Rice, W.H. (Historical MFG Autograph Letter Signed)
History speakes to us even through MFG letter heads:
Allentown Pennsylvania starding in 1782, was home to business manufacturing iron products of many types, being used in the White House and at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. It's boilers and kilns were used across the United States, and also in Canada, Cuba and the Philippines. Autograph Letter Signed, 03/24/1891 - 8 1/4 x 11 written in blk ink on old English fine woven fiber wire parchment with a four-fold crease. "Office of W.H. Rice, Manufacturer of all sizes of Kiln=Dried Kegs and Barrels." Letter head shows a rich golden-browning along edging and a lighter toning seen inside of field; with minor tears and wear plus, fading of wording in text. Overall, very good condition.
Allentown, had a strong tradition in the brewing of beer and was home to several notable breweries, including the Horlacher Brewery (founded 1897), the Neuweiler Brewery (founded 1875).
The area that is today the center of Allentown was laid out as Northampton Town in 1762 by William Allen, a wealthy shipping merchant, former mayor of the city of Philadelphia and then-Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania. It is likely that a certain amount of rivalry with the Penns prompted Judge Allen to decide to start a town of his own in 1762.
Allentown holds historical significance as the location where the Liberty Bell (then known as the Pennsylvania State House bell) was successfully hidden from the British during the American Revolutionary War.
After George Washington’s defeat at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia was defenseless, and that city prepared for British attack.
It was Henry Leh that began the true industrialization of Allentown in 1861. The Union Army needed boots. Since Simon Cameron, the secretary of war, was from Pennsylvania, many government contracts flowed to the Keystone state. Leh had opened his shoe and ready-to-wear clothing store in Allentown in 1850. If the Union Army needed boots and shoes, he'd make them.
In addition to Leh’s boot and shoe industry, during the Civil War, eight brick yards, a saw mill, the Allentown Paint factory, two shoe factories, a piano factory, flour mills, breweries and distilleries had opened in the city.
Brick making flourished in the city until after World War I, the clay unearthed in various sections of the community proving highly suitable for the manufacture of building brick as well as fire brick. Bricks were the first products shipped outside of the Allentown area by rail and were sold nationwide.
Food processing started with the early bakers, who came into the city with the first settlers. In 1887, Wilson Arbogast and Morris C. Bastian formed Arbogast and Bastian, that commercial slaughtering was done on a large scale