John Updike’s Childhood Home

On Saturday September 10th I had the pleasure of visiting John Updike’s childhood home at 117 Philadelphia Avenue in Shillington. John lived here from his birth in 1932 until he was 13 years old. It is widely known that Shillington and the city of Reading were the inspirational foundation behind many of his stories and novels.

His most famous 4-part “Rabbit” novel series was set around a character living in Reading; though the locations were renamed in the book.… Read Full Article

The Deadly Berkshire Knitting Mills Strike – Part 5 – The Conclusion

What a better time to wrap this up than Labor Day weekend? If you haven’t, read the first four parts for context.


As the weeks following the general hosiery strike played out, Berks County’s other 21 knitting mills folded one after another into signing agreements with the American Federation of Hosiery Workers.

Rosedale plant was a particular source of contention – the sit-down strikers occupied the building for over two weeks while management tried to get them out.… Read Full Article

The Deadly Berkshire Knitting Mills Strike of 1936 – Part 4

This is the 4th part in the series. Read parts 1, 2 & 3 for context.


Secretary of Labor Report on the Berkshire Conditions

Shortly after the deadly first day of picketing, Governor Earle tasked Pennsylvania Labor Secretary Ralph M. Bashore with investigating the strike that was taking place at the Berkshire Knitting Mills. By October 20th, his account was made public.… Read Full Article

The Deadly Berkshire Knitting Mill Strike of 1936 – Part 3

The Reading 100 Machine - Berkshire Knitting Mill

This is the third part in a series that will be concluded at a later date. Consider subscribing to receive an email alert when it is published. If you haven’t, read parts one & two for context.


In the wake of the violence on Thursday October 1st, 1936, the weekend kicked off surprisingly calm. Calls for peace and mediation were made by various local business leaders and the Pennsylvania Governor himself.Read Full Article

Berks Nostalgia