Category Archives: Events and People

Schuykill River Floods, March 1902

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station During Flood – Flooded Train Shed. With the recent record levels of rainfall in Philadelphia, images such as these two photos have unfortunately become a familiar sight in our area. Though most Philadelphians do not remember another time when there seemed to be so much water everywhere, the city is […]
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A Special Relationship: Philadelphia and Great Britain

With the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton dominating the news, we here at have been reflecting on the historical ties between Philadelphia and Great Britain, many of which are captured in our photo collections. As a former colony of Great Britain, the United States has always maintained a special relationship with […]
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Touching Liberty (Literally)

The photographic archives of the Office of the City Representative document decades of visits to Philadelphia by various dignitaries, diplomats, and VIPs, both domestic and foreign. And of course, no visit to Philadelphia would be complete without a stop at one of the iconic symbols of America, the Liberty Bell. As the photos show, being […]
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Goats Versus Mules: The Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia

  Much like the city of Philadelphia itself, the annual college football match-up between the U.S. Military and Naval Academies, colloquially known as the Army-Navy Game, has a storied history that echoes that of the city in which the match has been held more than any other. Since the Army-Navy Game’s inception in 1890, Philadelphia […]
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Grover Cleveland Bergdoll: “The Fighting Slacker of Fairmount”

Louis C. Bergdoll arrived in America in June 1846 from Germany and in 1849 founded a brewery in the heart of the appropriately-named Brewerytown neighborhood. The Bergdoll brand became one of the most popular brews in America and made Louis Bergdoll a multi-millionaire. Flush with cash, he then set about planning a new dynastic seat […]
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‘There’s A Party Going On Right Here:’ Philadelphia Civic Celebrations – Part Three: Race, Redevelopment, and the Bicentennial

  From their inception, Philadelphia’s civic celebrations were invested with political messages and social values that, as the city’s population grew more diverse, often betrayed the politics of inclusion and exclusion in the City of Brotherly Love. As celebrations increasingly became city-wide endeavors, they served as a means to build communities, both real and imagined, […]
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There’s a Party Going On Right Here:’ Philadelphia Civic Celebrations – Part Two: The City and its Celebrations Come of Age

In the early years of the new nation, the Federalist and Republican parties each infused Philadelphia’s public celebrations with political messages and symbolic meaning, a precedent that organizers of civic observances continued in the latter half of the 19th century. As both Philadelphia’s population and geographic limits expanded, efforts to centralize municipal government led to […]
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‘There’s a Party Going On Right Here:’ Philadelphia Civic Celebrations – Part One: Festivities in the New Nation

  Throughout its history, Philadelphia has played host to celebrations as diverse as its neighborhoods, from Columbus Day and Washington’s birthday to the Emancipation Exposition and the annual Mummer’s Parade. And from the first commemoration of Independence Day to the Bicentennial, these celebrations historically have been infused with notions of citizenship, public space, and civic […]
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Delayed Centennial Gift

One unusual attraction at the Centennial was a disembodied copper arm bearing a torch. Forty two feet high, it was a portion of a sculpture by French artist Frederic Bartholdi entitled “Liberty Enlightening the World.” Visitors could pay 50 cents to climb a ladder to the top of the torch. The kiosk at its base […]
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Japan-a-mania at the Centennial

  America had been trading with Asia since the early years of the Republic. In fact, some of the nation’s first great fortunes were made in the China Trade; the merchant princes of Boston and Salem would ship American goods and Indian opium to China in exchange for tea, silk, and porcelain. Yet Japan, that […]
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