House of Industry Site

House of Industry historical marker. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania

714-716 Catharine St.

Founded in 1846 by the Philadelphia Society for Employment & Instruction of the Poor, the House of Industry was a shelter where homeless and immigrants (mostly English-speaking from the British Isles) worked making shoes, clothing, rugs, baskets and brushes. The program was designed to facilitate entrance into the American industrial economy. When Italians moved into the area, its services shifted from providing shelter and work to offering English and citizenship classes.

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