Then and Now
West Point Engine and Machine Co.

32 of the 34 machinists who worked at the West Point Engine and Machine Company in 1886.
Where was the top photo taken? Along here?
Perhaps on this side.  
A sign can be faintly seen in the upper left hand corner of the 1886 photo. Was this the front of the building in 1886? In 1902 the Montgomery Traction Company built a trolley car barn at this site, and this was the front of the barn, where the trolleys entered.

This is how the front looked in 2013. 1936 West Point Pike, former headquarters of ColorCon.

The front in 2013. The building has been remodeled so that it's not possible to tell where the top photograph was taken. There is no evidence of the tracks at the bottom of the top photograph.
A view from the back. Why so many additions to this building?
In March of 1881 the West Point Engine and Machine Company started in a two story building on the main street in West Point. It was 25 by 50 feet. The company manufactured steam engines invented by Hosea K. Kriebel.

In September an addition was built, 30 by 70 feet, with a 14 by 14 foot boiler house attached. A separate addition of 25 by 25 feet was also built. In 1883 a 30 by 25 foot addition was added. The frontage (which we would now consider the "side") was 145 feet long. The interior area was 9995 square feet. Each addition was built for a specific purpose.

The West Point Engine and Machine company closed its doors in 1888, becoming bankrupt and sold by the sheriff. It reemerged as the West Point Manufacturing Company until it, too, went out of business in 1894.

Why did the manufacturer of award winning engines become bankrupt within seven years? We can't say for sure how the company was managed, but history records a patent for a gasoline powered internal combustion engine was granted in 1884 to Edward Butler. Butler invented the spark plug, ignition magneto, coil ignition and the carburetor. The steam engine was soon to be obsolete.

In August of 1901, after negotiating with the West Point Turnpike Company over placement of trolley tracks, the Montgomery Traction Company bought the building. It was converted into a trolley car barn and power station. In 1912 the Lehigh Valley Transit Company acquired the Montgomery Traction Company and rerouted the tracks as part of its high speed line. In 1916 the building was owned by local resident Enos Vaughn and by 1919 he had converted part of it into dwellings.