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In 1865, industrialist/inventor Hezekiah Bradley Smith purchased Shreveville, later renamed Smithville, an abandoned textile mill and town located along the Rancocas Creek in Burlington County, for $20,000. He moved many workers from his Lowell, Massachusetts, plant to the new location, rebuilt the factory, and prepared it for the manufacture of his patented iron woodworking machinery. Smith began to improve the aging housing in the surrounding village. He opened a school and, later, constructed a new school building. Smith erected a boardinghouse for factory workers that contained shops and a concert hall. Through farming on land adjacent to his mansion, he made fresh produce and milk available to his workers. Smith’s company also expanded into new industries by working with outside inventors, like George Washington Pressey, who needed a manufacturer for his American Star Bicycle. Later, Arthur Hotchkiss contacted the company to build the world’s first bicycle railroad to transport workers from Mount Holly to the Smithville factory. This book captures life in the village and factory, memorializing the intertwining lives of the Smithville workers and H.B. Smith through photographs.
ISBN: 9781467103565
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: New Jersey
Series: Images of America
Images: 203
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Retired photojournalist Dennis McDonald digitized the Burlington County Park’s collection of Smithville photographs, which are included in this book.
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