Wheat and corn farming were very prosperous in colonial Pennsylvania, according to historian Rickie Lazzerini. Rye, hemp and flax were also grown. Pennsylvania's abundant natural resources also helped fuel iron production, gun manufacturing, ship-building and paper-making.
Lancaster County thrived with the invention of the Pennsylvania long rifle. The firearm became widely distributed throughout the colonies by the time of the Revolutionary War. Pennsylvania's numerous streams acted as natural power sources for sawmills and gristmills. These streams, along with copious amounts of timber, gave rise to Pennsylvania's ship-building industry. Iron manufacturing grew enormously in Pennsylvania with its rich iron-ore deposits and timber to heat ironwork furnaces. Pennsylvania's natural waterways also facilitated trade, making Philadelphia the most important center for foreign trade in the colonies.