the driving time at about 1 1/4 hours from NYC but that could be optimistic. Public transportation does not seem to be practical unless you take a service like Lyft from an area train station.

Please bring your beverage and sandwich for lunch. There are no on-site toilet facilities. The total walking distance is about 2 miles, and the hike is not recommended for anyone with physical issues or limitations on walking on rocky surfaces or steep hills.

Trail information, per Matt: This is not a flat or paved walk. It is a dirt woodland trail, with flat and rolling terrain, some short plank boardwalks, maybe some mud depending on weather, and once we get to the quarry, a short slope on loose small stones. Then there is the steep 1,000 ft incline at the end which takes us down to the cutting shed ruins. There are lots of up to fist-sized loose stones, and it is not an easy walk back up. Some people may opt to stay at the top. Depending on enthusiasm, ability and energy level, we may take a diversion from the middle of the incline into the quarry bottom to look at some machinery artifacts; that will be the most challenging option.

For reservations or more details, email Sandy Needham at, or call 347-808-9168. Please include your cell phone number and the numbers of people expected. On the day of the event, you may contact Matt at 845-234-9497.

The tour is limited to 24 people and we must have at least 6 signed up for it to take place. Your early reservation is appreciated.



National SIA Online Programs

Wednesday, October 20 at 3 p.m. 

Hand gin and condenser. M. Ferguson, engraver. De Bow’s Review, July-August 1867, page 76.

Join the SIA for the 14th session of IA Online Eastern (US & Canada):

David Farrier – “An extant cotton gin from the Albany Agricultural Works”

Jerry Miller – “North Central Ohio Industrial Museum Featuring Inventor of Over 200 Patents, Harry F. Smith of Lexington OH”

Register to join us on Zoom:

Talks are roughly 10-15 minutes each, with 5 minutes of Q&A for each presenter. The end of the session is reserved for additional questions and discussion.

Also, videos of past IA Online presentations can be viewed on the SIA YouTube Channel.

Philadelphia: City of Breweries


September 3, 2021 – October 10, 2021
The  Neon Museum of Philadelphia presents
An Exhibit of Larry Handy’s Amazing Breweriana

You may know of Philly’s Brewerytown – a neighborhood named after the extensive history of breweries in the area – but do you know just how deep the citywide beer history of Philadelphia runs? We invite you to dive into Philly’s frothy legacy with this special exhibition of Larry Handy’s amazing breweriana collection, which includes talks and videos.

The Neon Museum is located at NextFab, a spacious warehouse with a large parking lot at 1800 N. American Street, in the Kensington neighborhood.

Museum Hours:

Friday: 4pm to 8pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm to 5pm
Reservations preferred but walk-ins welcomed

Check the website for more information on the museum collections and for COVID recommendations.

In conjunction with the exhibit Sor Ynez, Nextfab’s Mexican restaurant, the Museum will offer discounted beer specials for museum patrons.


SIA and Canal Society tour in Pittsburgh, Pa


Friday – Sunday October 1 – 3, 2021

Canal Society of Ohio Joint Tour With the Pennsylvania Canal Society and with participation of the Northern Ohio Chapter Society of Industrial Archeology – Pittsburgh Riverboat Tour

A tour of Pittsburgh’s three rivers will be aboard the Rivers of Steel Explorer Riverboat on Saturday.  Boat staff will give narrated descriptions of the river bridges and a river ecology teaching station, while we cruise through two locks and view the redevelopment sites of former steel mills and the industrial scene along the Monongahela River.  A Saturday evening banquet will be followed by speaker Dr. John Oyler, who will tell us about the Dravo Corp., which has constructed numerous locks and dams, docks and bridge foundations.  On Sunday a pokey bike ride along Three Rivers Heritage Trail will include views of bridges and industrial sites along the Monongahela River, and a stop to ride the historic Duquesne Incline.

Here is a link for further information on the events. Wednesday, September 8, 2021 is the last day for reservations to get the group rate.

How the Brooklyn Bridge Was Built: A Visual History


A virtual presentation by the Center for Brooklyn History

Sept 1, 2021 6:30-7:30 PM

On May 24, 1883 New Yorkers and Brooklynites gathered to celebrate an engineering miracle: the long-anticipated opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. Jeffrey Richman’s new book, “Building the Brooklyn Bridge: 1869-1883,” tells the story of the bridge’s construction in over 250 images, many that have never before been published on the printed page. Join him for a visual feast of 19th century photographs, illustrations, engineering drawings, and stereographs that bring this remarkable story to life.

Speaker: Jeffrey Richman

Jeffrey Richman has been fascinated by New York City’s history for as long as he can remember. In 2007, after thirty-three years of practicing law, he became the full-time historian at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. He is the author of three previous books, including “Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery: New York’s Buried Treasure.” An avid collector, Richman amassed an outstanding collection of stereoview and lantern slide photographs of New York City – many of the Brooklyn Bridge under construction – as well as woodcuts and other memorabilia of that icon. He was honored to attend the 100th anniversary of the bridge’s opening in 1983

Reserve your place for the Zoom presentation:,RSVP,-This%20event%20is

Roebling Museum Selected by Smithsonian to Create Exhibit on American Workers


Image Source:

The Smithsonian Institution announced that it has chosen Roebling Museum to develop an exhibit about work in a steel-making company town founded in 1905. Roebling Museum, which documents the history of a company town built by suspension bridge engineers John A. Roebling’s Sons Co., is one of five museums nationwide to participate in Smithsonian’s Museums on Main Street program. 

The exhibit, planned to open in June 2022, will explore how immigrant and migrant families in the company town lived and worked. Guidance from the Smithsonian will help fit the history of Roebling into the national story of industrial history in the United States and address the many challenges that shaped the workforce through the years, including relevant examples affecting the community and Burlington County region today. 

“With this exhibit, we aim to increase understanding of life in a steel-making company town for new immigrants and African Americans who moved north as part of the Great Migration,” says Lynne Calamia, Roebling Museum executive director. “Many descendants of these families still live in the area and our vision is to tell the story of a diverse workforce in a company town through the eyes of the community itself.” 

Creating the exhibit will be a hands-on opportunity for New Jerseyans to get involved in telling their local history. Roebling Museum needs volunteers to help develop the exhibit’s story, choose objects from our collections to display, interview residents for oral histories, digitize historic company work records, and more. 

“This exhibit will reflect the strong history and culture of the company town of Roebling, and we need your help to make it successful,” Calamia says. “Our door is open to community members and volunteers of all ages to help us better understand the full story of work in Roebling. That means taking a deep dive into immigration stories, the Black experience, women workers at the mill, young workers, and the folks who worked outside of the mill to keep the community operating.” 

If you want to get involved by volunteering, donating objects from your family’s past, or contributing funds to the project, contact the museum at: or by calling 212.499.7200. 

About Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program: 

Museum on Main Street is a partnership of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and state humanities councils. The partnership brings exhibitions, educational resources, and programming to small towns across America. MoMS has visited all 50 U.S. states as well as Guam and inspired some 1,800 towns to rediscover their local histories while finding a renewed sense of community pride. Visit online at 

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work, and play. For more information, including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit 

About Roebling Museum: 

Roebling Museum tells the story of the origins and growth of Roebling, New Jersey, a company town built in 1905 by the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, builders of the Brooklyn Bridge. The village of Roebling, including 700 homes, is historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places and every one of its buildings has an important story to tell. Exhibits, tours, and programs document the majority-immigrant work force that built the iconic suspension bridges of the American industrial age. 

Roebling Museum is open Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offers regular walking tours and online events. Group visits welcome by appointment. For the latest information, check Roebling Museum’s Facebook page and

Article from the Princeton Magazine website.

Looking Back At The Unbuilt Red Bank Bridge Proposal In South Philadelphia


Philadelphia-Red Bank Bridge. Image via Courier Post, March 27, 1926

article BY: THOMAS KOLOSKI 7:30 AM ON JULY 19, 2021

In the 1920s, Philadelphia was on the rise, with industry and was with business activity bustling across the city. The port was generally busy, the skyline was growing, and as automobiles surged in numbers, the city was in need of bridges spanning the Delaware River and connecting to New Jersey on the other side. The proposed Philadelphia-Red Bank Bridge was brought to public attention by Mayor J. Hampton Moore, who suggested that the city is in dire need of a new bridge at its south end. The bridge would have been situated very close to the present location of the Walt Whitman Bridge, though slightly further west and running from the north to the south rather than from the west to the east.


Philadelphia-Red Bank Bridge placement. Image via Google Maps, edit by Thomas Koloski

Mayor Moore had brought up the idea to the president of the Eureka Triangle Club, Governor Watkins. The discussion was then taken to the Woodbury Court House, where the monthly booster meeting for the club was taking place. The idea was spurred by the fact that the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (originally known as the Delaware River Bridge) was just over four months away from completion. The Mayor added that the two bridges together would greatly improve the flow of traffic in Philadelphia and South Jersey.


Philadelphia-Red Bank Bridge rendering. Image via Google Earth, edit by Thomas Koloski

If built, the bridge would have had an obvious placement when looking at the map. The southern tip of Broad Street curves slightly to the east when it approaches the Delaware River in the Navy Yard. On the New Jersey side, Red Bank Ave in West Deptford lines up perfectly with the southern tip of Broad Street, making the connection of a span seem ideal at that location. However, if built, Philadelphia Sports Complex and the neighborhood of West Deptford would see different rates of traffic compared to today. In the end, it was likely for the best that the Walt Whitman Bridge was built as it was planned out to come in fruition.

This piece was taken from the Philadelphia YIMBY website.

Society for Industrial Archeology

49th Annual Conference

August 23-27, 2021
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

The Anthracite Heritage Museum, National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), and the National Canal Museum, a program of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, invite you to join the Society for Industrial Archeology in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which has been rescheduled for August 24-27, 2021.  We welcome everyone to join together to celebrate the Lehigh Valley’s unique legacy as the cradle of American industrialization.

Registration for the Society for Industrial Archeology’s 49th Annual Conference August 23-27 in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley opens Tuesday, July 13 at 6 a.m. Eastern Time. Please follow the link below to the conference web page for more details about the conference and, starting next Tuesday, to find links to register online!

SIA Lehigh Valley 2021 Conference Web Page

Tour descriptions and the program of paper sessions have been added to the conference web page in advance of online registration.

PLEASE NOTE: 49th Annual Conference registrants must read the SIA Covid Statement and agree to abide by the terms and conditions stated therein in order to participate in the conference.