There were over forty people in attendance at the meeting Tuesday night at the Historical Society of Frankford to hear Torben Jenk’s presentation “LOCAL COLOR” — Five Generations of GLOBE DYE COMPANY (1965–2005). I noted that many of the attendees were from outside of Frankford. That the HSF can attract folks from far and wide is a tribute to the quality of the program.
What drew me to this program were two points of interest. The story of the Globe Dye Works is all about work and what drew people to come to Frankford to live. My great grandfather came to this country in 1869 and settled in South Philly. He first went to work as a shoe maker in a factory but within a few years he got into the textile industry. I traced his movements around the city when in 1891 I found him in Frankford working as a Beamer in the textile mill. So the textile business in Frankford is why I am here today.
The other point of interest is that the Globe Dye Works building is undergoing a renaissance under its new owners the Globe Development Group (GDG). Matt and Charlie Papajohn of the GDG were on hand to talk about what is being done to the building, how it is being preserved and what lies in the future.
Torben Jenk gave an engaging talk with power point slides on the history of the Globe from its earliest beginning when it straddled the little Tacony creek which is now Torresdale Avenue through its closure in 2005. The big story was the tremendous size of the textile industry in Philadelphia. Mr. Jenk is a founder of the web site workshop of the world which is very informative about the industrial history of the city. The small but even more interesting story was that of the people of Frankford who worked at the Globe as seen in a Globe publication “Local Color”.
Charlie and Matt Papajohn discussed the restoration of the building and direction they are heading for in the future. You can find a lot of this at the Globe Dye Works web site. They did note that all the archival materials found at the Globe have been donated to the HSF. One interesting tidbit is that a new tenant at the Globe will be producing hard cider called “Revolutionary Cider” in that it follows the recipes of the colonial era.
It was an an entertaining and fast paced hour. Visit the HSF web site for an up to date listing of future events.