Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, December 6, 2019
Martha Capwell Fox’s book “Geography, Geology and Genius” includes descriptions of many industries in the early days of the Lehigh Valley, including canal and coal workers.Photos courtesy of Larry Oberly Martha Capwell Fox’s book “Geography, Geology and Genius” includes descriptions of many industries in the early days of the Lehigh Valley, including canal and coal workers.Photos courtesy of Larry Oberly
The iron and steel industries are a major part of the local history. The iron and steel industries are a major part of the local history.

Remembering: Reading ‘Geography, Geology and Genius’

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

I have completed reading the book “Geography, Geology and Genius,” written by Martha Capwell Fox, a friend. Martha is a passionate historian who has authored a number of books pertaining to our local history.

I have used some of her research for my columns. One of my other favorites is “Catasauqua and North Catasauqua,” which she wrote in 2002.

Martha serves as historian and archives coordinator at the National Canal Museum in Easton.

This new book is a must-read if you are interested in the American Industrial Revolution. Some of the industries traced in the book include early canals, railroads, coal, iron and steel, cement, slate, silk and related industries.

Some industrialists highlighted in the book are Asa Packer, Josiah White, Erskin Hazard, David Thomas, John Fritz, Robert Sayre, David Saylor, Jose de Navarro, Charles Schwab, D.J. Derry, James Fuller, Hugh Moore, Eugene Grace, the Mack brothers and more.

After reading the book, I lamented the fact that so little local history is taught in our schools. Unfortunately, with all the state curriculum mandates, we ignore the men and women who helped build the Lehigh Valley we reside in.

The book easily could be used in our schools so our industrial heritage will not be forgotten.

These individuals laid the foundation of many industries that employed our parents. Read the book. It will bring back memories!