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From pretzel vending machine to old-school signs, meet former Drexel students building cool stuff

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Inside a former ammunition plant in one of Philadelphia’s river wards, the tick-tick-tick-tick would be instantly recognized by any 30th Street Station regular.

Split-flap boards!

On a recent afternoon, two were hanging on a workshop wall in design-and-build firm Oat Foundry’s new headquarters in Bridesburg, their motor-driven carousels of letters and numbers imprinted on die-cut plastic flaps spinning out test messages. Soon, those would be shipped to a brewpub in Saskatchewan and a trade show in Germany…

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FEB 15

Mark Kuhn whyy

CEO Mark Kuhn Speaks With WHYY’s Radio Times

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As public support to stop the removal grew, other outlets began to pick up the story and spread the word. “The news that Amtrak will replace the board this year has created a wave of nostalgia for the good old days of “analog” signs. Those lamenting the change also point to the board’s distinctive sound that travelers have come to depend on for updated travel information. Marty Moss-Coane starts off the episode by talking about the tug between the 30th Street sign, technology, and aesthetics with Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron and Mark Kuhn, CEO of Oat Foundry, a Philadelphia firm that manufactures similar boards. We’ll also hear from Congressman Brendan Boyle, who spoke with Amtrak’s CEO about the removal of the sign.”

DEC 11

Oat Foundry Elmhurst

Oat Foundry Split Flap Display an “Old School” Choice

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Elmhurst 1925 selects “Old School” Split Flap to stand out at Natural Products Expo.

Oat Foundry (Bensalem, PA) recently announced that clean-label plant-based beverage company, Elmhurst 1925, relied on Oat Foundry’s retro-inspired Split Flap display to draw attention to its booth at the recent Natural Products Expo. The display was chosen by agency Humid Creative (Conshohocken, PA).

“Split Flap displays naturally create a degree of anticipation,” Will Mazzei, product designer at Humid Creative Agency said. “People passing the booth hear the flapping sound of the display in motion and turn their heads. There is a natural curiosity that connects them to your content in a way that other displays don’t.”

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NOV 13

momofuku noodle bar

David Chang’s New Momofuku Noodle Bar

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David Chang Opens a More Mature and Spacious Momofuku Noodle Bar in Columbus Circle

Momofuku Noodle Bar is all grown up. David Chang’s first-ever restaurant added a second NYC location today, going from a tight-spaced, ramen-culture-shaping destination in the East Village to a big, swanky venue inside the Time Warner Center mall. The new Noodle Bar, located on the third floor of the Shops at Columbus Circle, looks a lot like a modern diner, with two long bars sandwiching a row of booths that run down the middle of the restaurant — a spacious second location for the perpetually packed ramen icon.

A new menu by executive chef Tony Kim focuses on steamed breads and rice, as well as ramen dishes like a spicy one made with brisket and water spinach; garlic chicken with yu choy; and smoked pork belly and egg yolk.

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NOV 15

5 Reasons Philly’s Shakespeare and Co. Is the Indie Bookstore We All Need Now

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From the moment you step through its door, the newly opened Shakespeare & Co. just feels like a special place.

For one thing, you’re no longer navigating a raucous, retail-filled Walnut Street. Instead, you’re standing on the wooden floor of a little sanctuary of sorts: Here, fresh coffee brews, thousands of books line the walls, and some kind of odd, futuristic machine spits out (almost) any publication you can think of. Every few minutes, the relatively quiet space buzzes with the whirring of an old-fashioned flipboard — you know, sort of like the one in 30th Street Station.

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OCT 12