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John Sproul (Sprowl) was a master builder proposed for membership in The Carpenters' Company in 1788, although he was not elected until 1794. Company records suggest he died that same year, although Philadelphia directories list him through 1797. Sproul may be the John Sprowles who was a 1st Lt. of Flower's Regiment of Artillery Artificers from 1777 through 1780. On May 22, 1795, the Columbianum or American Academy of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, &c opened an exhibition which included several architectural drawings by Robert Smith, William Williams, and Abraham Colladay. Under the heading of "John Sproul, Architect, No. 23, N. Ninth street" appeared "Drawings of public buildings, designed for a dancing assembly and other purposes." Sproul always listed himself as a house carpenter at the Ninth Street address. It is nonetheless interesting that his drawings should have been included in the earliest known American exhibition of architectural drawings. Ryan K. Smith includes John Sproul as the head carpenter for Morris’s Folly. Smith notes that Sproul had been sick for the building season of 1793 but returned in 1794 and who had “achieved election to the city Carpenters’ Company".

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia


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