Sparks Shot Tower, 1808
129-131 Carpenter Street, Philadelphia PA 19147
The Sparks Shot Tower is the oldest standing industrial feature in South Philadelphia and is purported to be the oldest shot tower in America. The tower was built to fill a need for lead shot created by the 1807 Embargo Act, which cut off the supply of foreign goods.
In 1808, John Bishop, Thomas Sparks and James Clement expanded their plumbing partnership and built the shot tower to begin manufacturing lead shot for sporting purposes. During the war of 1812, at the request of the federal government, they began to supply munitions for the military. With this shift in production, John Bishop, a member of the Society of Friends, sold his interest in the business to Thomas Sparks.
Sparks Shot Tower