A discussion with Domenic Vitiello, Penn IUR Faculty Fellow and Professor of City and Regional Planning, Penn Design about his latest book Engineering Philadelphia, The Sellers Family and the Industrial Metropolis (Cornell University Press, 2013). Engineering Philadelphia is a sweeping account of enterprise and ingenuity, economic development and urban planning, and the rise and fall of Philadelphia as an industrial metropolis. Vitiello tells the story of the influential Sellers family, placing their experiences in the broader context of industrialization and urbanization in the United States from the colonial era through World War II. The story of the Sellers family illustrates how family and business networks shaped the social, financial, and technological processes of industrial capitalism. As Vitiello documents, the Sellers family and their network profoundly influenced corporate and federal technology policy, manufacturing practice, infrastructure and building construction, and metropolitan development. Vitiello also links the family’s declining fortunes to the deindustrialization of Philadelphia—and the nation—over the course of the twentieth century.
This event was co-sponsored by Penn’s Department of City and Regional Planning and was free and open to the public.