Painting at Woodmere Art Museum shows West Conshohocken gas plant in early 1940s

A painting titled West Conshohocken Peco Gas Plant by artist Thornton Oakley hangs at the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. The painting dates back to 1940 to 1943 and was gifted to the museum by PECO in 1989.

Thornton Oakley was raised in Pittsburgh but moved to the Philadelphia area while attending college at the University of Pennsylvania. During his career, he was known as an illustrator, designer, mural painter, and instructor at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art. Oakley lived from 1881 to 1953.

The painting West Conshohocken Peco Plant was one of several industrial commissions he had during and after World War II.

The gas plant still exists today. It has been in the news recently due to an effort by some residents in Marple Township in Delaware County to prevent the construction of what PECO calls a “gas reliability station” that would connect via a pipeline with the West Conshohocken plant.

Top Photo: Woodmere Art Museum (left), Google Maps (right)
Image in article: Woodmere Art Museum