Workshop of the World--Philadelphia

From Wikidelphia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Historical Surveys of 150 Industrial Sites and Seventeen Neighborhoods

"Workshop of the World"--such a fitting description of Philadelphia and its 300 year tradition of industrial greatness. Unlike other American cities where industrial development centered on one particular product--such as Lowell with its textile industries, or Pittsburgh with its steel mills--Philadelphia is the home of an incredible, grand spectrum of developments that have influenced the very essence of American life. Since the early 1700s, Philadelphia has seen inventions, products, machines, and ideas come from its people--first from German immigrants like William Rittenhouse, who operated the first paper-making mill in the Colonies in 1690, and daring mechanics like Oliver Evans, who revolutionized and totally automated the grain milling industry around the world in 1795, and visionaries like Henry Disston, whose millions of "Keystone" saws were produced by men who lived in company-provided housing units throughout Tacony from the 1870s until recently, and the scientists and engineers at the University of Pennsylvania, who created ENIAC, the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator, the world's first large-scale digital computer in 1946.

Workshop of the World reflects on some of Philadelphia's industries by examining the city on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis; it then provides examples of some of the industries found across the city. Sites included were selected based on three criteria:

  1. That they were determined to be significant culturally (for historic, architectural, engineering, or industrial reasons).
  2. That they typified or represented industries that were prominent to a specific neighborhood, or
  3. That they were in imminent danger of demolition or collapse.

Note:  The above description come from the site's Introduction page.