Franklin Gowen. president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, circa 1885.
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Black and white Franklin Gowen image

Credit: Courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library

President of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad from 1869 to the mid-1880s, Franklin Gowen led the Reading through its periods of greatest expansion. Intolerant of organized labor, he refused to negotiate with workers during the 1877 strike. In 1889 Gowen committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

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