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What is the history of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
"Phil'adéI'phia (Fr. Philadelphie, fee'!!'d''fee'; Sr., and It. Filadelia, fe-la-dé'fe-A), a port of entry, the third city of the United States, the metropolis of Pennsylvania. and coextensive with the co, of Philadelphia, is situated on the W. bank of the Delaware, 96 miles (by the ship channel) from the open sea, 87 miles by rail S.W. of New York, and 136 miles N.E. of Washington, D.C. Lat. 30° 57' N.; lon. 75° 10' W. The river Schuylkill traverses the city, dividing the part known as West Philadelphia from the older portion of the town. Along the Delaware the water-front measures 23 miles, extending from the mouth of Poquessing Creek (which enters the Delaware near Torresdale on the N.E.), southwestward and southward, to the embouchure of Bow Creek, at Tinicum Island. The area of the municipality is more than 129 square miles, of which a considerable part, especially in the N., is rural in character, while other portions are occupied by suburban districts, embracing several places which have almost the character of separate towns,—such as Germantown, Chestnut Hill, Frankford, Manayunk, Falls of Schuylkill, Bridesburg, and Holmesburg, with many minor villages and hamlets, the principal of which are Tacony, Torresdale, Byberry, Somerton, Bustleton, Sandiford, Olney, Oxford Church, Crescentville, Roxborough, Milestown, Fox Chase, Verreeville, and Wheat Sheaf...

The Pop. of Philadelphia was 4560 in the year 1700; in 1750; 12,500; in 1800, 70,287; in 1840, 220,523; in 1860,568,034; in 1870, 674,022; in 1880, 847,170; in 1890, 1,046,964."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott

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Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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The Exchange and Girards Bank
American Scenery,
by N.P. Willis, Illustrated by William Henry Bartlett, 1840

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Philadelphia Botanic Co.
Pennyroyal Leaves
Philadelphia, Pa.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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1890's ad
Hires Rootbeer
Philadelphia, Penn.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Taylax - Relief of Constipation

Found at The Way It Was Museum, Virginia City, Nevada

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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1890s
Charles E. Hires Root Beer

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Burpee Farm Annual for 1898
The Leading American Seed Catalogue
W. Atlee Burpee & Co., Philadelpha

Ladies' Home Journal
January 1898

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Buy Your Wall-Paper by Mail from the Manufacturers
Kayser & Allman
1214-1216 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Ladies' Home Journal
March 1898

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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I come in sizes
large and small,
I hold in calm
or bluster weather.
I fasten fabrics
canvas tough
And hook the finest
lace together.
See that hump?

The DeLong Hook and Eye

Richardson & DeLong Bros., Mfgs.
Philadelphia, Pa.,... Read MORE...



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Chestnut Street, West of 11th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Masonic Temple

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Huyler's

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Casca-Laxative
H. K. Mulford Co., Philadelphia, Pa., 1907

Found at The Way It Was Museum, Virginia City, Nevada

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Crompton & Knowles Loom Works

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Independence Hall

Flip-Pal Restore Bundle: Scanner Blue Carry case, Lens Cleaning Cloth Restore Software from Vivid-Pix to Revive Old Photos. by Couragent, Inc




History and News of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Add History/News
  • News  1682 - June 18 - Philadelphia is founded by William Penn
    historyorb.com
    June 18, 1682
  • Philadelphia - Travel Thru History


    108 Philadelphia - Travel Thru History Full Episode (www.youtube.com)
  • 1719 - First Newspaper in Pennsylvania
    The first [newspaper] in Pennsylvania was "The American," published in Philadelphia in 1719.
    colonialwarsct.org/ 1755.htm
  • News  1731 - November 8 - In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin opens 1st US library
    historyorb.com
    November 8, 1731
  • News  1732 - February 26 - 1st mass celebrated in 1st American Catholic church, St Joseph's, Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
    February 26, 1732
  • News  1732 - December 19 - Benjamin Franklin under the name Richard Saunders begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanack"
    onthisday.com
    December 19, 1732
  • 1736 - The first volunteer fire department, the Union Fire Company, was founded in Philadelphia in 1736 by Benjamin Franklin.
    www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ pennsylvania.html
  • News  1743 - February 3 - Philadelphia establishes a "pesthouse" to quarantine immigrants
    historyorb.com
    February 3, 1743
  • News  1748 - August 26 - The first Lutheran denomination in North America, the Pennsylvania Ministerium, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    historyorb.com
    August 26, 1748
  • News  1751 - Founded on May 11, 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond, Pennsylvania Hospital was the first hospital in the United States.
    www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ pennsylvania.html
    May 11, 1751
  • News  1752 - May 11 - 1st US fire insurance policy issued (Philadelphia)
    historyorb.com
    May 11, 1752
  • News  1759 - January 11 - 1st American life insurance company incorporated, Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
    January 11, 1759
  • 1765 - May 3 - 1st US medical college opens in Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
  • News  1770 - June 28 - Quakers open a school for blacks in Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
    June 28, 1770
  • News  1773 - December 26 - Expulsion of tea ships from Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
    December 26, 1773
  • 1774 - September 5 - First Continental Congress formed in Philadelphia
    The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies that met on September 5 to October 26, 1774 at Carpente... Read MORE...

  • 1775 - In Philadelphia, Johann Behrent built the first piano in America calling it "Piano Forte."
    www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ pennsylvania.html
  • May 1775 - Second Continental Congress - Philadelphia - plans to form an army.
    When the Second Continental Congress came together on May 10, 1775 it was, in effect, a reconvening of the First Continental Congress. Many of the sam... Read MORE...

  • News  1777 - September 26 - British General William Howe occupies Philadelphia during American Revolution
    historyorb.com
    September 26, 1777
  • 1778 - In June 1778, a 700 wagon caravan escorted the Liberty Bell on its return to Philadelphia from Allentown along Towamencin's Allentown Road.
    Nine months earlier, when British troops threatened to capture the city, the bell had been whisked into hiding via the same route. www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ pennsylvania.html
  • News  1782 - January 7 - 1st US commercial bank, Bank of North America, opens in Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
    January 7, 1782
  • News  1784 - September 21 - The Nation's First Daily Newspaper Began Publication
    The nation's first daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, began publication on September 21, 1784. Many independent newspapers... Read MORE...

  • News  1787 - September 17 - US constitution adopted by Philadelphia convention
    historyorb.com
    September 17, 1787
  • 1790 - December 6 - The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    historyorb.com
  • 1792 - July 1 - A tremendous storm (a tornado or hurricane) hit Philadelphia and New York City. Many young people were drowned while out boating on that Sunday.
    WeatherForYou.com
  • 1793 - Yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia killed about 2,000
    www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ patimeln.htm
  • News  1793 - January 9 - 1st hot-air balloon flight in the US lifts off in Philadelphia, piloted by Jean Pierre Blanchard
    historyorb.com
    January 9, 1793
  • News  1793 - June 10 - Washington replaced Philadelphia as US capital
    historyorb.com
    June 10, 1793
  • 1803 - May 8 - A freak spring storm produced heavy snow from southern Indiana to New England. The storm made sleighing possible in Massachusetts, but also ruined shade trees in Philadelphia.
    WeatherForYou.com
  • News  1816 - December 2 - 1st savings bank in US opens (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society)
    historyorb.com
    December 2, 1816
  • 1827 - Mechanics Union of Trade Associations formed in Philadelphia
    The World Almanac of the U.S.A, by Allan Carpenter and Carl Provorse, 1996
  • 1839 - February 24 - Steam shovel patented by William Otis, Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
  • News  1839 - AWFUL CONFLAGRATION !! DESTRUCTION OF MORE THAN 47 BUILDINGS, AND A GREATER LOSS OF PROPERTY THAN HAS FALLEN UPON PHILADELPHIA BY A SIMILAR CALAMITY FOR MANY YEARS - WITH LOSS OF LIFE.
    From the Philadelphia Ledger of October 5.

    One of the most disastrous conflagrations that ever occurred in Philadelphia, broke out about half past ... Read MORE...

  • News  1843 - August 5 - A spectacular cloudburst near Philadelphia turned the small creeks and streams entering the Delaware River into raging torrents.
    As much as sixteen inches of rain fell in just three hours. Flooding destroyed thirty-two county bridges, and caused nineteen deaths. It is believed ... Read MORE...

  • 1843 - Artificial Freezer Patented
    1843: Until September 9, 1843, ice cream was made by the "pot freezer method," but on this day, Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia got her "artificial f... Read MORE...

  • News  1844 - FRIGHTFUL RAILROAD ACCIDENT.
    We learn from the Philadelphia Gazette of Saturday that the bridge on the Reading Railroad over Mill Creek near Manayunk, gave way on Friday morning a... Read MORE...

  • News  1847 - May 7 – In Philadelphia, the American Medical Association (AMA) is founded.
    www.wikipedia.org
    May 7, 1847
  • News  1851 - DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN PHILADELPHIA.
    Philadelphia, Saturday, Dec. 27.
    A destructive fire broke out at 1 o'clock this morning, in HART'S Building, corner of Sixth and Chestnut streets. Th... Read MORE...

  • 1854 - December 15 - 1st street-cleaning machine in US 1st used in Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
  • News  1854 - DREADFUL ACCIDENT ON THE READING RAILROAD.
    On Friday afternoon week, the locomotive Wisconsin life Richmond for Pottsville, with a train of empty coal cars. When the train was approaching the M... Read MORE...

  • News  1856 - February 18 – The American Party (Know-Nothings) convene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate their first Presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore.
    www.wikipedia.org
    February 18, 1856
  • News  1856 - July 17 – The Great Train Wreck (the worst railroad calamity in the world to date) occurs near Philadelphia, PA, USA.
    The Great Train Wreck of 1856 occurred in Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania, between Camp Hill Station and Fort Washington Station, on July 17, 1856. ... Read MORE...

  • March 30, 1858: H. L. Lipman, of Philadelphia, patented the first pencil with eraser
    The Old Farmer's Almanac www.almanac.com
    March 30, 1858
  • News  1869 - Pastors Unite
    Over a dozen Philadelphia pastors have united in the determination to attend no more Sunday funerals, unless the necessity is certified by a physician... Read MORE...

  • News  1870 - February 5 - 1st motion picture shown to a theater audience, Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
    February 5, 1870
  • News  1871 - In Philadelphia, there is a blacksmith shop, the bellows of which are operated by dog power.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    June 17, 1871
  • News  1874 - July 1 - 1st US zoo opens (Philadelphia)
    historyorb.com
    July 1, 1874
  • 1876 - May 10 - Centennial Exhibitiion
    May 10, 1876: The Centennial Exhibition opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at which Caroline Shawk Brooks displayed her sculpture of a woman's face... Read MORE...

  • 1884 - A SHOCK OF EARTHQUAKE Felt Over a Large Region – A Vibratory Motion from Washington to Maine
    ...In Philadelphia the shock was very perceptible and the undulation apparently extended from northeast to southwest, increasing in intensity with eac... Read MORE...

  • 1885 - August 3 - A tornado hit Philadelphia and Camden along its eight mile path.
    WeatherForYou.com
  • News  1889 - ANOTHER HORROR. A WOMAN AND FOUR CHILDREN ROASTED TO DEATH WHILE ASLEEP.
    Philadelphia, Dec. 3. - Fire in GUSTAV GROSS' bakery and dwelling, northeast corner Second and Huntingdon Streets, early yesterday morning destroyed t... Read MORE...

  • News  1894 - Both Are Now Dead
    PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 14. - Mrs. John Heard, who was shot by her jealous husband on the night of Jan. 2 at her mother's home in this city, died Friday ni... Read MORE...

  • News  1896 - When Should a Man Feel Encouraged?
    The first steps toward courting a wife are taken with a certain diffidence.

    A man wants to show his hand plainly from the first, that she may have ... Read MORE...

  • News  1902 - November 21 - 1st night football game, Philadelphia Athletics beats Kanaweola AC, 39-0
    onthisday.com
    November 21, 1902
  • 1906
    Philadelphia, a port of entry, the third city in population of the United States, the metropolis of Pennsylvania, coextensive with the co. of Philadel... Read MORE...

  • News  1906 - BUILDING INSPECTORS BLAMED FOR PHILADELPHIA CHURCH HORROR. EIGHTEEN DEAD AND MORE THAN SIXTY INJURED IN PANIC FOLLOWING DISCOVERY OF FIRE IN CHURCH - DISASTER ACCOMPANIED BY MOST HORRIBLE SCENES.
    By Publishers Press Direct Wire.
    Philadelphia, Jan. 22. - The building inspectors are blamed for the panic at St. Paul's African Baptist Church, at E... Read MORE...

  • 1918 - influenza epidemic in Philadelphia killed 11,000
    www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ patimeln.htm
  • News  1918 - EXPLOSION AT NAVY YARD. TWO KILLED, 7 SCALDED WHEN BOILER LETS GO AT LEAGUE ISLAND.
    Philadelphia, Jan. 2. - Two negro firemen were killed and seven other men injured in an explosion at the Philadelphia navy yard.
    Report of the accide... Read MORE...

  • 1921 - November 15 - KYW-AM in Philadelphia PA begins radio transmissions
    historyorb.com
  • News  1936 - June 11 - Presbyterian Church of America founded at Philadelphia
    historyorb.com
    June 11, 1936
  • 1940 - April - 1st electron microscope demonstrated (RCA), Philadelphia, Pa
    historyorb.com
  • News  1943 - REPORT 150 DEAD IN WRECKED TRAIN.
    Philadelphia, Sept. 6 (AP) - One hundred and fifty persons were reported killed and more than 90 injured in the wreck of the Congressional Limited, fa... Read MORE...

  • 1946 - Philadelphia became home to the first computer.
    www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ pennsylvania.html
  • 1955 - Hurricane Diane - NINE DEATHS REPORTED IN EASTERN PA. 650 YOUNGSTERS MAROONED; RAIN REACHES 9 INCHES.
    Philadelphia (AP) - Rain-swollen rivers rampaged through eastern Pennsylania today, causing at least nine deaths and isolating towns and cities. The t... Read MORE...

  • 1964 - Race riots in Philadelphia
    www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ patimeln.htm

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 5/6/2019 1:44:58 PM

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