Workshop of the World

stories of industry in & around Philadelphia


Pasted Graphic 7 A Place to Live and Work—The Henry Disston Saw Works and the Tacony Community of Philadelphia, by Harry C. Silcox.
The remarkable story of Henry Disston's saw manufacturing company and the factory town he built. Using original letter books, shop committee meeting notes, photographs and a wealth of other documents, Silcox provides a rare view of the rise and fall of one of America's largest family owned businesses. He also describes the company's interdependence with Disston's paternalistic neighborhood of Tacony.
—Penn State Press (1994). $28 + $4 postage.

Pasted Graphic The History of Tacony, Holmesburg, and Mayfair: An Intergenerational Study (Brighton Press, Philadelphia, 1992).
Harry Silcox, the editor of this book and the former Principal of Lincoln High School in Philadelphia,
believes "When past generations communicate with future generations, then the present becomes more understandable." Forty-six students interviewed members of eleven local senior citizen historical associations to write and illustrate six chapters:
1. Holmesburg, Tacony, and Mayfair: The History of a Philadelphia City-Suburb, 1679-1955
2. Tacony: A Place for Innovation and Invention, 1872-1918
3. The People of Tacony Past and Present
4. Henry Disston and Sons Saw Company History, 1917-1955, by William Leeds Disston
5. Recollections of the Past: Interviews by Abraham Lincoln High School Students, Class of 1970
6. Recollections of the Past: Interviews by Abraham Lincoln High School Students, Class of 1991

Harry C. Silcox,
"Henry Disston and Sons 1840-1955: The Rise and Fall of America's Mightiest Saw Works," (unpublished manuscript, 1989). Bulletin Collection, Urban Archives, Paley Library, Temple University.

"The Keystone Saw, Tool, Steel, and File Works," Annual Report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Part III - Industrial Statistics, Vol. XV, (Harrisburg, 1887).

Where to go for more information

Tacony Public Library

Abraham Lincoln High School; Harry C. Silcox, Principal

Urban Archives, Paley Library, Temple University

Atwater Kent Museum