Philly – What a City !

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known as Philly has a long history dating back to the colonial period. So there well can be many of your ancestors who lived and worked in and around the city of Philadelphia. It was also a major entrance for immigrates first arriving in America.

The Philadelphia City Archive has one of the country’s largest municipal archives, with wonderful photos of the city of Philadelphia along with scenes of its people, factories, architecture, stores, and culture. The collection has some two million images.

With the PhillyHistory site placing the images online the researcher has a searchable database of information. You can even search by a street address, if known. Some of the topics covered by the photos include: school children in the 1930s, the 1876 centennial exhibit, images of old Philly from 1880 to 1900, winter scenes, city piers and many more.

You can search between a specific time period, location or topic. When a selection of thumbnail images appear, each is labeled with a letter. That matching letter pinpoints where that location is on a Philadelphia map. Reminder to view all the images located, most which continue onto another frame. Use the arrows to advance to the next set.

Each thumbnail image can be enlarged. When done so there is additional information such as a date, which collection has the photo and more details of the people or event pictured.

Most of the images are the streets of various neighborhoods over the decades. Using any clues from your own family documents and records, if you can narrow down a location, you just might hit on a family neighborhood.

Photo: 1910s – At the intersection of 12th and Market St., near Hotel Bryson and United Cigars.

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