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Historic Photos of the Main Line

Overview

The history of the Main Line began in 1832 with the building of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railway, which opened the area to Philadelphia and points west for the movement of people and freight. Along that line would rise the communities of Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Villanova, Radnor, St. Davids, Wayne, Strafford, Devon, Berwyn, Daylesford, and Paoli. The images collected in Historic Photos of the Main Line combine to form a remarkable portrait of this ...

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Overview

The history of the Main Line began in 1832 with the building of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railway, which opened the area to Philadelphia and points west for the movement of people and freight. Along that line would rise the communities of Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Villanova, Radnor, St. Davids, Wayne, Strafford, Devon, Berwyn, Daylesford, and Paoli. The images collected in Historic Photos of the Main Line combine to form a remarkable portrait of this unique array of communities. Included among many other vignettes and numerous subjects are the Devon Horse Show, visits by presidents Taft, Wilson, and Coolidge, the Autocar Company of Ardmore, the 1900 Class of Wynnewood Public School, I. A. Cleaver’s General Store, Villanova University, the General Wayne Inn, Narberth’s oldest house, and of course, the railroads. In stunning black-and-white photography, this handsome book details the historical growth of the Main Line from its early days up to recent times. Spanning two centuries and nearly 200 images, the book follows the growth of this history-rich region, offering a compelling look into the past for any longtime resident of the area and every history buff of the Main Line.

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Editorial Reviews

MainLineTimes.com
Historic Photos of the Main Line was a labor of love for Drexel Hill historian Laura E. Beardsley. The book is replete with unique and rare photographs of Main Line train stations, hotels, inns, churches, schools, streets and residents taken from 1875 through the 1970s. The cover is a wide-angle view taken in 1940 of a parade on Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore. The parade was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Merion Fire Company, and Lancaster Avenue looks remarkably like it does today. The majority of the photos in my book have not been seen in public for at least 50 years," said Beardsley, who spent many days pouring over the archives of the Chester County Historical Society, the Historical Society of Montgomery County, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Lower Merion Historical Society, the Radnor Historical Society and Temple University's Urban Archives (among other sources) in order to find the 200 images selected for her book . . . Beardsley said readers tell her that they love looking at pictures of things they remember from their childhood that are no longer there, or, conversely, looking at what used to be there that is still there today.
—Linda Dormont
Danny The Bulletin (Philadelphias Family Newspaper)
Ms. Beardsley's handsome black-and-white collection reminds us that the suburbs, and the Main Line especially, were once seen as a revival of the American frontier dream, a gentle, welcoming land where people of a broad range of incomes, ethnic and religious backgrounds could shake off the real and symbolic confines of the city and build a "new" future. In our contemporary era, that future can seem like a busy, turbulent purgatory of retail, zoning, taxes, parking and gas prices; a world lived mostly behind the dashboard of a vehicle, where the vastly imposing Blue Route (not pictured, alas) lifts you almost to the sky, and then drops you into narrow, twisting roads where your entire day can be gained, or lost, by how long it takes you to make a left turn. It really was different, way back then.
—Bill Kent
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596524200
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/5/2008
  • Series: Historic Photos Series
  • Pages: 206
  • Sales rank: 1,380,134
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura E. Beardsley earned a master of arts degree in public history from Rutgers University- Camden. She is the former Director of Graphics and Research Services for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously she worked as a park ranger and interpretative specialist at Independence National Historical Park. For the past four years, Laura has pursued a career as a freelance researcher and consultant and is also the author of Historic Photos of Philadelphia, published in 2006 by Turner Publishing Company. Beardsley lived in Philadelphia for twenty years. She now resides in the quiet suburb of Drexel Hill.
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