Workshop of the World

stories of industry in & around Philadelphia

The Oliver Evans Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology shares, celebrates and documents over three centuries of industrial activity in and around Philadelphia, PA, with an emphasis on people, structures, machinery, processes and other materials that have survived—not the excavation of the ruins. Members sponsor presentations, publications, tours and this website. Please join us.

Membership to the Oliver Evans Chapter—Society for Industrial Archeology is open to all who pay the annual membership fee. Send payment to: Ed Hoy, Treasurer, OE/SIA, 1031 Claire Avenue, Huntingdon Valley PA 19006.
$5—Student (enclose copy of ID)
$15—Joint (one set of mailings)

President—Ed Grusheski
Vice-President—Muriel Kirkpatrick
Secretary—Reese Davis
Treasurer—Ed Hoy
Program Chair—Jane Mork Gibson & Fred Quivik

Oliver Evans Press, Editor —John Bowie. See publications.

Website created with Apple computers and software from Rapidweaver, Rapid-Ideas, YourHead and Loghound. Hosted by Siteground.

Design, editing and management: Torben Jenk.
Contributing Editors: Muriel Kirkpatrick & Harry Kyriakodis.
Authors and photographers receive credit throughout this website, adjacent to their contributions.

Brief biographies of contributors:

Torben Jenk has been restoring and renovating buildings in and around Philadelphia since 1983, when he bought his home and workshop in the southern end of Kensington. In 1996, with friends Ken Milano and Rich Remer, Torben founded the Kensington History Project which researches and shares local history through public programs at local libraries, historic and manufacturing sites. Torben has contributed to publications like the book "Kensington History: Stories and Memories" (Brighton Press, 1996), the magazine Pennsylvania Legacies devoted to Kensington and Fishtown (Nov, 2002, Historical Society of Pennsylvania), numerous newspaper articles and tour guides. Torben has also helped artists find inspiration from Philadelphia's industrial past—see Daisy Fried's poem "Fishtown Song" (She Didn't Mean to Do It, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000, p. 28), and painter Jeff Schaller's mural at the Berks Street El Station (2006) which graphically celebrates the history of Kensington—part of SEPTA's 'Art in Transit program.' Seeing an opportunity to share Philadelphia's industrial past with a wider audience, Torben has converted most of the existing Oliver Evans material to this website, adding links to superb original documents, photos, surveys and maps which are appearing in glorious detail online. Torben is now combing through his large library to share more "stories of industry in Philadelphia."

Harry Kyriakodis is a law librarian (and lawyer) who is fascinated with Philadelphia and its urban history. His main interests lie in the city's industrial, infrastructure and transportation heritage, focusing primarily on Center City and vicinity. Harry grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia before he moved into town and discovered what he had been missing. He soon joined the ranks of a growing number individuals enamored by William Penn’s Greene Country Towne and who relished living in or near what is or was once The Athens of America, The Birthplace of the Nation, The Cradle of Liberty, The City of Homes, The City of Neighborhoods, The Workshop of the World, and most recently, The Place That Loves You Back. Harry also collects books on Philadelphia and has about a thousand titles in his library.

Sean McDonnell is an amateur photographer who has been fascinated with the industrial buildings in Philadelphia from a very young age, complementing his love for trains and railroading. He is in the process of researching and re-creating Philadelphia's industrial and railroading past. An avid model railroader, he is currently planning a model railroad featuring parts of Delaware Avenue, Port Richmond, and American Street that will include models of notable Philadelphia industries like Jack Frost Sugar and Schmidt's Brewing. Sean currently lives in Harrisburg, but regularly travels back to his hometown to take pictures, explore, and do research.