Lower Merion in the Industrial Age

Lower Merion in the Industrial Age

Tuesday, October 13 - 5pm

The Industrial Age in America had its genesis in the Schuylkill River Valley and this area provided more than half of the industrial wealth of the United States until the 1870’s.

Lower Merion and its residents played a significant role in developing industry in this country and our township became home to many of the most important chieftains of this age. Initially, the gushing streams of northern Lower Merion provided the power to operate many profitable mills while the topography of our township allowed for important railroad beds. Lower Merion became home to two main lines of two different railroads, the Reading and the Pennsy, both of which, at different times, became the largest business corporations in the world.

The main line of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, which was laid out in the early 1830’s and has yet to be improved upon, runs along the Schuylkill River of Lower Merion and on to the City of Reading, PA. At two different times, “The Reading” was the largest business corporation in the world and among the earliest business conglomerates. The Pennsylvania Railroad, who’s main line has always run through the midst of Lower Merion, became the largest corporation in the world and was legitimately considered “The Standard of the World” in many different ways.

From these railroads and the many industries that developed along their pathways, came the society of Main Line Philadelphia which set a social tone that came to the notice of the world. This presentation will discuss how this Industrial Age formed Lower Merion into the uniquely coveted residential community that it remains to this day.

Presenter:

Perry Hamilton, Secretary of the Lower Merion Historical Society, is a lifelong resident of Lower Merion and a long-time enthusiast of American Business History. Using resources that come mostly from the Lower Merion Historical Society, Perry will give an historically accurate presentation of the industrial development of Lower Merion and the impact that it had on the society of Lower Merion and neighboring communities.

This event is free and open to the public but RSVP is required. It will be taking place inside West Laurel Hill’s Conservatory and will max out at 22 attendees.

Directions:

This seminar will take place at West Laurel Hill’s Conservatory (225 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004). Enter the main gates off of Belmont Avenue, pass the Funeral Home, and drive forward until you see the white dashed lines which you will follow all the way to the Conservatory.

COVID-19:

  • Anyone older than 2 years of age must wear a mask or facial covering over their nose and mouth at all times
  • Everyone attending this seminar is asked to practice social distancing with anyone outside of their household
  • A staff person will be on hand on the tour to ensure that these guidelines are followed

RSVP 



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