200 Years on Our Regional Network of Historic Canals

A presentation By Bob Thomas
Hosted by the The Lower Merion Conservancy

Thursday, May 13
7:00-8:30 pm


The Delaware and Lehigh Canal and Towpath just north of Weissport, Carbon County, PA 
© 2020 – Robert P. Thomas, AIA

Two hundred years ago – before the age of railroads — an extensive canal system served our region, linking Philadelphia with major points from Chesapeake Bay to Canada and from Pittsburgh to New York City. Learn from historian, planner, and architect, Bob Thomas, where this system was located, how it worked, where extensive parts of it survive to this day, and how to visit and enjoy this great historic resource.

ZOOM, pre-registration required for link to program

Register through link below:

How Philly and Pennsylvania grew to dominate the candy industry


In the early 20th century, Philly was considered the candy capital of the United States. The industry had exploded in the city from just 20 small stores in the early 1800s to more than 130 shops, manufacturers, and distributors, according to a 1917 educational pamphlet from the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Their combined sales volume was more than $7 million, equivalent to around $200 million today.

This article posted in Billy Penn mentions some of the most well-known candy manufacturers in the city and state. 


From the Main Line

In March of 2017 Michael Froio spoke to the chapter on his project, From the Main Line: A Contemporary Survey of the PRR. He is now offering a limited run catalog featuring a selection of images from the ongoing project.

Froio is on the faculty at Drexel University. This description of his work appears on their website. 

From the Mainline,” Froio’s impressive ongoing project, operates as an homage to the industrial achievements of the past 150 years in which he documents the infrastructure and landscape that’s developed alongside the Pennsylvania’s ecology. “Much of what they engineered and built over 100 years ago remains a vital part of the Mid-Atlantic’s railroad infrastructure today, a testament of their foresight and engineering abilities” says Froio. His gorgeous photography is generally accompanied by meticulously researched text that recounts and pays tribute to the importance of railroads in our region and the nation. We strongly suggest you visit Michael’s terrific website at http://michaelfroio.com/ and consider signing up for his pictorially vibrant, textually rich, and fascinating newsletter.

Froio is inspired by the work of William H. Rau, who documented the railroad in the 1890’s, and by the social and industrial history and landscape studies writers John Stilgoe and Robert Adams. His earlier works were made possible by using a large format view camera, a process that forces the photographer to spend a dedicated time with the subject. In recent years he’s begun utilizing digital formats, yet he still treats his work with the same emphasis as with the view camera: spending time with the subject.

Information on the publication can be found here:


Don’t miss checking out the  Field Notes section on his website. It  presents information and images on other sites that have drawn his interest reflecting local and regional histories.

Meet the Manufacture, Amorphic Tech, Ltd

The National Museum of Industrial History presents
Sunday, February 28th at 7pm


The National Museum of Industrial History continues its 2021 Meet the Manufacturer Virtual Lecture Series with Andrew Schevets, President of Amorphic Tech Ltd.

After spending several years supporting the water and rotating machinery industries, Andrew Schevets sought to create a technical solution to bring water technologies and industrial equipment to life.  At the close of 2013, Amorphic Tech Ltd was founded.  Over the years, as their top-tier manufacturing capabilities have grown, so has their customer base.  From the Federal Government to Fortune 500 companies, Amorphic Tech provides design & development, prototyping & manufacturing and comprehensive fluid system solutions from its headquarters in Allentown.

Join Andria Zaia, NMIH’s Curator of Collections and R. Scott Unger, Executive Director of Allentown Economic Development Corporation for a lively chat exploring the innovative work of modern-day Lehigh Valley manufacturer Amorphic Tech Ltd.

About our guest, Andrew Schevets, President of Amorphic Tech Ltd

Andrew Schevets is a mechanical engineer by vocation and an entrepreneur by profession.  He has a serious passion for creating and is currently President at Amorphic Tech Ltd, bringing ideas, machines, and industrial equipment into reality.  Through Amorphic Tech, he has delivered products all over the globe to several Fortune 500 end users.  He holds 2 patents and has several others pending, in the field of waste energy recovery and additive manufacturing.  Andrew’s energy recovery development work has been funded by both the US Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Energy.  He resides in Bethlehem with his lovely wife-to-be Liz and faithful companion Edwards, with his favorite past times being canoeing, hiking, and camping.

This program will air on NMIH’s Youtube channel and will also be available via an embedded video on the NMIH website the day of the talk.

Amorphic Tech, Ltd website link

Meet The Manufacturer: Stargazer Cast Iron

The National Museum of Industrial History presents
January 31, 2021 7pm


The National Museum of Industrial History begins its Manufacturer series with Peter Huntley, CEO & Founder of Stargazer Cast Iron based in Allentown, PA.

Stargazer Cast Iron was founded in 2015 by professional kitchenware designer, Peter Huntley, a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton. After years of working in both fine art and industrial applications and most recently designing glass and ceramic products for major brands including Disney and Warner Bros, Huntley became disenchanted by the lack of quality and accountability present in modern goods manufactured overseas. When he went searching for a new skillet and discovered that, like so many other products, quality in cast iron cookware had been on the decline for decades. Fed up with the status quo, he set out to build a product and a company that could be held to a higher standard. Today, Stargazer Cast Iron manufactures direct to consumer, sustainable skillets right here in the Lehigh Valley.

This program will air on NMIH’s Youtube channel and will also be available via an embedded video on the NMIH website the day of the talk.

Stargazer website link

Digging Up Bethlehem Steel’s History In Latin America


A Virtual presentation from the National Museum of Industrial History

JANUARY 23 @ 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

While the rise and fall of Bethlehem Steel is well-documented, the Corporation’s global impact particularly from places where they sourced raw materials is less well-known. From 1913 until 1971, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation operated iron mines in Chile, shipping ore to the US through the Panama Canal. Chilean iron ore was essential to Bethlehem Steel’s World War II production, cementing the ties between Latin America and the Lehigh Valley.

While the histories of Mexican and Puerto Rican workers illustrate Bethlehem Steel’s labor linkages, this talk provides a new perspective on the Lehigh Valley’s long-standing relationship with Latin America by illuminating Bethlehem Steel’s mining operations in Chile. Various engineers, geologists, and Bethlehem Steel executives worked on the Chilean mining projects, and many brought families and built lives in the mining towns or surrounding areas near La Serena, Chile. Through these connections Chileans also came to study, work and live in the Lehigh Valley in the 20th century.

This virtual talk explores the history of Bethlehem Steel’s iron mining operations in Chile, the transnational flows of raw materials and people and Bethlehem Steel’s legacy in Latin America.

The goal of this project is to research the history of Bethlehem Steel’s iron ore mining operations in Latin America, with a plan to present findings in academic journals, museum exhibits, public lectures, and/or documentaries. Some of the core questions that guide this project are: What role did iron ore extracted from Latin America play in Bethlehem Steel’s production processes? And, how did the Bethlehem Steel Corporation (& its subsidiaries) impact the regions where they had mining operations?

If you have memories, photos, documents, or contacts that you are interested in sharing with the project, we would love to hear from you. Please visit https://forms.gle/ch6q41eMfbQjksm68 with whatever information you are able to share, and we will be in touch.




Society for Industrial Archeology, IA Online


Join the SIA for the sixth session of IA Online Wednesday, December 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern (US & Canada):

Francisco Montoya Mar and Angélica María Medrano Enríquez – “La Esperanza candy and chocolate factory. Zacatecas, Mexico”

Kevin Coffee – “Industrial Lowell and the dawn of the Anthropocene”

Francisco Montoya Mar’s presentation is based on his book Arqueología en la fábrica de dulces La Esperanza (Archeology at the La Esperanza candy factory).

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.

Yours in IA,



If you haven’t used Zoom before, don’t worry. You’ll be prompted to download the software or join via your web browser when you follow the link above. The host will provide a brief orientation to Zoom at the beginning of the session

Also note the sessions will be recorded so they can be viewed at a later date.

Allegheny Portage Railroad

Join the Roebling Museum for a virtual lecture about the first place John A. Roebling tested his wire rope, the Allegheny Portage Railroad!

Thu, November 19, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

Be virtually transported to another important Roebling historic site!

The Allegheny Portage Railroad was the first railroad to circumvent the Allegheny Mountains and used Roebling technology to do so. Join us to learn more about this remarkable historic treasure.

We will hear about the history and importance of this National Park site from Park Ranger Elizabeth Shope.

Follow this link to register.