Remembering Inventor-Machinist Chester Ruth and Celebrating the Cradle of Tolerance & Diversity in Southeast Pennsylvania
This program has been made possible through a grant from the H.F. Lenfest Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation
Join us in celebrating the life of inventor William Chester Ruth. The son of a South Carolina slave, he was by the early 1920's a well-known and capable blacksmith to the Amish, Mennonite, and other farm families of Eastern Lancaster and West Chester Counties. His special genius for problem solving mechanical problems led him to design and patent a machine feeder used between the thresher and straw baler, a cinder spreading truck, self-raising elevator, and other machines. He also followed in his father's footsteps as a lay leader of his church. Join his only surviving grandchild, Gwen Ruth Dickinson, for a morning presentation of his life through images and stories.
After a light lunch, Dr. Leroy Hopkins will present valuable historical context for the Lancaster-Chester County area as a place of tolerance and opportunity--a cradle for the settlement and flourishing of persons of different backgrounds, but united in a desire for a place to work, worship, and thrive with their families. Dr. Hopkins will talk about the Underground Railroad and displaced African Americans, Quaker ethics and abolitionism, Pennsylvania German agricultural and work craft technology, and suggest how the interplay made this region of the state a continuing success of William Penn's experiment.
In the mid to late afternoon, we welcome you to tour the Bitzer Building, Landis Valley's permanent agricultural exhibit, where three Chester Ruth inventions are on display and Landis Valley curator Bruce Bomberger will be on-hand to answer questions and interpret the machines.
This is a free event, with a light lunch provided. Pre-registration is required.
Landis Valley Christian Fellowship (View)
2420 Kissel Hill Rd.
Lancaster, PA 17601
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