During the second half of the 19th century, Philadelphia was known as “The Workshop of the World.” Unlike many other cities in the United States that had become known for a particular industry, Philadelphia was known for its variety of industry, especially in the area north of Market Street and east of 10th Street, part of Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood. Among these streets one could find clock manufacturers, tin and sheet iron factories, shoe factories, toy factories, and several other manufacturing companies.
Sellersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania is named for one of its prominent citizens, Samuel Sellers. In the 18th century, Sellers built and operated Sellers’ Tavern on the main road in town and also served in the Pennsylvania legislature and as a sheriff for Bucks County. The tavern built by Sellers was a focal point around which the rest of the community grew, and it even served as the town’s post office for many years.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005, the Mill at Anselma has a history spanning over 250 years. Some of its original mechanisms are still in place along with other equipment used from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. As a result, you can see some of the progression of the milling industry in the mill’s moving parts. The best part is that the mill still functions today!
When it comes to archival records and manuscripts, the Radnor Historical Society in Delaware County, Pennsylvania has a little bit of everything. Its collections include business records, school records, family papers, subject files, glass plate negatives, maps, and the records of a variety of local clubs and associations.
When researching family history, there are a variety of resources through which genealogists can discover information. Some of the most popular materials used include vital records, census records, and ship passenger lists. Another information resource, which many would not initially think to use, is school records.
Since the 44th celebration of Earth Day is just around the corner (April 22), it is fitting that this week’s blog post is all about Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania! In addition to preserving 650 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, Tyler uses its living collections, which contain several rare plants and trees, to educate the public about the natural world.
Like several of today’s suburbs outside of Philadelphia, Wallace Township (Chester County) used to be home to many farmsteads in the 18th and early 19th centuries. However, by the late 19th century, the railroad had made its way to these rural communities, bringing with it an influx of Philadelphians eager to establish summer residences away from the city. Among these Philadelphians were the Howsons.
The area now known as Uwchlan Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania was once occupied by the Leni-Lenape (Delaware) and Iroquoian-speaking Susquehanuck peoples, and many of the footpaths they created are still in use today as roads that crisscross through the Township. Welsh Quakers were the main European group to settle in Uwchlan, requesting their own meeting in 1712.
The Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society has a variety of materials documenting the long and rich history of these two Main Line townships and their residents. The collections include subject files, maps, numerous photographs, family albums, manuscripts and other items helpful for research.
This past fall I worked as an archives intern for the Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR). It was a great experience, and it’s not hard to understand why. I was exposed to both large repository and small repository environments, I was able to work with a variety of collections and produce multiple finding aids, and I met a lot of great people. For all of these reasons and more, this internship was not only fun, but also rewarding.