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