Wetherill and Brothers' white lead manufactory and chemical works. Corner of 12th and Cherry Streets, Philadelphia, PA, 1831.
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Exterior lithograph of the works.

Credit: Courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia

Descendents of English Quakers who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682, the Wetherill family produced successive generations of scientists and industrialists who helped make Pennsylvania a center of American science and innovation. Samuel Wetherill (1736-1816), the family patriarch, gained fame as a "fighting Quaker" during the American Revolution, when he supplied cloth and dye for Washington's Continental Army at Valley Forge, and founded an independent Quaker meeting in Philadelphia called the Society of Free Quakers. After Samuel's death in 1816, his sons continued his chemical manufacturing business under the name of Wetherill and Brothers.

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