Welcome to winter!

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Welcome to winter weather, Philadelphia! On this brisk winter morning in 1906, pedestrians on Filbert Street (today, John F. Kennedy Boulevard) braced themselves against the gusting wind as trolleys and horse-drawn sleighs pushed through the snow-covered street around City Hall. Let's take a walk through this postcard from the Museum's collection and explore a winter weather day in the early 20th century. 

Philly Field Trips: A Sweet Story

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New to the blog is our Philly Field Trips series! Each month staff will explore a topic that takes us offsite and face-to-face with Philadelphia's stories. With over 90 neighborhoods and 330 years of hometown history, we look forward to discovering diverse and exciting historical terrain. If you have a topic suggestion for staff please email info@philadelphiahistory.org, and remember to follow #PhillyFieldTrips on the Museum's Instagram and Twitter.

Philly Field Trips: Veterans Day Remembered

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New to the blog is our Philly Field Trips series! Each month staff will explore a topic that takes us offsite and face-to-face with Philadelphia's stories. With over 90 neighborhoods and 330 years of hometown history, we look forward to discovering diverse and exciting historical terrain. If you have a topic suggestion for staff please email info@philadelphiahistory.org, and remember to follow #PhillyFieldTrips on the Museum's Instagram and Twitter.

Finding Philadelphia History in Northern Michigan

 

I felt right at home when on a recent vacation in northern Michigan when I came across this Philadelphia-made commercial coffee mill on display at The Music House Museum located outside Traverse City. The colorful coffee mill was part of a recreation of a general store, found throughout this part of rural Michigan.

Papal Mementos

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As the City readies itself for the visit of Pope Francis this September, it seems a good time to look back at the last Papal visit by John Paul II in 1979. In 1987 long-time member and frequent contributor, Eleanor Herbert donated several invitations, a program, prayer card and some copy photographs by an unidentified photographer. 

Philadelphia's Connection to Flag Day

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During the late 1800s events celebrating the flag began informally in schools, evolving into official events in cities, towns, and states decades before President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 issued a proclamation establishing Flag Day. In 1949 President Harry Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14th as Flag Day.

The Photography of Solomon Mednick

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Solomon "Sol" Mednick (1916-1970) was a photographer active in Philadelphia and New York from the 1940s to the late 1960s. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1916, Mednick was the oldest of three children. His father, Benjamin, started a photography studio in the family's home on N. 31st Street around 1920. In the 1930s, Mednick attended school at the Philadelphia College of Art (now known as University of the Arts) studying under well-known Russian photographer, graphic designer, and eventual art director of Harper's Bazaar, Alexey Brodovitch.

Moments from the Map

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I have talked to a lot of people in my time behind the reclaimed cedar planks of the admissions desk at the Philadelphia History Museum. If I have learned one thing, it is that everyone has a story to tell. The Philadelphia History Museum has a knack for reminding people of their past, and inspiring them to tell their stories. I consider myself lucky that I get to hear these stories first hand.

Older Americans Month

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Philadelphia’s Maggie Kuhn (1905-1995) epitomized the 2015 theme for Older Americans Month: Get into the Act. In 1970, Maggie Kuhn’s employer, the United Presbyterian Church in New York City, told her that at age 65 she had reached the mandatory retirement age. She and five friends, who also had been forced to retire, responded by organizing the Consultation for Older Adults headquartered in Philadelphia to combat age discrimination and stereotyping.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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St. Patrick’s Day and Philadelphia have a long and illustrious history going back to the 1770s with ours being the second oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation. In 2012 the museum worked with photography students from the University of the Arts to get their view of city life. Felicia Puff was drawn to the young and young at heart at the parade that year.