The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Isaac’s Good Plan
America's young economy was expanding, with new markets and new machinery replacing old ways. Innovation occurred, technological improvements increased productivity, and industrial growth led to the opening of new mills and the expansions of old mills. In Chester County, the Brandywine River supplied power for many of those mills.

In 1794, the Philadelphia & Lancaster Turnpike was completed (present day U.S. Business Route 30). The first turnpike in America opened new commercial opportunities to the Brandywine Valley — including the farm of Moses Coates. Isaac Pennock and his partner, Jesse Kersey, purchased 110 1/2 acres along the Brandywine River from Moses Coates on July 2, 1810. Under the direction of Isaac Pennock, an old saw mill on the property was converted to a rolling mill named the Brandywine Iron Works & Nail Factory.

The Brandywine Iron Works & Nail Factory was considered a success. The mill was strategically located in Coatesville, between the larger markets of Philadelphia and Lancaster. It also had easy access to the Brandywine River, which supplied power to the mill, and access to the region's main suppliers of raw materials - the local iron forges. Isaac Pennock's mill was perfectly located, which allowed for a successful business for many years.