Reading, Pennsylvania, the seat of Berks County. It is on the Schuylkill River in the southeastern part of the state. The city is a commercial, industrial, and railway center. Many Pennsylvanians of German descent live in or near the city.
The Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery has varied exhibits. Penn's Common, the city's oldest park, is at the base of a hill known as Mount Penn. On top of it is a seven-story Japanese-style observation tower called the Pagoda. Reading is the site of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. Alvernia and Albright colleges are in the city. Southeast of Reading is the Daniel Boone Homestead, where Boone lived from his birth in 1734 until 1750.
Reading was settled in 1733 by Thomas and Richard Penn, sons of William Penn. It was laid out in 1748 under the supervision of Thomas Penn. During the French and Indian War (1754-63) Reading was a supply base for nearby forts in the Blue Mountains. The city developed as one of America's first producers of iron and was foremost in this industry for nearly a century. Reading's early foundries furnished cannon for American forces during the Revolutionary War and for Union armies in the Civil War. It was incorporated as a city in 1847.