Somerset and 8th Streets, Philadelphia PA 19133
© Carmen A. Weber, Irving
Kosmin, and Muriel Kirkpatrick, Workshop of the World (Oliver
Evans Press, 1990).
The first mill buildings in
this complex, still standing, were erected in the fall of
1884 and surveyed by Hexamer in 1886, who stated
"Buildings put in very substantial manner, elegant style,
and on the slow burning principle." 1
Called Craven and
Dearnley's, owned by J. H. Dearnley, the mill produced
worsted and woolen yarns. Neither man was mentioned at
any location in Blodget's 1880 survey of textile firms;
nor were any mills listed on Somerset, although there
were a number located on Lehigh Avenue one block to the
south, but further east. In 1886 the spinning operations
were conducted by 220 hands—25 men, 10 boys, and
the balance girls according to the Hexamer
Another large building was added parallel to the first in 1889, 2 completing the complex as it is seen today. Another 30 girls were added to the employment rolls. In the 1910-1911 textile directory the operations were listed as Dearnley Worsted Spinning Company. In 1925 a Bromley atlas named this complex the Somerset Mill of John and James Dobson. 3
By 1943 the original company had become Dearnley Brothers Worsted Spinning Co., and had moved to Chelten Avenue and Baynton Street in Germantown, employing 247 people. 4 The company was still there in 1957, 5 but by 1965, it was no longer listed in business directories of the city.
1 Hexamer General Survey #1970 (1886) "Craven & Dearnley's Mill."
2 Hexamer General Survey #2346 (1890) "Craven & Dearnley's Mill."
3 Bromley, 1925
4 Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade, Philadelphia, p. 43
5 Chamber of Commerce Business Directory, (Philadelphia, 1957), p. 20
Update May 2007 (by Torben Jenk):
Demolished. Replaced by row houses.