Old Images of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Old illustration of key landmarks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Glimpse history through fascinating old images of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Old Pictures of Philadelphia


Old Photos of Philadelphia


Philadelphia in the Early 1900s

This video showcases old photos of Philadelphia’s people and places, taken between 1900 and 1910.

Each image is labelled wih the date and location, so you always know when and where you are looking at.

Old photos of Philadelphia(Pennsylvania)1900-1910 – oldstuff4all on YouTube


Sesquicentennial Exposition

In 1926, the Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition, a world’s fair in Philadelphia, celebrated the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

The plans for the exposition had started ten years previously, aiming to improve the reputation of a booming city known for its corruption. But meanwhile World War I, Spanish Influenza, and Prohibition had done a great deal of damage to the local economy, and even weather on the opening day, 31st May 1926, kept the crowds away.

The Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition made a loss of $20 million by August 1926, and was placed in receivership the following year.

But the outdoor mass, lead by Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty, was hugely successful, with 250,000 worshippers attending the event.

250,000 join in prayer at Sesqui-Centennial in Philadelphia (1926) – British Pathé on YouTube


Mummers Day Parade 1932

Philadelphia – The Quaker City (1932) – British Pathé on YouTube


1938 Garbage Crisis

In 1938, Philadelphia’s two million residents saw garbage piling up on the streets during a prolonged strike by the city’s 3000 or so street cleaners.

Housewives started burning the garbage in cans outside their homes. Meanwhile, about 500 volunteers set up their own horse and cart garbage collection service, to avoid the spread of disease, and were protected by police motorcycle escorts.

Street Cleaners Strike – Philadelphia (1938) – British Pathé on YouTube


1949 Fire

During rush hour, a fire broke out in one of Philadelphia’s seven storey buildings, causing it to collapse. Luckily, the premises were empty, so no one was hurt, although the collapsing walls look a bit close to the firefighters!

Fire in Philadelphia (1949) – British Pathé on YouTube


Philadelphia in 1963

A Canadian filmmaker recorded a family trip to the city in 1963, capturing a wide variety of locations in just over four minutes. Opening with views above the city and different shots of the downtown streets at ground level, the film moves on to the City Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Good Ship Lollipop sightseeing boat trip (with clown), Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, and the Free Library.

Philadelphia 1963 archive footage – Footageforpro.com on YouTube


Philadelphia in the Early 70s

A filmmaker recorded his visit to the city in October and November 1971.

Just under three minutes long, the footage includes the Holiday Inn in Camden New Jersey whose large sign advertised a restaurant, cocktails and pool, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, views across the river, the United States Custom House and surroundings, and a group of children absolutely delighted to find themselves the subject of a filmmaker’s attention.

Philadelphia 1971 archive footage – Footageforpro.com on YouTube


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