In the mid-nineteenth century, a transportation industry developed in Reading that put the city on the map—and on the Monopoly board—forever. Founded in 1748 by William Penn’s sons Thomas and Richard,
Reading experienced rapid growth throughout the nineteenth century as the Reading Railroad (the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad) breathed steam into the city’s industry. As the powerful railroads faded later, so did the city’s economy. In recent years, Reading has become known as the birthplace and capital of factory outlet shopping and the hub of
newborn manufacturing, financial, and agricultural enterprises.
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