Conshohocken on Film
Click below to automatically scroll to a description and a link to a film.
Here you will discover the many films that have been made about Conshohocken’s history and its people. These films were created during both recent times and distant past and cover a wide range of events and topics. Many of these films are available on Conshohocken Historical Society’s YouTube channel while others have been made available because of the generosity of others. More films will be added as they become available.
You can help us out while viewing these films. Some of these films have many unidentified people especially during large crowd scenes. If you can identify any person in any of these films, please let us know.
There is one gaping hole in our collection that we are not sure if we will ever fill. During the silent film era there were silent films made at Potts Quarry (now called Sherry Lake) located just outside of Conshohocken in Whitemarsh Township. However, we have not been able to locate any of these films. If you should know of any possibility of obtaining one of these films from the silent era, please do not hesitate to contact us.
1. History of Conshohocken and Plymouth Township
This film contains the history of two neighboring and very connected communities in southeastern Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. Part one, produced in January 1985, describes the history of Conshohocken. Part two, produced in August 1985, describes the history of Plymouth Township. Both part one and part two describe not only the connected history of both communities but also allow the viewer to see how these communities looked prior to the redevelopment efforts of the late 1980s and the 1990s. This is especially apparent when viewing the footage about the history of Conshohocken.
This film includes interviews with William Collins President of Conshohocken Historical Society, Dr Joseph Leary Conshohocken Historical Society member and longtime dentist, Dorthey M Staley longtime Conshohocken resident and author, Robert D Wurzbach Plymouth Towship Planning Council, Rick Moraux Plymouth Township Local Historian, and James Dodhill President of the Plymouth Meeting Historical Society 1982-84
This film was funded by the William Penn Foundation under the direction of Colonial Instructional Television and was produced, directed, written, and narrated by Chip Hurlburt.
2. Bicentennial Celebration
The following background to this video was obtain by combining knowledge from the creator of this video, William West Hopper, and knowledge from the Conshohocken Historical society.
The parade in this video took place on May 25, 1975 and commemorates General Lafayette's retreat from the British during the revolutionary war in 1778 (AKA the Battle of Barron Hill). Additional information on the Battle of Barron Hill can be found here.
This parade was organized by the Conshohocken Bicentennial Committee and was attended by the French Ambassador to the United States.
This video was shot at the intersection of North Lane and East Hector Streets which is on the route Lafayette used during his retreat into what is now the borough of Conshohocken. It was shot on super8 film by Margaret West Hopper and was uploaded onto the YouTube channel of her son William West Hopper. There is no sound.
William West Hopper was a Coatesville Area Senior High School senior when this video was created and at the 8 second mark appears wearing a black coat on his gray show horse Point North as the Marquis de Lafayette. His friend Barbara Fieber also appears as continental officer Thadeusz Kosciuszko on a black horse with a red coat. At the 22 second mark a Coatesville Area Senior High School Junior named MaryJean Moore (now Dr. MaryJean Hollingsworth of Anchorage, Alaska) appears in her own hand made costume as a colonial era woman. She appears hiding behind a Jeep door. This part of the video was taken in the parking lot of what was then the Lee Tires factory but is now the Spring Mill office building.
A memento presented to William West Hopper as a participant of this parade is displayed below.
Starting at the 36 second mark the creator of this video, Margaret West Hopper, was standing in the parking lot of Lee Tire factory and videoing the parade as it traveled towards the borough of Conshohocken on East Hector Street. In the background at the 40 second mark is a water tower. This tower was attached to one of the many factories which were constructed in the Conshohocken area at that time. As the video progress the large building in the background is the Walker Brothers Manufacturing building. This area is now occupied by condominiums and apartments.
Some notable floats which make an appearance in this video are:
At 1 minute and 29 seconds the Spirit of 76 float.
At 2 minutes and 21 seconds the Shriners Hospital float
At 3 minutes and 57 seconds the Plymouth Meeting Historical Society float.
One of the cars which were flying the French flag contains the French ambassador to the United States.
3. Conshohocken Bridges
This video describes the history of the multiple bridges in Conshohocken including the destruction of the 1921 bridge along with the construction and opening ceremonies of the current 1987 bridge. Below is a photo and description of the second Conshohocken Bridge built in 1852
In the video there are many views from West Conshohocken toward the Conshohocken side of the Schuylkill river which shows the landscape of Conshohocken prior to the redevelopment of the late 1980s and 1990s.
This video was produced by Kaufman Construction Company.
Conshohocken's second wooden bridge built in 1852. This picture was taken circa 1860. The first bridge, built in 1833 and also made of wood, was built at Matson's Ford which is further to the left of the above bridge. The third Conshohocken bridge was constructed of iron in the above location and was built in 1872.
This picture was taken from the West Conshohocken side of the Schuylkill River. In the foreground you can see houses on the West Conshohocken side of the river. Some of these houses survived until the 1940s.
In the middle and back of the picture you can see the Conshohocken side of the Schuylkill River along with the Conshohocken Canal. The building on the right side of the bridge is the Abion Plant Works maker of dyes and owned by William Weightman. On the left side of the bridge you can see buildings owned by John Wood and Company. One of these buildings may be a cotton mill.
4. John Ellwood Lee
This film describes the history of John Ellwood Lee of Conshohocken starting with his earliest childhood days in the latter part of the 19th Century. Lee founded a surgical supply manufacturing business which later became part of Johnson and Johnson. He also founded Lee Tires of Conshohocken in the early part of the 20th century which became one of the first tire manufacturing companies in the United States.
Lee's mansion at 8th Avenue and Fayette Street was for many years the town hall of Conshohocken. The building is still standing and is now occupied by a private business.
This film was created in 1995 by Group 9 productions and narrated by Jeff Vincent.