Monthly Archives: June 2006

Cradle of Independence

  Every July Fourth, the nation gears up for a big party celebrating its independence from Great Britain. Nowhere is this more true than in Philadelphia, which has been at times called the “Birthplace of a Nation.” It was here in 1776 that the Second Continental Congress met to commission and adopt the Declaration of […]
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See and Hear the World’s Greatest Entertainer!

  In 1921, the Stanley Company opened the 1303-capacity Aldine Theatre at the southeast corner of 19th and Chestnut Streets. The theater played movies for some seventy years, with a few gaps during the 1950s-1970s. Over the years, it was rechristened the Viking Theatre, then the Cinema 19 Theatre, and finally, Sam’s Place Twin, after […]
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Buying Happiness

  A pioneer in advertising, John Wanamaker opened his first store in Philadelphia in 1876. He later moved the store to the location in this photograph, the site of the old Pennsylvania Railroad Depot (seen on the right). This new store, the “Grand Depot,” was the first department store in the city, and at one […]
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Back to Nature

  Founded in 1855, Fairmount Park was created by the City Council in an effort to protect both the Philadelphia’s water supply and the general health of the people. Several epidemics across the city, including an outbreak of yellow fever in the 1790s, prompted this interest in protecting municipal drinking water. In addition, rising pollution […]
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Mmmmm . . . Beeeer

  Any trip to a Philadelphia pub will reveal that Philadelphians, by and large, have an acute affinity for beer. Despite this, it is a little known fact that, in the fifty years between 1870 and 1920, Philadelphia was a national center for beer production. Early in this period, most of the city’s beer makers […]
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Signs, Signs. . .

  Some people (the Five Man Electrical Band included) may call them eyesores, but billboards reveal much about the changing urban landscape during the modern era. By the early twentieth century, advertisers, in Philadelphia and elsewhere, had progressed beyond pasting handbills onto walls. Drivers passing the intersection of Broad Street and Girard Avenue in 1917 […]
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