A Timeline of Main Line Innovation

From chewing gum to clothing lines, local residents are making waves from coast to coast.

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Samuel Leeds Allen, a graduate of the Westtown School in West Chester, patents the Flexible Flyer, the first steerable snow sled. It was one of hundreds of inventions Allen came up with in his lifetime.


After seeing a torsion spring fall off a table and wiggle when it landed, Bryn Mawr’s Richard James is inspired to create the Slinky. The toy becomes a regional sensation before going national. The Navy shipyard engineer’s wife runs the company until 1998.


Havertown’s Philadelphia Chewing Gum Company begins production on a string of successful candy products, including Swell Bubble Gum. The factory closes in 2003 after it’s acquired by Concord Confections.


1984   Marlyn Schiff Jewelry officially launches. The line finds its way to high-end
   retailers like Neiman Marcus. Making her home in Bryn Mawr, Schiff has a local
                                    showroom in Ardmore.

Continued on page 2 ...
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