Workshop of the World

stories of industry in & around Philadelphia

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Southeast corner Unity and Leiper Streets (2007).

Aramingo Mills , c.1865
1412 Unity Street, Philadelphia PA 19124 (southeast corner of Leiper Street)

Barbara M. Auwarter and Joyce Halley, Workshop of the World (Oliver Evans Press, 1990).

Enoch Roberts, about 1845, 1 began the manufacture of ginghams and checks in a mill on the site of an eighteenth century tannery. Here the first commercially loomed turkish towels and damask tablecovers were made. 2
 
Aramingo Mills continued to be a principal manufacturer of dry goods under the direction of John Clendenning in 1857.
3 His mill was noted for table-cloths and stair crash. 4
 
At the close of the Civil War, the present mill complex was erected. The 1876, 1888, 1994, 1910, 1920 and 1929 city atlases refer to the site as the Aramingo Mills although the ownership in 1923 is William E. Dudley and in 1929 is John B. Sidebotham.
5

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Hexamer General Survey #1341 (1879), "Aramingo Mills, Ross Campbell's Estate Owner, Steward & Bro. and Ross Campbell & Co. Lessees."
 
The 1879 Hexamer Insurance Map also refers to this site as "Aramingo Mills, Ross Campbell's Estate, Weaver, Steward & Bro. and Ross Campbell & Co. Lessees," superintended by James Pollock, "not interested in the profits of the business."
6 At this time, Aramingo manufactured bedspreads, tablecloths, ginghams, and Osnaburgs and employed "thirty-four men, six boys, sixty-four girls," working on sixty-six broad looms and one hundred and twelve narrow looms.
 
Despite occasional turnover in the past few decades, this picturesque mill remains in demand as a viable manufacturing site.

1   Guernsey A. Hallowell, For a Greater Frankford / Historical and Industrial Celebration (Philadelphia, 1912), p. 62.
2   Hallowell, p. 62.
3   Edwin T. Freedley, Philadelphia and Its Manufacturers , (Philadelphia, 1857), p. 257.
4   Stair crash is a coarse linen cloth often used as inexpensive stair cover or carpet underlay.
5   Philadelphia City Atlases for the 23rd Ward: 1876 - Plate A; 1888 - Plate 25; 1894 - Plate 1; 1910 - Plate 3; 1920 - Plate 3; and 1929 - Plate 3.
6   Hexamer General Survey #1341 (1879), "Aramingo Mills, Ross Campbell's Estate Owner, Steward & Bro. and Ross Campbell & Co. Lessees."
 
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Northeast corner shows stone walls and korbelled brick cornice (2007).

Update May 2007 (by Torben Jenk) :
Seemingly vacant, partially demolished on east side and in deteriorating condition. An intriguing example of composite construction. Although built mainly of stone, the cornice is made of brick with three horizontal courses supported by four courses corbelled in width and height, like an upside down stepped pyramid (much of the street-side cornice is stuccoed over but the east facade remains exposed). Gentle brick arches rise above stone window openings, now mostly filled with concrete block.