Lithograph of the McNeely and Company Leather Manufactory, 4th. Street below Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, circa 1860.
flipFlip to The Tanner and Currier, 1790.
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Advertisement depicting the large factory's several industrial buildings, sheds, and fenced yard near a busy street and sidewalk. Workers attend to a maze of drying lines with hanging leather pieces. Delivery carts traverse the yard and depart through the gate under the sign McNeely and Co. and a laborer uses a horse-drawn cart to collect coal from a mound beside the main building. Pedestrians stroll and converse on the sidewalk. In the street, an African American couple push a filled handcart and a crowded horse-drawn omnibus from the Frankford Road, Fourth Street line passes by.

Credit: Library Company of Philadelphia

By 1683 William Penn was already operating a tannery in Philadelphia. In the decades that followed the city became a major manufacturer and exporter of leather goods. Indeed, it led the nation in the production of leather until passed by Milwaukee in the early 1900s. The McNeely family operated a leather manufactory in Philadelphia from 1830 into the early 20th century.

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