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The Frankford Powder-Mill is a historic gunpowder factory in the Frankfordmarker neighborhood of Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker.

At the time it was built in 1774 by Oswald Eve, it was the only such mill in the American colonies. Eve built his mill next to Frankford Creek, from which it drew its power.

When in the following year King George III banned shipments of gunpowder to the colonies, Eve was left with a monopoly on the commodity. The mill was the first American Powder Mill to supply the American Revolutionary War.

Before and during the early American Revolution it was operated by Eve, then by his son Oswell Eve, Jr. On January 11, 1776, the Continental Congress contracted the elder Eve to manufacture gunpowder for the Colonies at $8.00 per hundredweight. Later, Paul Revere visited the mill to observe Eve's production methods. By April 1777, Eve had delivered 25,000 pounds of powder to the state. In 1778, the elder Eve was accused of clandestine dealings with the British and was convicted of treason by the Pennsylvania Supreme Council, who confiscated all his property, including the mill. It later passed into the hands of John Decatur, father of Revolutionary War naval hero Stephen Decatur, then in 1806 to General Isaac Worrell.

The building still stands but has long since been devoted to other uses.

References

  1. Barbara M. Auwarter and Joyce Halley, Workshop of the World—Philadelphia, Oliver Evans Press, 1990.
  2. Patriot-Improvers: Biographical Sketches of Members of the American Philosophical Society. Vol. 1: 1743-1768. By Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia: 1997).
  3. James J. Farley, Making Arms in the Machine Age: Philadelphia's Frankford Arsenal, 1816-1870, Penn State Press, 1994. ISBN 0271010002, 9780271010007



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