Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Montgomery County Map

The early Europeans who settled in what would become Montgomery County in the eighteenth century tended prosperous farms, forges, and mills. They depended on the Philadelphia market to sell their products and on its port to connect them to the wider colonial world. Subsequent generations built a dense transportation network that linked county laborers, suppliers, and consumers with each other and with the city, fueling the county’s prosperity across the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Beginning in the 1950s, however, county residents depended less on Philadelphia for employment, entertainment, shopping, and other daily activities. By the close of the twentieth century, Montgomery County had become an economic engine in its own right, boasting the largest population and by far the largest job base among the counties surrounding Philadelphia.

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