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Day 25 – Wednesday May 23rd: Steel, Strings & Sellersville

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<– Day 24 – Tues. May 22: Rain N’ Fog in Coal Country | Day 26 – Thursday May 24th: Architecture & Organs –>


Heading out to dinner with Chuck and Laurie in their CJ-2A. It was perfect weather for a drive. in my hand is a step ladder so we could get Ann in and out of the jeep.

Day 25: We changed up our plans for Wednesday and it all worked well.  We drove from Bethlehem to Philadelphia, with our Jeep’s navigation steering us through north Philadelphia, precisely the place folks said we shouldn’t go. Thanks Jeep-Nav. Why it didn’t take us onto the Interstate is beyond me.


Wednesday’s drive from Bethlehem to Philadelphia.

On Tuesday night, after looking at the Crayola Experience more closely, we decided that it might be geared too much for kids. So, after doing some research, we chose to visit the fairly new National Museum of Industrial History, followed by the Martin Guitar factory.

We started at the NMIH, located inside one of the original Bethlehem Steel buildings. There were plenty of reminders that the effort to restore/retain the Bethlehem buildings was an ongoing process.




The museum is, in part, based around the International Exposition of 1876 Exposition in Philadelphia, the first World’s Fair in the US. A guy who used to work at Bethlehem and now gives information to tourists greeted us as we entered the main hall. After he shared information with us we didn’t know, I shared with him some background on how the Exposition came to be. It’s a complicated situation, but in part it was the result of the 1871 Vienna Exposition which was attended by a number of Americans, including Rossiter Raymond whom I wrote about in SLAG.


Here’s some of the machinery that would have been at the 1876 Exposition.


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As we walked up a ramp I spotted a photograph showing Andrew Carnegie’s birthday party in 1892. Ann suggested I look closer to see if there was anyone I knew. Sure enough, there was Rossiter Raymond with his trademark cap in the front row (he was a little vain about his baldness). His characteristic sideburns and mustache are pretty unique, too.

Two rows behind him looks to be a young Teddy Roosevelt, but I’m not 100% sure on that.



This setup was interesting. Rather than a row of lockers, employees put their items in baskets, hoisted them upward, then locked the basket’s cable in place.


That’s just a smattering of what we saw. We both thought it a good museum. Afterwards, we drove a couple blocks to a local coffee shop (LIT Coffee Roastery and Bakery). The owner helped served us coffee and she was a delight. It’s a neat place; I hope it works out for her.

Outside the shop’s building we spotted this mural.


With some caffeine in us, we left for Nazereth to take a free Martin Guitar tour. I own a Martin, so we thought it would be neat to see the factory. As we waited for the tour to begin, we explored the free museum.


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The tour lasted an hour and a half and was very in-depth, taking our group of seven on a guided trip through the entire manufacturing process. The shop employs over 500 people across 200,000 feet of building space.

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And, of course, I had to take one with my guitar:


Our last stop fo the day was a visit with Chuck and Laurie. Chuck had offered to show us his jeeps and take us out to dinner. It proved to be a perfect day for both.


This 1946 CJ-2A is one Chuck had owned years earlier. When he sold it, the buyer promised Chuck could buy it back whenever he wanted it. One day Chuck got a call offering to sell it back to Him. He jumped at the chance. The body is in pretty good condition. He plans on getting to work on it as soon as his shop in the barn is finished.
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He also showed us his 1947 CJ-2A he’d bought and got running again. He plans on keeping it pretty much the way it is.




We ended up piling into it and going to dinner.



The food was fantastic at the Washington House. I had a wonderful swordfish steak, the best I’ve ever had. The company was also great. We spent a great evening on the patio swapping stories. As the sun dropped behind some buildings, we climbed back into the jeep, and headed back to Chuck and Laurie’s place. Many thanks the them both!

Our next destination was Philadelphia, to visit a cousin with whom I share a great great great grandfather. We are staying very close to the center of the city (though not quite where this photo was taken).


It’s now 1:30 AM, so this post may be jibberish. I am sure I will need to revisit and edit it. We plan to take it easy and enjoy one or two sites in the city on Friday. It will be another perfect weather day for that.

<– Day 24 – Tues. May 22: Rain N’ Fog in Coal Country | Day 26 – Thursday May 24th: Architecture & Organs –>


8 Comments on “Day 25 – Wednesday May 23rd: Steel, Strings & Sellersville

  1. Bob in nc

    Centennial Hall is a mile or so away from the Philadelphia zoo. It’s where the party was held in 1876. Nice building. And a little known secreet are the wispering benches by Centennial Hall.

  2. Dan B.

    Used to live in Center City in Philly. The Art Museum district is awesome and overlooked, and it’s a quick walk over to Boathouse Row.

  3. David Eilers Post author

    We had a great day and are worn out! We never did get to a single museum, but our guide, my cousin, gave us the 6 hour tour. Fabulous!

    John: Two words … “Fair Use” 🙂

  4. Larry Towell

    WOW! I drive Jeeps exclusively and also play C.F. Martin Guitars, and nothing else! This makes me wish I was a mouse in your pocket! I noticed you got a photo of the Anniversary Guitar that was built in conjunction with one of the Nations greatest watchmakers. At $150,000 I don’t think I will ever own one!

    Thank you for sharing photos from inside the factory at Nazareth and all the Jeeps you have visited along the way! This is one of the reasons I will always check in at each and every week!

    All the best to you both, and be careful on your way back across the country!

    Happy Jeeping!
    Larry Towell

  5. david sapp

    Hope you are able to connect with Danzi Bros. and their awesome Jeep collection!

  6. David Eilers Post author

    Larry: The tour is very interesting and felt in-depth (though I’m no guitar expert). I’m glad you’ve enjoyed our travels!

    David: No one very contacted me regarding the Danzi Bros. There was someone we were supposed to see in Delaware, but that never got confirmed (and it turns out we didn’t have the time, so it all worked out).

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