Leadership

FIRE IN MILL CONSTRUCTION: BREEDING GROUND FOR CONFLAGRATION

Issue 1 and Volume 145.

Photos by E. Joseph Hoffman. FIRE IN MILL CONSTRUCTION: BREEDING GROUND FOR CONFLAGRATION In their heyday before World War II, Philadelphia’s factories and mills were a dominant force in American manufacturing. The city led the nation in the output of such diverse products as locomotives, streetcars, saws, hosiery, hats, leather, and cigars. It was also among the leaders in rugs and carpets, worsted goods, women’s clothing, and dying and finishing textiles. In 1935, Philadelphia had approximately 1,500 textile mills. Typical of industrial cities on the Pastern seaboard, surrounding these mills and factories were streets and streets of attached row houses, residences for thousands of workers. As the economy and demand for goods changed from the war till the present in many Eastern cities, the manufacturing base declined, leaving large, vacant, and forgotten facilities as reminders of a busier past. Hie declining tax income from these mills—a target lire hazard to…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now