George M. Meiser, IX talks to the Boyertown Area Historical Society

George M. Meiser, IX, the eminent historian, author of the popular Passing Scene series, and custodian of Berks County history, will present the April program of the Boyertown Area Historical Society.

This meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at the Society building, 43 S. Chestnut St. in Boyertown. His topic will be: Dr. William Haman, Master Photographer of the 1890’s.

A Berks County native, Meiser has devoted his life to collecting, recording, and photographing images of local history. His files include over 18,000 pictures which he has carefully preserved in plastic folders along with descriptions of their history and significance. He and Gloria Jean, his wife and assistant researcher, have taken many of the pictures which have formed the nucleus of their very popular The Passing Scene series, over 5000 pages of local history with more than 6500 restored photographs, many of which are of buildings that no longer stand. All of this was in addition to his very successful career as a well-respected, popular social studies teacher at both the Alsace and Wyomissing School Districts.

Meiser has been a prolific writer of illustrated historical features for the Reading Eagle since 1977 and has been a member of the Historical Society of Berks County, now the Berks History Center, since 1959. He has served as associate editor of its publication, The Historical Review of Berks County from 1966 to 1999, followed by five years as editor, in addition to holding the office of Vice President from 1996 to 1998 and President from 1998 to 2011. He is now President Emeritus of the Society. He has also been appearing on Berks Community Television (BCTV) as both a guest and host since the late 1970’s, sharing his vast knowledge with a wide audience. From 1978 to 2008, he was a member of the Reading Historical Architectural Review Board.


Berks’ most eminent historian began recording life stories when he was in grade school, carefully listening to the older people in his neighborhood as they talked about the past and storing their recollections. He began taking photographs of local scenes at the age of nine, and did his own developing work until 1998.

The subject of Meiser’s presentation to the Boyertown Area Historical Society, Dr. William Haman, was a physician on the staff of the Homeopathic Medical and Surgical Hospital in Reading from 1891 to 1941. A graduate of Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, he was an expert diagnostician and a leading figure in the newly developed field of X-ray photography. He was also a master photographer who amassed a collection of photographs of Berks County that provide some of the best records of our early history.

Mr. Meiser’s presentation is part of a series of programs presented by the Society on the first Wednesday of the month. Additional programs include:

May 7: “Beer and the Boyertown Brewing Company” by William Moeller. The Boyertown Brewing Company building is now occupied by the Other Farm Brewing Company, a micro-brewery that produces its own line of beverages and will conclude the evening’s program.

June 4: “Dowsing for Water & Graves & Supernatural Occurrences” by John Grubb.

Oct. 1: “Tour of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Bally, PA” by Luanne Zambinini “Organ Recital” by Robert Zambinini. This program will be held in the Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Bally, Pa., the oldest existing Catholic place of worship in Pennsylvania and the fourth oldest Catholic structure in the thirteen original states.

Nov. 5: “Model Railroad Trains and Penn Line Company” by John Breidenbach”