Author Archives: Heather Newlin

Up, Up and Away

Before there were space shuttles or airplanes, men experimented with other options of ascending into the heavens. Some means were less successful than others, contraptions attached to the body imitating the wings of birds being but one example. In the late 18th century, men experimented with another possible method of flight, the hot air balloon. […]
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Eastern State Penitentiary

In the early 19th century, a system of punishment was created that could be traced back to the Quakers. Called the Pennsylvania system because it was first used here, this method involved the use of solitary confinement to rehabilitate criminals sent to prison. The underlying belief of the Pennsylvania System was that solitary confinement would […]
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Corridor of Commerce

  …”if Philadelphia is indebted to England for the name High Street, which undoubtedly is the case, nearly every American city or town founded since 1700 is, in turn, indebted to Philadelphia for its Market Street, which is particularly Philadelphian in nomenclature. This…was due to the plan of Penn, who, long before his city was […]
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A Walk to Die For: Laurel Hill Cemetery

  Remember me as you pass by As you are now so once was I As I am now you soon must be Prepare for death and follow me. –Jackson (56) In the colonial period and for some time after that, the purpose of the cemetery for the living was to serve as a grim […]
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The Divine Lorraine Hotel

  Standing at the corner of Broad and Fairmount Streets in North Philadelphia is a building that is historically significant on a number of different levels. The Divine Lorraine Hotel, formerly known as both Lorraine Apartments and the Lorraine Hotel, was designed by architect Willis G. Hale and built between 1892 and 1894. The building […]
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Photography: A Mini-History

  1839 was an important year in the history of record-keeping. It was in this year that the first practical form of photography, the Daguerreotype, was invented. Without this invention almost 170 years ago, PhillyHistory.org would not have been possible. Most of the images on this website come from one of three photographic types: the […]
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The Broad Street Subway

    Providing around 1 million rides a day, SEPTA is an important resource in the city of Philadelphia. The man pictured in one of the accompanying photos was just one of the many involved in building a part of that transportation system, the Broad Street Subway. The photograph was taken December 14, 1925 as […]
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Photographic Firsts

  Philadelphia is famous for many things, including its inventors. Perhaps most famous of these is Ben Franklin. However, another Philadelphia inventor, Joseph Saxton, was responsible for creating one of the first photographs made in America. That photograph was taken in 1839 from the United States Mint (pictured above), where Saxton worked. In it he […]
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The Snow Piled Six Feet High

  This year, local meteorologists are predicting a very snowy winter for Philadelphia. With such a forecast looming in the future, snow is probably the last thing that residents of this city want to think about. It is likely that Philadelphians did not want to think about the prospect of snow in 1914 either, especially […]
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Learning for the Real World

  Late in the 19th century and early in the 20th, child labor reformers were busy trying to devise a plan for keeping the nations children out of the factories and in the schools for as long as possible. However, the things they were doing to extend the amount of time a child spent in […]
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