Easton in Northampton County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Fathers of the Industrial Revolution
1810 - 1816
"I knew that my propensity for tools and ingenuity was great. Erskine was the Skribe and a good mechanic and excellent councellor."
— Josiah White, 1832
Josiah White was a devout Quaker with an inventive mind, sharp business sense and indomitable persistence. As a youth, White set a goal of making enough money by the age of 30 to devote the rest of his life to the betterment of humanity. He reached his goal and then focused on promoting American industry and commerce, specifically through using water power and improving rivers. In 1810, he and Erskine Hazard went into partnership in a wire and nail mill on the Falls of the Schuylkill, where they discovered how to use anthracite coal in manufacturing. Realizing anthracite's potential, White and Hazard turned their attention to the coal mines of the upper Lehigh Valley, and the challenges of transporting anthracite from mine to market.
Erskine Hazard came from one of Pennsylvania's most prominent families; his father Ebenezer was the first United STates Postmaster General and a founder of the first American insurance
"The state of Engineering was barely known in Pennsylvania when I began my career in 1810, at the Falls of Schuylkill I seemed indeed to have got into a field of business apparently untryed in the Country."
— Josiah White, 1832
The Spider Bridge at the Falls of Schuylkill in Philadelphia, constructed by Erskine Hazard & Josiah White in 1816. The 407-foot-long Spider Bridge was an iron-wire footbridge erected over the Schuylkill River. Though a modest and temporary structure, it is thought to have been the first wire-cable suspension bridge in world history.
Erected by City of Easton, Pennsylvania.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Quakerism series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1832.
Location. 40° 40.098′ N, 75° 14.201′ W. Marker is in Easton, Pennsylvania, in Northampton County. Marker is on Hugh Moore Park Road, 0.2 miles south of Hill Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Easton PA 18042, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Promise of Anthracite Coal (within shouting distance of this marker); Iron in Colonial Pennsylvania (within shouting distance of this marker); Lehigh Crane Iron Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); Men of Iron (within shouting distance of this marker); From Brownfields to Greenfields (within shouting distance of this marker); The Industrial Revolution (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Mine to Market (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Easton.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 5, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.