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Sparks Shot Tower

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1808. 129–131 Carpenter St.

Just north of “Old Swede's” Church (PH33) is a rare survivor from the city's early industrial days. The tapering brick cylinder of Thomas Sparks's shot tower is where molten lead poured through a coarse sieve was formed into balls and cooled while falling from sufficient height into water. This six- (originally seven-) story tower continued to be used into the early twentieth century and is believed to be the first in the United States.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Sparks Shot Tower", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 71-71.

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