Sellers family.

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The Sellers family of Philadelphia and Upper Darby were pioneers in the wire-working industry and in the manufacture of wool cards and paper moulds.

Nathan Sellers was born in Darby Township, Pa., on November 15, 1751, the son of John and Ann (Gibson) Sellers. His father was a pioneer in developing the weaving of wire to make paper moulds, and Nathan, who possessed unusual mechanical aptitude, studied both the wire business and surveying, as well as law.

Sellers enlisted in the Revolutionary army, for which he was disowned by the Society of Friends. Within the year, Congress ordered Sellers to return to Philadelphia to manufacture paper moulds for the Treasury. This was the foundation of Sellers' wire-working business, and ten years later he brought his younger brother David (1757-1813) into the business under the style of N. & D. Sellers. Nathan Sellers was responsible for many innovations in the manufacture and working of wire. The Sellers brothers were leading members of the informal circle of Philadelphia mechanics, inventors and manufacturers who laid the foundations of the city's industrial eminence in the nineteenth century. Nathan Sellers was also commissioned to conduct engineering surveys for military purposes during the Revolution and for internal improvements in the post-war period. He retired to his country place at Upper Darby, Pa., in 1817 and died on July 14, 1830.

After Nathan Sellers' retirement, his interest passed to his eldest son Coleman Sellers (1781-1834), while David's interest passed to his sons Samuel and James. In 1828 the old firm was dissolved and reconstituted as Coleman Sellers & Sons, and in 1829, Coleman Sellers constructed a greatly enlarged and improved works in Upper Darby, which he named Cardington. Coleman Sellers continued his father's innovative work and near the end of his life constructed locomotives of an improved design for the Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad. Coleman Sellers married Sophonisba Peale, the daughter of the artist Charles Wilson Peale, in 1805. His sons Charles and George Escol continued the illustrious engineering tradition of the Sellers family.

From the description of Business records, 1774-1834 [microform]. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122503461

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Sellers family. Business records, 1774-1834 [microform]. Hagley Museum & Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Coleman Sellers & Sons. corporateBody
associatedWith Duane, William, 1760-1835. person
associatedWith Gilpin, Thomas, 1776-1853. person
associatedWith Haviland, John, 1792-1852. person
associatedWith Leiper, Thomas, 1745-1825. person
associatedWith N. & D. Sellers (Firm). corporateBody
associatedWith Penn, John, 1729-1795. person
associatedWith Pennsylvania. Committee of Safety. corporateBody
associatedWith Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad. corporateBody
associatedWith Ramage, Adam, 1771 or 72-1850. person
associatedWith Sayre, Stephen, 1736-1818. person
associatedWith Sellers, Brandt & Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Sellers, Coleman, 1781-1834. person
associatedWith Sellers, David, 1757-1813. person
associatedWith Sellers, James, 1783-1857. person
associatedWith Sellers, Nathan, 1751-1830. person
associatedWith Sellers, Samuel, 1780-1850. person
associatedWith Shippen, Edward, 1729-1806. person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony, 1745-1796. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Wire industry
Paper industry


Active 1774

Active 1834

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SNAC ID: 3235784