Save the Date


Monday, September 25

Engineering Philadelphia: The Sellers Family and the Industrial Metropolis

When Philadelphia was the Workshop to the World, the Sellers family numbered among the city’s leading industrial families, developing canals and railroads and manufacturing goods ranging from textiles to steel frames for bridges and skyscrapers. But as Philadelphia de-industrialized in the twentieth century, the Sellers family’s firms also declined.

Author Domenic Vitiello, PhD, is an urban historian at the University of Pennsylvania who will examine the rise and fall of Philadelphia as an industrial metropolis through a focus on the Sellers family and their network of associates.  His talk is based on his 2013 book of the same name from Cornell University Press . Dr. Vitiello’s book is available at and other retail sources.

Exhibition Tour

Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Location: Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S. 6th Street, Philadelphia
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free, but space is limited and open to Oliver Evans SIA Chapter Members only.  Registration required no later than Sunday, Feb 28 at PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE WITHOUT A REGISTRATION OR YOU MAY BE TURNED AWAY.

2017-03-01-laying-tracks-bruce-lavertyThe introduction of railroads in the 1830s initiated a revolution in the development of American industry, land use, and social patterns. The new technology challenged the nascent American professions of architecture and engineering to create entirely new building and structural types to meet railroad needs— passenger waiting stations, bridges, train sheds, repair shops, grand downtown depots, and even bedroom suburbs. For more than 100 years, Philadelphia’s most important designers met this challenge, including William Strickland, Thomas U. Walter, John Notman, Theophilus P. Chandler, the Wilson Brothers, Frank Furness, Horace Trumbauer and Paul P. Cret. This exhibit features drawings, prints, photographs, and manuscripts that document how these Philadelphia architects and engineers transformed not only their own city, but much of the American landscape.

The exhibition is on view February 13 through May 12, 2017.  Additionally it will be the focus of a symposium on April 28 & 29.  For details keep your eye on the Athenaeum website