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Samuel J. Reeves, President of the Phoenix Iron Company, circa 1880.
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Image of Samuel J. Reeves, head and shoulders.

Credit: From Futhey, J. Smith and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County Philadelphia. L.H. Everts, 1881.

In 1862, Stephen Reeves invented and patented the Phoenix column, which revolutionized American bridge and building construction. After succeeding his father as president of the Phoenix Iron Company in 1871, Reeves oversaw construction of one of the world's largest rolling mills in Phoenixville, PA, a structure that became the model for the Centennial Exhibition building at the heart of the Philadelphia International Centennial Exhibition in 1876.

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