Berkshire Knitting Mills

Berkshire Knitting Mill

In 1892, “Textile Machine Works” was founded by Ferdinand Thun and Henry Janssen on Cedar Street in Reading. In 1886 they accepted an offer to relocate to Wyomissing, where they were sold a site for $1, in hopes their industry would spur interest in building lots. In 1899 they incorporated as the “Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company”. By 1906 Berkshire Knitting Mills was incorporated, formed as an experimental mill by Thun and Janssen, to test the knitting machines Textile produces.… Read Full Article

Then & Now, Buttonwood Street Bridge

The Buttonwood St. Bridge was built in 1931 to connect the Northwest part of Reading with West Reading, near where Wyomissing Industries were located.  $225,000 was donated to the bridge project by Ferdinand Thun and Henry Janssen, whom were owners of the huge textile mills in Wyomissing. They believed this bridge would help their workers who lived in the NW area of Reading get to work more easily and help them be on time.… Read Full Article

Pagoda Aerial Shot

Completed in 1908 at a cost of $50,000, this pagoda was intended to be the hotel/restaurant centerpiece of a luxury resort. When plans for the rest of the resort were abandoned, the 7-story wooden building on 10 acres  of land was donated to Reading in 1911. It is now part of the Mount Penn Reserve, 1,595 acres of municipally-owned land.

Within the top story hangs a tocsin, a massive bell cast in Obata, Mie Prefecture, Japan, in 1739, and formerly installed in a Buddhist temple in either Ogose or Hannō, Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo.… Read Full Article