Eddystone Borough municipal offices are located at 1300 East 12th Street, Eddystone, PA 19022; phone: 610-874-1100.
EDDYSTONE, 47.5 m. (19 alt., 2,414 pop.), derives its chief importance from the fact that the Baldwin Locomotive Works is here. During the World War Eddystone was a munitions center. On April 10, 1917, the Nation was horrified when a series of explosions destroyed two buildings of the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation, rocked the countryside with percussions felt as far away as Philadelphia, killed 139 persons, and injured 100 others. As the United States had declared a state of war with Germany only four days prior to this, it was believed that the blasts were caused by German sympathizers; a number of arrests were made, but conclusive proof was never obtained. In 1918 two separate explosions killed four and injured 16.
The Baldwin Locomotive Works had its beginning in Philadelphia in 1828, when Matthias Baldwin (1795-1866), a young jeweler turned tool manufacturer, developed a small stationary steam engine. He was soon constructing duplicates for friends and acquaintances, and eventually these brought more revenue than his regular occupation. At the same time, the infant railroad industry was building experimental roads along the Eastern seaboard. In 1831 Baldwin received his first order for a steam locomotive, and one year later completed 'Old Ironsides,' among the first successful American-made locomotives. It replaced horses on the six-mile railroad between Philadelphia and Germantown. In 1836 a plant site was purchased at Broad and Hamilton Streets, in Philadelphia.
By the early 1900's the Baldwin shops covered a 19-acre tract, and had an annual capacity of 1,000 locomotives. The movement to Eddystone began in 1907, and by 1928 the Philadelphia plant had been abandoned. Orders for locomotives poured in during the World War, and in 1916 manufacture of war materials also was undertaken at Eddystone. After the war Baldwin's entered the field of metal fabrication and heavy machinery production.
The Hendrickson House, on the Baldwin property near Crum Creek, was erected early in the period of Swedish settlement by John Hendrickson. Of stone and surmounted with a hipped roof, the house originally had hand-fashioned window sashes and shingles split from slabs 18 inches wide.