SOUTH BETHLEHEM, a borough of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the Lehigh river, about 57 m. N.W. of Philadelphia, and opposite Bethlehem, with which it is connected by bridges.. Pop. (1900), 13,241, of whom 3322 were foreign-born and 115 were negroes; (1910 census), 19,973. It is served by the Lehigh Valley, the Philadelphia & Reading, the Central of New Jersey and the Lehigh & New England railways. The borough is the seat of Lehigh University. This institution was founded in 1865 by Asa Packer, who then gave $500,000 and 60 acres (afterwards increased to 115 acres) of land in the borough, and by his will left to the university library $500,000, and to the university an endowment of $1,500,000 and a large interest (about one-third) in his estate. The university was chartered in 1866; it embraces a school of technology, with courses in civil, mechanical, metallurgical, mining, electrical and chemical engineering, electrometallurgy and chemistry, and a school of general literature (1878), with classical and Latin-scientific courses. In 1908-1909 it had 68 instructors, 1720 students, and a library of 127,000 volumes. The principal buildings of the university are Packer Hall (1869), largely taken up by the department of civil engineering, the chemical and metallurgical laboratory, the physical and electrical engineering laboratory, the steam engineering laboratory, Williams Hall for mechanical engineering, etc., Saucon Hall for the English department, Christmas Hall, with drawing-rooms and the offices of the Y.M.C.A., the Sayre astronomical observatory, the Packer Memorial Church, the university library (1897), dormitories (1907) given by Andrew Carnegie, Drown Memorial Hall, a students' club, the college commons, and a gymnasium.
South Bethlehem is the see of a Protestant Episcopal bishop. The Bethlehem Steel Company manufactures here iron and steel, including Bessemer steels, armour plate, steel rails, government ordnance, drop forgings, iron and steel castings, stationary engines, gas engines, hydraulic pumps, projectiles, steel shaft and pig iron; zinc is smelted and refined; and there are large hosiery and knitting mills, and silk mills and cigar factories. The total value of the borough's factory products increased from $9,964,054 in 1900 to $15,275,411 in 1905, or 53-3%.
In 1846 a water-cure was established where St Luke's hospital now stands, in the adjoining borough of Fountain Hill (pop. in 1900, 1214), and for a few years this attracted a considerable number of visitors during the summer season. In 1853 works were established for the manufacture of white oxide of zinc from a calamine iound here, in the next year metallic zinc was produced, and in 1865 the first sheet zinc made in America was rolled here. The borough was incorporated in 1865.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)