Changing Landscapes People and Places in the Mill Creek Valley Lower Merion c.1870-c.1920

Herman Bauer



There were six decades of history between the rise of industrial America and the crowning of the New Era during which Americans flirted with the idea of revolution in every aspect of society.  In post-Civil War America, Americans became comfortable with machines as part of daily life; they observed the Progressive Presidents slash government corruption, hurl the nation into the center of international politics, and introduce women’s suffrage; and they enjoyed the age of excess that the roaring twenties inspired.  In a small Philadelphian suburb existed as a microenvironment– it embodied every revolution that swept the country and, in the six decades researched, represented the transition from agriculture to business.  Present day addresses 56 and 57 Crosby Brown Road in Gladwyne, PA was the long-term home of three different families, each of which characterized the three stages of history between 1877 and 1926: farming, farming as a business, and pure business.  The articles below will provide primary sources of life in Gladwyne between the genesis of industrial America and the dawn of the New Era.  

Phase 1: The Life of a Farmer

Phase 2: Farming as a Business

Phase 3: The Life of a Businessman