Bridging Yesterday with Tomorrow

Produced by: 
Tacony Civic Association with Scribe Video Center
9 min 38 sec

This video is available for purchase as part of a Precious Places Community History Project Vol.2 compilation DVD.

Tacony sits picturesquely on the Delaware River in Philadelphia's North East section. Like much of Philadelphia, this historically rich community is deeply rooted in the industrial boom of over a century ago. One man figures prominently in the town's history: Henry Disston, the famous industrialist and owner of Disston Saw Works, once the world's largest saw producer. Differing in key ways from the "robber barons" of his era, Disston and his company embraced a paternalistic vision of company/worker relations which placed a high priority on the company's ability to ensure the well-being of its employees. Disston provided high quality, low cost housing for workers, who were encouraged to buy their houses through a loan fund. Land and moneys were donated to build a school, a library, a water purification system, and a tea house. The saw factory was built to high health and safety standards, and the company funded extensive infrastructure in the town. Bridging Yesterday with Tomorrowilluminates Tacony's history through the voices of residents and historians who recount the unique story of this uncommon company town that they are proud to call home.