|West Philadelphia Station (Wikipedia)|
If your interest in hardware entices you to the East you can scarcely avoid passing West Philadelphia station on the Pennsylvania Railroad, a most ingenious junction where threads of traffic from all directions interlace at three levels. It was designed a century after William Rose forged the first American trowel on a spot just across Market street from the depot.
Lancaster, Pa., was then “the west” and stagecoaches thence met those from Baltimore in front of W. Rose’s door turning from the old turnpike into Market, then called High street, on the last stretch of their journey. Philadelphia was the capitol of the United States. George Washington had just left it to pass into that retirement for which he eagerly had longed. Then also war was paralyzing Europe. American ships were destroyed and this encouraged Rose in his competition with more powerful manufacturers of the old world. Thanks to the shifting character of building trades the stage coach which rattled over the cobbles before William Rose’s door needed to carry no publicity agent other than roaming customers who spread his reputation throughout English-speaking America.