Newspaper Clipping Scrapbooks
of Frederick Graff Jr.,
Chief Engineer of the
Philadelphia Water Department
Part 2: 1858-1871

PWD Historical Collection
Accession 2004.056

This is the second part of a two part collection of clippings collected by Frederick Graff Jr., Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Department during the middle of the 19th century. Conserved and mounted on 12" x 18" archival board, the scrapbook contains about 35 pages numbered 125 through 160. The variety of topics covered by the clippings reflect Graff's interests and activities.

To search this index, I would suggest using the "Find" feature of your browser (on Internet Explorer, located under the"Edit" tab) to search for keywords of interest. The scrapbook index is also part of the PWD Historical Collection PastPerfect© database, and would be searchable by keyword there as well. One you find what you want, you can search the actual scrapbook pages, which are linked to each page number as a PDF, each of which is about 3 mb. Thanks to Paul Fugazzotto, who scanned, stitched, edited, and attached these scrapbook pages in July 2010.

In the numbers used in the index below, the large bold number is the scrapbook page number, and smaller numbers beneath are those of the articles on that page. If source and date information are not included, then none was included in the scrapbook.

Click here
for Part One of this collection, covering the years 1854-1857.

The History of Philadelphia's Watersheds and Sewers

Compiled by Adam Levine
Historical Consultant
Philadelphia Water Department
HomeCreek to sewerDown underarchivesmapsAdam LevineLinks


1. Appendix No. 167, Journal of the Common Council [of the City of Philadelphia] Letter dated August 22, 1871, from Mayor Daniel M. Fox to the Common Council, vetoing an ordinance for extending the City's water works, a particular target of the veto being the expenditure for the proposed East Park Reservoir.

2. Appendix No. 168, Journal of the Common Council. Letter dated August 22, 1871, from Frederick Graff Jr., Chief Engineer of the Water Department, tot he Select and Common Councils, defending the need for a new large reservoir in East Park.


1. Advertisements for stagecoaches and steamboat lines, with small illustrations. February 20, 1829, no source

2. Advt. for Handel's Messiah, Musical Fund Society, February 20, 1829

3. City Councils "Preamble and Resolution requesting the Legislature to pass an act for the better preservation of the Schuylkill water." Mentions supplement to an 1832 act to maintain the quality of the Schuylkill. Resolution passed April 11, 1868

4. "Unwholesome Water." Short article warning "against allowing drains to pass near wells or springs, or permitting sewerage to escape into water used to for drinking purposes, even at what is considered a safe distance." Also mentions an odor test for impure water. No date, no source.

5. "The Want of Water." Editorial, no source, about "lack of sufficient water for domestic purposes during this summer.... We hope, now that the superintendancy has gone into other hands, that we may have some relief." August 18, 1858, no source. [Second copy on Scrapbook page 128, with date]

6. "The works at Fairmount. How to get a sufficient supply of water." Letter to Public Ledger from A. C. Jones, regarding how to make the pumps at Fairmount more efficient. Ca. 1858 (see No. 8 below)

7. "Impure Water." Brief article about the water coming out of the Kensington Water Works, which served the Kensington and Richmond areas. "The water which flows from the works is now unfit for use for any purpose, and offensive alike to the taste and smell."

8. "The scarcity of water: where the defect lies." Letter from A. C. Jones to the Public Ledger, dated August 26, 1858, regarding the defects in the pumps at the Fairmount Water Works, including his comments on the 1851 Morris Pump.

9. Report of the Committee on Plans and Improvements of the Fairmount Park Commissioners, listing the boundaries of the park and the sections making up its 1,619 acres. No date, no source.

10. "Give it a fair trial." Letter to the Evening Star, no date, complaining about the cost of the New York Duplex, an engine built in New York, asking that it be given a trial to compare it to similar engines built in Philadelphia.

11. "The People's Gas Works." Letter to the Sunday Transcript complaining of corruption and political maneuvering by the Gas Works trustees and chief engineer.

12. Ordinance of November 12, 1855 regarding water rents, indicating no change in price in 1856.


1. "Mismanagement at the Water Works." Letter to Sunday Dispatch, no date, from "Locomotive," complaining about the running of Fairmount and responding to a previous letter by "Mechanist." "Shameful blundering." No source, no date. See other letters from "Mechanist" at 140:1, 144:3

2. "Turbine Wheels. The minority of the Watering Committee." Letter to Public Ledger, no date, about the testing of the Jonval Turbine (ca. 1866)

3. Small article on West Philadelphia commissioners meeting, stating proposed plan for building a reservoir near Monument Road and the necessary water works "near the foot of the inclined plane" for the introduction of water to West Philadelphia. Ca. 1850 No source, no date.

4. "The Water Supply.... Report on a supply of water for the Twenty-First Ward" to City Councils, by H. P. M. Birkinbine, September 1859. Supplying Roxborough and Germantown with sufficient water. No other date or source.

5. "What will Councils do?" Editorial, no source or date, about the election of a new Chief Engineer for the Water Department, which says that the re-election of Birkinbine "will be tantamount to a public calamity." "...There the character of Mr. Birkinbine, that charlatanry and love of mysticism peculiar to little minds, behind which he ever shelters himself from remark or criticism. Around the duties of his office he throws an air of mystery, affecting profound skill and science as an engineer, magnifying with grandiloquent and high sounding phraseology, the simplest operations falling to his duty. This weakness is exemplified in the lithographs of his stop-cocks and other nick-nacks, periodically paraded before Councils and the people, all of which are ostentiously [sic] underlined, 'Planned and designed by H.P.M. Birkinbine.' Though these gimcracks generally are valueless, the lithographing still continues; but the Chief Engineer is not quite so obtuse as to lithograph his bursted air chests and other signal and expensive failures, that have resulted from the borrowed and only half-conceived ideas of other and better men..."

6. Explosion at I. P. Morris & Co. (iron works), Thomas Herbert (and others?) killed; loss to company at $10,000. No date, no source.

7. Two brief articles describing officers uniforms, how to differentiate them. No date, no source.

8. Weather month by month for 1859, recorded by "Dr. Conrad, of the Pennsylvania Hospital." No date, no source.

Ca. 1858

1. "Short Supply of Water" Editorial which comments on Graff's report that Schuylkill is at an all time low due to the needs of the Schuylkill Navigation Company. Fire service threatened. "Under these circumstances it behooves every housekeeper to economize in the use of water..." No date, no source.

2. Receipts and expenditures of Water Department, 1856-1858

3. "West Philadelphia Water Works." Complaining of insufficient water supply in the neighborhood "since the new Chief Engineer of the Water Works [Birkinbine] entered upon his duties.... The trouble, it is said, did not exist under Mr. Birkinbine' predecessor."

4. "The Water Department." Editorial complaining about the 24th Ward Works, "an utter failure." "There is even some fear that the Fairmount Works will go the way of all perishable things, unless some measures be adopted by Councils to obtain the services of scientific men to avoid such a calamity." "We well remember that, when the [West Philadelphia] works were reported as completed, Messrs. Birkinbine & Trotter, the builders, gave a grand feed in the engine house, to members of Councils at that time. Speeches were made by distinguished men; the whole party were "champagned" with Heidsick, and 'smoked' with Principes and regalias, and the works were of course at once considered very useful and decidedly ornamental. Time, with its 'sober second thought,' has brought the stern reality that the works were not put up right, and that the workmanship in many parts was put up so slightly as not be relied upon...." November 7, 1858, The Sunday Atlas

5. Annual pumpage for Fairmount, Schuylkill, Kensington (Delaware), Twenty-fourth Ward Water Works. No year given; ca. 1858 [numbers could be checked against those in Annual Reports] No source.

6. Statistics of the Philadelphia Gas Works. No date, no source.

7. "The free use of the Schuylkill water." Problem in summer months keeping supply adequate in the "lower section" when housekeepers use liberal amounts of water on "the fronts of dwellings...running from pipes and hoses for hours at a time..." June 7, 1858. No source.

8. Note from Councils meeting, 1858, regarding the reporting of an ordinance for $221,500 loan for the extension of the Water Works.

9. Two articles on Councils meetings about a "voluminous document" from Birkinbine detailing the present condition of the Water Department. Ca. August 1858. No source.

10. Second copy of letter detailed on Page 125, item 8.

11. Local Affairs. The Water Works. New Chief Engineer working to secure ample supply of water. Public Ledger, no date.

12. Amended census of the Eight Ward, ca. 1870, no source.

13. List of city officials: Mayor, councilmen, etc.

Ca. 1858

1. Letter to Evening Star, Aug. 16, [1858], from "Hammer," responding to letter from "Chisel," about the engine at the Belmont water works. Complains about contracting for this engine with New York firm when "it is claimed for this city that machinery, particularly heavy work, can be built cheaper and better here than in any other place in the country, by reason of the cheapness of material and skill of our workmen." This scrapbook page includes several other notes on the same topic.

2. "Local Affairs: Water! Water!" Editorial from [ ] regarding need for ample supply of water at all seasons. Public Ledger, August 18, 1858. See second copy on 157.

3. "The Supply of Water for the City." Editorial, no date, no source. Mentions plans for extension of the works, but concludes: "For the future wants of the city, other sources of supply must be looked for..." Fairmount, Cornish engines, Kensington, Twenty-fourth Ward, Schuylkill, Frankford.

4. " The Water Question." Editorial, no date, no source, Concludes: "We want water to run freely in every house, the moment that faucets are turned. We do not wish to have to wait two hours to get enough water for a bath. We want water, plenty of it, at all times and under all circumstances. It Mr. Birkinbine's plan, extensive as it may appear, will secure us that desideratum, no matter how much it costs, he shall be applauded to the echo, which will applaud again."

5. Brief article about water supply problem, blaming the "d--n fool" who designed the Fairmount Water Works system and "forgot to place the dam below the wheelhouse," which would have allowed the wheels to run even at high tide. No date, no source.

6. "Shall we have pure water?" Editorial regarding the "filthy taste of the water" in the basins of the Delaware (Kensington) Works. "...If it is true that the operations of the cleaners of catfish immediately in the neighborhood of the Delaware Water Works occasion the contamination of the water, it is in the power of the Councils to pass an ordinance to prohibit such labor with a safe distance of Gunner's run..."
Also mentions that "a nasty culvert debouches at the foot of Coates street upon the Schuylkill, and almost in the forebay of the Fairmount works. This dirty sewer was constructed by the Commissioners of the old district of Spring Garden, at a time when the district was quarreling with the city in relation to the right of using the Schuylkill water. It was built in direct and spiteful determination to injure the water used by the city. It now drains a large portion of the region above Coates street and west of Broad. That such an impure conduit should be allowed to exist after Consolidation, (which was intended to harmonize the existing jealousies of the city and county,) has been very discreditable to Councils. As matters are now, a portion of this filth has, like a poisoned chalice, returned to plague the inventor. The dirty stuff is pumped up now for the delectation of the Spring Gardenites as well as for the people of the old City, Southwark and Moyamensing." Suggests a culvert to carry the flow to the river below the dam.
July 4, 1858, Sunday Dispatch

7. Brief sarcastic note on the stand pipe of the West Philadelphia Water Works, "a of the scientific triumphs of that eminent engineer, H. P. M. Birkinbine." No date, no source.

8. "The Late Fire." Editorial complains about the insufficiency of water and hydrants in fighting an "extensive fire in the Fourth District." "Can any one inform us how long we are going to be at the mercy of an incompetent Chief Engineer of the Water Department?" September [17? 8?], 1870, Sunday Mercury

9. Ordinance passed regarding reassessment of water rates. Ca. 1858, no source.

10. "Had nothing to say." Birkinbine, in letter to Council specifying repairs needed, did not mention the scarcity of water, which the writer found "somewhat remarkable." No date, no source.


1. Ordinance for Water Department appropriation of $145, 810, passed January 27, 1858. Lists 43 different items covering a wide range of salaries, items, plant renovations, etc., with amount appropriated for each. Two other undated articles report on similar (if not the same) appropriations. No source for any of these.

2. Nominations from Chief Engineer of permit clerks, messenger, inspectors, and purveyors. No date, no source.

3. Note on report to Brooklyn Water Works made by Mr. Graff, "ex-engineer of the Philadelphia Works," and others. December 12, 1858, no source.

4. Article on three comets visible in the sky. September 30, 1858, Inquirer. Second article includes a list of known comets.

5. Our Water Supply. Editorial regarding need for adequate supply of water for fire fighting purposes. Mentions problems with steam fire engines connecting with fire plugs. January 25, [no year], Evening Star.

6. The Water Supply -- The Condition of the Works. With statistics about pumping from various stations, noting that the supply continues to be limited. August 23, 1867. Ledger and Transcript. A second copy on 150.

7. Distances from New York to some of the most important places in the United States. No date, no source.

8. Description of Croton Aqueduct board, serving New York City. No date, no source.


1. List of water rates for Philadelphia. Refers to ordinance of March 15, 1866. No date, no source.

2. Advertisement for bid proposals for supplies for Water Department, "as will be required for 1859," including pipe, iron castings, brass castings, lead, gasket, coal, oil, tallow. Probably January 1859, no source.

3. The Water Duplicate for 1869. Water rents to be collected, by ward. Total of $710,933.40, an increase of more than $30,000 over 1868. January 26, 1869, Ledger and Transcript.

4. The Supply of water and the Water Tax. Letter from "West Philadelphia," complaining about the lack of a regular supply for that section during that summer. September 30, 1858, Public Ledger.

5. The Water Supply. Condition of the Works. Complete version of article on p. 129, number 6. Adds that heavy rains damaged Spring Garden works, and the lining of the Corinthian Reservoir sprang a leak.

6. "Fairmount. The business of the Schuylkill Navigation Company has been resumed, and the boats are passed through the locks as fast as they can arrive. Although there is yet no water passing over the dam, yet we believe the steamer now at work can keep the basins full of water pumped from blow the dam. The Chief engineer seems to have profited by hints conveyed through the press, as we notice he has had a large scow built at Fraley's Fairmount dock, and has placed a dredge at the mud banks, opposite the forebay, so that we hope these unsightly objects will soon be removed." No date, no source.

7. Water Meters. Editorial regarding Graff's suggestion, in annual report, of the tremendous waste of water and the need for devising a way of charging for water that might lessen that waste. Writer argues that health benefits of this use of water might outweigh the benefits of metering: "What will be the effect of enforcing upon the frugal mind the constant idea that every drop of water used costs something? Will there not be a decline in the number of baths used among stingy or poor people? When one understands that every time he washes his face there will be a charge against him, he may be inclined to be mean upon the subject, and may allow his countenance to remain dirty longer than it should. Would there not be a marked decrease in the use of water about many houses, yards, and pavements, which are now, in consequence of the abundance of the useful fluid, kept clean? What is to be the sanitary effect of diminished cleanliness of persons, and of an increase of dirt about our habitations and abodes? After all, the waste water finds its way into the gutters, which it helps to wash, and into the sewers, which are kept clean by the abundance of the flow. Even with dishonest contractors to clean out streets, and with a neglectful Highway Department, Philadelphia has, since the opening of the Schuylkill Water Works in 1800 [note: actually opened in 1801], suffered less from contagious and epidemic diseases than any other city in the United States. [Note: is this true??] We have since that time gone through experiences of cholera and yellow fever, with less loss of life than in other cities. Are we not indebted for this comparative exemption from sickness and death to the abundance of our water supply? Can we expect to do as well when, by an avaricious plan, we are compelled to buy our water by the gallon? Would it not be better to spend any amount of money to furnish water to an unlimited extent for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing purposes to every citizen, than to risk the consequences of making water dear?" March 7, 1869, Sunday Dispatch.

8. Meeting in Convention. Election for Chief Engineer: Birkinbine, 75 votes, Graff, 17 votes, Samuel Ogden (Ogdin), 10 votes. July 1, 1858. No source.

9. "Our City Letter. Our water supply and the new store reservoirs..." In support of Birkinbine proposal for more storage capacity. During heavy rain, "Spring garden works had their tunnel filled up with sand, the flow of water stopped, the works badly damaged and the Fairmount works could not pump for several days because the water was too high for the wheels and pumps to work...." Result was a shortage of water. "We shall be obliged some time to build these store reservoirs, and the longer we put off doing so the more liable shall we be to such troubles as that which has just happened. We need these reservoirs also to enable the impurities in the hydrant water to subside before the water is sent through the pipes for use. At present every rain-storm gives us cloudy or muddy water. Any expenditure we may now make to provide ourselves with ample water storage will be judicious and praiseworthy." No date, no source. Almost definitely referring to same event as article on 129:6, which date was August 23, 1867.

10. Two copies of advertisements, "Water supply to Germantown," with Chief Engineer Frederic Graff urging "most rigid economy" on those supplied by Germantown Works, as the pool supplying the works "alarmingly low." September 27, 1870

11. "The Water Supply. The wrecking tug Fuller, with two seventeen-inch pumps, twenty-three inch stroke, throws 1,393,920 gallons of water per day into the Fairmount basins, at a cost of $500. Four first-class steam fire-engines forced 1,728,000 gallons per day, at a cost of $200, were the city to pay for fuel and food for men." No date, no source.

12. The Water Flows. Residents of West Green street made a "hubbub" when water stopped flowing because of a mistake of a workman, who neglected to turn on the water after repairs were made to a main. The residents denounced Birkinbine, "censuring him for incompetency because he could not anticipate or know that a laborer had been careless."

13. Erie Water Works. "The pure waters of Lake Erie" will soon supply the citizens of Erie with a supply, thanks to a system designed by H. P. M. Birkinbine. No date, reprinted from Scientific American.

14. Advertisement, resolution from Common Council for a loan for the "extension of the Water Works, for the purchase of League island, and for building an Ice Boat." Ordinance to be considered April 9, 1868. No date, no source. 1868/04

15. Chestnut Hill Reservoir, Boston. Description of this "gigantic work." No date, no source.

16. No water in the Twenty-fourth Ward. Editorial. "In the last three weeks the people of the Twenty-fourth ward have been without water in aggregate more than half the time, and for several days together. With incendiarism so rife, with the midsummer upon us, when water for man and beast is doubly indispensable, with every engagement on the part of the city to supply water for which it has enforced payment in advance, such a condition of things is equally dangerous and disgraceful, and demands not only the prompt, but the thorough and effective attention of the proper authorities."

17. Insufficient Supply of Water. How Remedied. Letter to Public Ledger, no date, from B. F. D., concerning water problems in Twenty-fourth Ward.


1. Select and Common Councils "meeting in convention" elected heads of city departments; including Birkinbine. A resolution was passed that, in essence, accused Birkinbine of fixing the prices for Water Department parts purchased…. No date, no source

2. The trial of the turbine wheels. Interesting Experiments. Up to this writing six turbine wheels had been tested at Fairmount. Two from Pennsylvania, one each from Texas, New York, Massachusetts an New Hampshire. No date, no source

3. Most Wonderful. Workmen blasting uncovered a spring in the rock at Fairmount. "We understand that the Watering Committee will have the spring so improved by art, that all visitors to the classic headwaters of Philadelphia may have an opportunity to slake their thirst with a first-class "Fairmount cocktail," very suitable in these days of temperance." No date, no source.

4. Water meters and drinking hydrants. Councils Committee on water examines six plans for drinking hydrants and meter invented in England. No date, no source

5. Important to the city. Schuylkill Navigation Company, Fairmount, City Councils. No date, no source

6. Birkinbine and his Axe. Editorial about employees fired by Birkinbine. 1859?, Ledger?

7. Fairmount. 100-foot diameter fountain completed, using a temporary jet water thrown nearly 60 feet. April [29?], 1859, no source.

8. Letter to Ledger from Job R. Barry, engineer of the Fairmount Water Works, regarding the action of Councils recommending the reappointment of the writer and Mr. Garrett to positions from which Birkinbine had previously fired them. September 12, 1859, Ledger. In brief article following, " A Nice Man.", with no date, no source, the editorialist elaborates: "A Committee of Councils…to investigate the matter declare that Birkinbine's conduct was tyrannical and mean. The sole cause of the discharge of Barry was envy of the superior mechanical talents of the latter, who had invented "an airing apparatus" for working the pumps, superior to anything Birkinbine could do, although he concealed Barry's invention and endeavored to take the credit to himself. The committee sustain these facts in toto. The report proves that this good Christian Birkinbine, who is too pious to allow the fountains to play on Sunday, was actuated in his conduct to Barry by envy, spite, uncharitablenss and unchristianness. Had this report been made three weeks ago, Birkinbine would not have been re-elected." 1859

9. The Water Works. South basin of Kensington works drained so mud could be removed. North basin cleaned last summer of nine inches of mud. Hoped this would keep the water from becoming offensive in warm weather, as it has "for several summers past." Schuylkill Navigation Company withdrew objections to construction of new mill houses on mound dam. Laying of 30 inch main in Broad Street to commence next week. April 14, 1859, no source.

10. Water Pipe. Thirty inch main laid in Broad Street, near Race. Trench dug 12 ½ feet deep to go under culvert. Weight of main from Fairmount Reservoir to Prime Street: 3,000 tons, cost $100,000. First of August set for trial of new turbine wheels for "new mill house"

11. The Improvements at Fairmount. Blasting of rock near the head gates for making a walk to people can ascend to the top of the reservoir. May [26?] 1859, Ledger

12. Graff "considered worthy and an energetic gentleman" in his candidacy for Chief Engineer's position.

13. Model Turbine Wheels. Competition for two to be placed at New Mill House. Date and source illegible.

14. Letter to the Inquirer, no date, complaining about the "vandalism" at Fairmount basin, due to the blasting of rocks "to improve the place and to add to its natural beauties, and yet the most ornamental portion of the Park is thus ruined by the folly or the cupidity of somebody…" No date.

15. Letter to Ledger, re: letter of previous day by "Bung," [see also 131:27], titled Schuylkill Water Works, complaining about the changes at Fairmount: new Mill house, blasting rocks, ruining southward view. 1859.

16. Inspector of Fire Plugs in second ward, Mr. C. McCormack, appointed by Birkinbine, "after nearly a year in office."

17. Advertisement for a meeting in support of J. R. Barry, late engineer at Fairmount. July 6, 1859, no source.

18. The Water department. Reports on new mains, heading North from Kensington to Frankford and south to the lower sections of the city. No date, no source

19. Birkinbine Reproved. Councils ordered Birkinbine to run the fountains at Fairmount on Sundays. "he was not elected to do missionary service on the part of fanatics and narrow-minded people, or to transfer the Water department into a college of the propaganda fide. Let him attend to his own business and make himself no longer ridiculous by attempts to subvert his office to sectarian ends." No date, no source

20. Important injury at Fairmount, Scarcity of water expected. Pump Nos. 3 and 4 burst. Birkinbine's airing apparatus blamed. Loss of Barry as engineer, and discharge of Garrett for testifying in his favor, left no competent engineer at Fairmount. No date, no source

21. Will Mr. Birkinbine Explain? Why fountains not permitted to be played on Sunday? "Is the Water Department of the city to become an appendage of the YMCA?…Let us not have any of this Puritan nonsense about the management of the affairs of the city…"

22. "Notice to Quit" - City officials, including Birkinbine, urged to quit by People's party. No date, no source

23. The Water Works. 30-inch main for lower section of city, several Fairmount wheels rotting, Spring Garden Works, water rents may be paid Jan 1st. Dec. 12, 1859

24. Exhibition of working models of turbines requested. Frankford near receiving full supply of water, thanks to extension of 12-inch main "as far as the bridge at the foot of main street." Completion by July 1st certain, residents to celebrate, perhaps on the Fourth of July. No date, no source

25. A New Fire Plug. New one invented by Mr. A.C. Jones of Philadelphia, to accommodate needs of new steam fire engines. Description. No date, no source

26. An Old Claim Revived. Of Judge Peters for land in Mantua on west side of Schuylkill flooded when Fairmount Dam built. No date, no source

The Fairmount Water-works. Letter to the Public Ledger from "Bung" complaining about New Mill House, blasting etc. No date, no source. Probably 1859: See Page 131:15


1. Brochure for "Wilson's first premium Electric gas Lighter…patented August 16, 1859. Four pages, 7.5 x 11 inches, back page blank.

2. Silsby, Mynderse & Co.'s Steam Fire Engin. Illustration and brief descriptive article. May 29, 1859, Scientific American.

3. Hoadley's feed-water heater for boilers. Illustration and brief descriptive article. Scientific American, no date, but perhaps same as 132:1


1. Review of the weather, 1869 and 1870. No date, no source

2. Clay sarcophagus of Henry Clay designed by Frederic Graff. No date, no source

3. Advertisement for American Academy of Music fundraising concert, February 17. Frederic Graff on committee of directors. No date, no source

4. The Brooklyn Common Council: the Open Canal on the Water Works. Meeting to consider closed conduit rather than an open canal, from Baiseley's pond to Jamaica creek. No date, no source

5. A Working Opera. Long review of Huguenots, an opera at Covent Garden, London. 1858, no source, reprinted from Chamber's Journal.

6. Naval Intelligence. Report on tests of two boilers in he San Jacinto [a steamship?]
No date, no source

7. The Quickest Speed in Everything." [and other records] Human Horse, clipper ships, ocean steamers., river steamers, rowing, sculling, fire engine playing, the prize ring, cricket, locomotives, birds, velocity in flying; billiards, leaping man, leaping horse. "From the Clipper of January 7, 1859". No other source or date. Continued on 134.


1. Council minutes, mention of Twenty-fourth Ward water supply. Petition from Cincinnati man to offering to extinguish all fires in Philadelphia for $200,000 per annum. Communication from Birkinbine calling Common Council report "unfair, unjust, and absolutely false." Gives reasons for discharging the men. Discussion in Council, most against Birkinbine, summarized. [See also 131] October 6, 1859, no source.

2. Time trial of steam fire engines at state fair. Three articles. One dated September 20, 1859.

3. Council minutes, Ledger and Transcript, March 11, 1859. Communication from Chief Engineer regarding the claim of Schuylkill Navigation Company regarding the extension of the dam for the New Mill House.

4. Advertisement for ordinance vetoed by Mayor, August 22, 1871, but passed over the Mayor's objection by both Councils, requesting money in relation to new engines Schuylkill and works, Fairmount dam, reservoirs at Belmont, Delaware works, East Park, large connecting mains.

5. Graff: What he has to say about that large reservoir [East Park]. Graff's explanation of why the reservoir is necessary and why it can't b constructed like a railroad embankment, "by careless contractors, of materials indiscriminately taken from a cutting, and placed upon a bank by a temporary railroad, but must be composed of carefully selected material, thoroughly consolidated, puddled, and lined…" Written "nearly 22 months" after November 30, 1869, placing this article ca. September 1871. No source.

6. The Water Appropriation. Editorial supporting the Mayor's veto but noting that because of political exigencies - that it will support corrupt cronies - it will have to be passed. Ca. 1871, no source.

7. Something for the People at Last. Editorial noting that the Chief Engineer will now turn his attention to "affording the citizens an ample supply of water. Well, the people will be rejoiced to hear that they are to be attended to in this matter, even though it is after the more important public duty of rewarding the office beggars. No date, no source.


1. Letter to A. W. Craven, Croton Aqueduct Engineer, from Cambridge University Professor E.N. Horsford, regarding problems with the taste and smell of the water. Reprinted in New York Times, no date. Letter dated August 25, 1859.

2. Value of railroads, canals, and summary of the present elements of Pennsylvania prosperity, as included in a pamphlet, "A review of the relative commercial importance of the cities of New York and Philadelphia, by George W. Baker, cited in unnamed newspaper, undated. Ca. 1859.

3. Birkinbine, Bullock, and Brass. Investigating committee formed to look into accusation from Councilmen Jobber Bullock that Birkinbine was stealing "brass cocks, rings, pins, and so forth" and then reselling them to the Department. Bullock, probably not coincidentally, was interested in becoming Mayor. No date, no source. See 131:1

4. Letter to Public Ledger from B. C. regarding Schuylkill Navigation Company taking issue with extension of works, New Mill House, on mound dam. Date illegible, Ledger.

5. The Delaware Terminus of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Letter to the editor from S. K Hoxsie. Proposal for bridge ver Schuylkill, etc. Ca. 1859. Inquirer, no date. See 146 for second copy.

6. The Engineer of the Water Works. Letter to Inquirer signed "Fairmount," in support of the re-election of Birkinbine.

7. Important to the City. Re: Schuylkill Navigation Company and the construction of the New Mill House. No date, no source.


1. Improvements in the water supply, considered in connection with the question of employment of labor. "…The point which strikes most forcibly, after an examination of all the statistics of the Department, is that the demand for water increases faster than the supply. The increase of our city goes on at such a prodigious rate, that during the years 1859 and 1860, service pipe was laid (by the request and at the expense of the owners) in thirty-eight miles of new streets; and this vast amount does not include many miles of supply mains, laid at the expense of the city for permanent benefit…. The direct result of such an enormous extension of service pipe has necessarily been to diminish the effective head of water afforded by the works, under an increased consumption. A corresponding extension of the means of supply, both in machinery and reservoirs, therefore becomes necessary…[since city has become so large, "great objections" to Extending the works with the New Mill House at Fairmount]…. "The whole of the Schuylkill, between Manayunk and the dam, answers in many respects the purposes of a sewer. Without entering too much into disagreeable particulars, we shall merely mention that the river down to the dam is often covered with a scum from the various print works at Manayunk (when in operation); also, between the 1st of January and the 1st of July, of this year, one hundred pieces of carrion, dead horses, dogs, &c, were fished out of the river by men employed for that purpose by the Chief Engineer…." Further discusses need for service for northern, higher parts of the city. Mentions that Manayunk has no water service, exposing it to "great danger from fires." … "The central portions of the city are pretty well off, though even in them the water fails in the upper stories. But in other parts of the city the case is very different. It is supposed that from manufactories alone an increase in [water] rents of near $50,000 could be obtained if the supply was what it should be. The people of Kensington get an insufficient supply of water, and what they get is often very foul, as the wharf is pumped directly into the mains. West Philadelphia is liable to be burned down at any time, as the supply is so irregular that many people will not take the water at all, but rely on wells. In Manayunk an Roxborough 12,000 people are almost without water; in Manayunk the evil is especially great, as the wells are contaminated and the town liable to destruction by fire…."
No date, no source, Ca. 1861

2. Manuscript letter on blue paper, letterhead of "Department for supplying the city with water," with small engraving of Fairmount, dated January 10, 1860, from G. Neil to Frederic Graff. Reporting to Graff, ex-engineer, on the doings at the Fairmount works under Birkinbine.

3. Small diagram of _____???? No date, no source.

4. New Inventions. [John] Ericsson's Improved Hot Air Engine. With illustrations and descriptive article. No date, no source., probably from Scientific American.


1. Turbine Wheels. Letter to Public Ledger, about the competition for best turbine wheel, text of notice published in Scientific American on June 4, 1859. After six months of trials Jonval turbine, built by E[mile] Geyelin, chosen to be used in the Fairmount works, even though turbine of J. L. Stevenson judged to be the best.

2. Letter to Public Ledger, from "Anti-Lager," re: blasting of rocks at Fairmount, and asking for more facilities for drinking water from the fountains at Fairmount. May 24, [no year]

3. Advertisement for bids for supplies for the works for 1860. Iron pipe branches &c., iron castings, brass castings, lead: "amount required will be, say about 100,000 pounds…" , gasket "about 5,500 pounds", coal (more than 7,000 tons), oil (sperm or lard oil, about 500 gallons), tallow (about 4,000 pounds). Bids due February 21, 1860. No date, no source. See 130:20 for advertisement for 1859 supplies.

4. The Schuylkill Water Works. Praise for new Cornish engine. Description of the engine and its operation. "…54,900 gallons of water for every 100 lbs. of coal used." No date, no source.

5. Advertisement related to auditing executors of the estate of Ann M. Graff, April 19, 1859. Frederic Graff one of the executors. No date, no source.

6. Laying of water mains on Broad and Prime streets completed. [November 3, 1859?]

7. No pavilion this summer at Fairmount, for music, as was adopted last summer [by Councils]. When mound dam completed promenade will be extended and widened over the new mill house. April 21, 1860, [Ledger?]

8. Birkinbine Alarmed. "Birkinbine is scared. He has unchained the fountains in Fairmount Park on Sunday. This is in clear violation of the Chief Engineer's religious principles. He is fully convinced that the fountains are sinful when they play while the church-bells are ringing." Editorial goes on to say that he relaxed his prohibition because he thought it might jeopardize his re-election. Also says that he has put forth three "decoy" candidates to help take votes away from Frederic Graff. Encourages Council members to ignore the decoys and vote for Graff. [June? Jan?] 17, 1860, Mercury.

9. Letter to Public Ledger, signed 'Honor," lauding decision to issue a detailed report of the turbine trials. [June 6?], 1860, Ledger.

10. Behind the Municipal Scenes. A Scrabble for Important Offices. Editorial about election of department heads. Very amusing view of this process. Water Department Chief Engineer choices are Graff Jr., Birkinbine, and O. H. P. Parker. "Birkinbine is understood to have the inside track for the caucus nomination, notwithstanding his notorious incompetency, silly bigotry and decided unpopularity. He is using all the means at his command and lavishing promises of office and fat jobs in every direction where he supposes the prospect of patronage will favor his interest. The re-election of such a functionary would be disgraceful….. Mr. G[raff]'s management of the affairs of the department was honest, skillful and laborious. He is a sort of hereditary engineer, and knows more about the Fairmount water-works than any individual who can be mentioned in the same connection. His long and thorough experience, faithful service and first-rate administrative qualities, eminently fit him for taking charge of the works, and completing, in an economical and satisfactory manner, the improvements over which. Birkinbine has blundered and floundered, until nobody knows the limit of the cost or the character of the work that has been performed….." June 3, 1860, Mercury.

11. The Water-works. Action of the Finance Committee. Discussion of completion of various improvements, including Fairmount, Spring garden, Kensington, Corinthian reservoir; also some reference to Schuylkill Navigation Company. March 14, 1860,

12. Birkinbine. Editorial claims that Birkinbine deliberately underestimated costs of improvements and is incompetent. Date illegible [probably June 1860; see 137:13 for same meeting discussed], Dispatch

13. A Blow at Birkinbine. Editorial praises Select Councilmen for denouncing Birkinbine's "false estimates." June 10, 1860. Mercury.

14. The New Mill House at Fairmount. Two undated letters to The Dispatch, signed by M., and one article from the Ledger, February 16, 1861, regarding the "extraordinary expenses incurred in laying the foundation." Mill house, if finished, to cost $54,000 above initial estimate. "The total cost of raising the Corinthian avenue reservoir was $65,300, and the laying of the main to the First Ward $126,172.10."


1. The Chief Engineer of the Water Department. Scathing editorial denouncing Birkinbine and requesting that the "dominant party in Councils" to pause and examine his record "before deciding to inflict him upon us for another term." Mercury, May 27, 1860.

2. Extension of the Water Works. Letter to Public Ledger, signed "Make Haste Slowly," about the money requested by Birkinbine. Ledger, March 5, 1860.

3. Jonval Turbines. Description of the turbines under construction at the I. P. Morris works. No date, no source.

4. The Fairmount Water Works. About the turbine experiments, commenting on the "inadequate" report on the trials. The text of report, undated, perhaps in June 1860, on the same page, along with letter from O. H. P. Parker, chairman of the testing committee, to Scientific American, March 1860, disputing some of the magazine's claims and offering a full report at the conclusion of the tests.

5. Small articles on lining of Corinthian Reservoir and construction of New Mill House, no date, ca. 1860. "During the present year nearly 90,000 feet of water pipe have been laid by the Department, nearly all of which has been put down in streets improved within the past eighteen months. The erection of new houses in the outer portions of the city keeps the Water Department busy in attending to the applications for water pipes, as the pipe has to be laid before the streets are paved." No date, no source, ca. 1860

6. "The Water Department. The number of men employed by the department during 1859, worked in the aggregate the following number of days: laborers, 65,000 days; carpenters, 2,000 do.; masons, stone-cutters and bricklayers, 11,000; horses and carts, 5,500; painters, 500; machinists, 8,000. During the year 22 ½ miles of water pipe were laid, exclusive of the main in Broad street, which makes the number of miles laid, since consolidation, 65. From this it will be seen how rapidly the city has grown in the portions that were looked upon as entirely rural at the tome of consolidation." [Ledger?], April 20, 1860.

7. The Water Job a Failure. Loan for $350,000 defeated; $64,000 approved, as recommended by the Sunday Transcript. March 18, [1860], Transcript. Other brief notes about this loan.

8. Birkinbine provided Argus, [February 14?], 1860, with copy of history of the works and the department's annual report. 1860, Argus.

9. Report on the new air-ship, City of New York, the largest balloon ever made.

10. Interesting Statistics of the Water Department. For 1859, probably, though no date is given.


1. For the Digestion of Councilmen. The Water and Highway Departments of the City. Editorial from Mercury urging defeat of Birkinbine, and complaining of the corruption in the Highway Department, which includes interesting information on paving. June 24, 1860. Mercury.

2. A Large Iron Casting. Made at I. P. Morris, Towne & Co, of the Port Richmond Iron Works. Made largest casting ever made in state, a anvil block for a team hammer for the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company.

3. Table showing mortality by ward in Philadelphia, 1860? No source.

4. Testing of Wrought Iron Girders. Extensive Experiments to Test the Strength of Iron and Steel. No source, no date. Probably from Scientific American.

8. The Home Guard Bill, State Legislature passed May 16, 1861. Inquirer, no date.

9. Colonel Siegel's Retreat. Splendid Military Movements… Battler near Carthage, Missouri. Reprinted From St. Louis Democrat, July 12, [1861?] Includes diagrams of the battles.

10. Boiler Explosion at Richmond. Serious Accident. Two Men Killed. At Penn Works of Messrs. I. P. Morris & Co., Richmond Street, near Cumberland. No source, no date.


1. Mismanagement of the Fairmount Water-Works. Communication signed "Mechanist" following up on one of October 21st. Long discussion of perceived problems with water power at times of low flow, the new water wheels (New Mill house?). Sunday Dispatch, no date. See other Mechanist letter, 144:3

2. The Kensington Works Purified with Lime. Used to neutralize the organic matter in the reservoir. No source, date illegible.

3. Two brief articles on the operation of the various water works for March (no year given), and description of recent improvements to Fairmount Water Works, and Fairmount Park. Ledger?, no date.

4. Cornerstone laid for new standpipe at Fairmount. One of the piers for the new railroad bridge over the Schuylkill completed. Ledger, date illegible.

5. Water Supply of Boston. New aqueduct from Dudley Pond to Lake Cochituate opened last Friday. No source, no date.

6. Performance of the Brooklyn [Water Works] Pumping Engine. Ca. 1860, probably Scientific American.

7. Committee on Water [of Councils} visited to New York to examine water works, including Brooklyn. Will recommend that 21st Ward works be constructed on the same plan. No source, September 3, 1861.

8. Improvements at Fairmount. Standpipe in place, in connection with new Turbine wheels. New Mill House progressing rapidly.

9. Newspaper transcript of meeting of aldermen from some unnamed city, probably Brooklyn, mentions Brooklyn and Croton water supplies. No source, no date.

10. Extension of the Water Works. Committee on Water Works of Council, recommends doing away with Kensington (Delaware) Water Works, and serving neighborhood with Schuylkill Works. No source, March 3[?], 1860. Another longer article about his project, citing report from Chief Cassin, ca. 1862.


1. Report from Common Council [of Brooklyn?], January 23, 1860, discussion of water supply. Mentions James Kirkwood, Engineer. No source, no date.

2. The Fairmount Water Works. More Improvements. Replacing dilapidated wooden steps with inclined planes. New Mill House. Turbine experiments. Abandonment of Kensington Works recommended. "The main sewer now being constructed by the city along Pennsylvania avenue will be so far completed in a short time as to cut off nearly all of the sewers now emptying into Fairmount dam. When this work is finished, all the drainage now flowing from the prison and other public institutions into the forebay will be deposited below the dam, and thus remove a nuisance which has long been complained of. Ledger, February 18, 1860? 1861?

3. The alteration of the breast wheels at Fairmount to turbines. Cannot be done until completion of new mill house. Ledger, 1861/02/17

4. Water Department and the Unemployed Poor. Letter to the Press, signed "Caution," complaining that contracts for new Fairmount pumps going "to another State, which contains many disloyal citizens. Press, 1861/07/18

5. Accounts of the Water Department for 1860, with actual expenditures for 28 different items, including salaries and supplies. No source, no date. 1861 ca.

6. Supply of water to American cities. Table 1860 ca. Inquirer, Year not given, Monday Nov. 5.

7. "A Large Pond of Water." Corinthian Avenue completed to allow 22 feet 9 inches of water. Will be 25 feet deep when completed. No source, 1861/06/05

8. The Water Works of Philadelphia. 1858 pumpage for Fairmount, Schuylkill (Spring Garden), Delaware (Kensington) and Twenty-fourth Ward. No source, no date.

9. Operations of the Water Department. Pumpage for 1859 for Fairmount, Schuylkill (Spring Garden), Delaware (Kensington) and Twenty-fourth Ward. No source, no date.


1. Comparison of New York and Philadelphia Water Works, in relation to need for more water in Philadelphia, and loan to complete construction of new mill house. No source, no date.

2. Long letter, no source, no date, signed "M. R. Moore," explaining why Geyelin's Jonval turbine was chosen over Stevenson's turbine to replace the breast wheels at Fairmount. Also discusses turbine experiments. In answer to "allegation" of Mr. Neal that Geyelin's wheel was judged second best. No source, no date.

3. Accounts of the Water Department for 1861, and recapitulation of expenditures under various water loans. No source, no date.

4. Failed. Editorial lauding the Watering Committee of Councils, for refusing Birkinbine's request for a $350,000 loan. "There can be little doubt that in the Water Department Birkinbine is the Wrong man in the Wrong Place. Sunday Dispatch, 1860/03/18

5. Philadelphia Water Works. Monthly pumpage for 1858. No source, no date.

6. Work that is needed. An Appeal to the Authorities. Letter to Public Ledger, signed "A Laborer," asking that laborer's be paid $1.00 a day out of a special loan to extend the water supply, build reservoirs, pave streets and grade parks. Says more storage a necessity. Ledger, 1861/07/10

7. Increased capacity of the works. At Kensington (Delaware) Works. No source, no date.

8. Blunder at Fairmount Water Works. Article, following up on one published "in your last issue…"Management of the City Water Works," that claims the entire system a Fairmount is defective. No source, no date.


1. "Minute" description of new Jonval turbines at Fairmount. No source, no date.

2. "Strong effort" to be made in Councils to authorize construction of water works at Flat Rock, to serve Manayunk, Twenty-first, Twenty-second wards. Ledger, 1861/07/17

3. Excerpt from statistics in report made "yesterday" by Birkinbine [Annual report for 1860) No source, 1861/02/27.

4. The Water We Drink. Fairmount Park. Letter, signed P., regarding the formation of Fairmount Park and the wharves near Fairmount. Andrew Miller, a councilman who voted against the city acquiring the wharves, "asked leave to place on the Journal a protest against the ordinance, and there it is in print, as funny a paper as ever appeared to public view. He gives a hideous picture of the old wharves, and describes them as "four acres of quagmire;" he also says, "the whole of it has been made by filling in the dirt and offal of the neighborhood. Again, "There is two water courses passing through it into Fairmount dam; one of which-perhaps both-must be kept open for the accommodation of the adjoining property. All the hill side between landing avenue and the railroad, containing from ten to fifteen acres, is nearly filled with houses, the offal from which has no other way to pass but into the Fairmount dam." After placing this rather unpleasant statement before a half million of lovers of pure water, Mr. Miller consoles us with this reflection: It is not pretended that this land, or these houses, do any injury to the water." Mayor vetoed the ordinance. "…The water we drink is at stake. These wharves are at the very fountain from which we draw water daily, for the wants of half a million of souls. The front on Landing avenue will now, perhaps, be sold out in lots, and be soon covered with buildings of all kinds, with their cesspools emptying into the basin. The present owners will realize their money [that they would have gotten from the City's purchase] from sales, and a hundred colonists may cover the ground within a year or two….Mr. Graff, so late as 1857, says, "the impurities thrown out from the east side of the river cannot be sufficiently deflected from the banks to reach the rapid current of the river, but hug the shores, as such matters generally will, and are carried almost directly toward the mouth of the fore-bay of the water-works, there to be pumped up and supplied to our citizens." … Sunday Dispatch, no date.

5. Advertisement for bids for iron pipe, iron castings, brass castings, lead, gasket, coal, oil, tallow needed by the various water works for 1862. March 21, 1861. No source, no date.

6. Letter to the editor of the True American, incomplete, regarding the insufficient head of the Fairmount Water Works. No source, no date.

7. Letter to The Press, signed "Dots.", criticizing Birkinbine's 1859 annual report because it glosses over the poor estimates and resulting cost overruns he made of the projects described. Press, 1860/02/23


1. Editorial about another city's Water Works (perhaps Boston? Brooklyn? "Commercial water works") and the nuisance of tearing up the pavement to lay the water pipes. Mentions Philadelphia and the insufficient head in the system. No source, no date.

2. An admonition to the Future. Editorial against Birkinbine. "The Watering Committee of Councils have a lively time of it. The task of managing Birkinbine is like that of driving a sorrel pig up a blind alley…" Sunday Transcript, 1860/09/23

3. Letter from "Mechanist," responding to one from "Locomotive," pointing out problems in the Fairmount Works extension, New Mill House, etc. Sunday Dispatch, no date.
See "Locomotive" letter, 126:1; another letter from Mechanist, 140:1.

4. Small articles on leak in Corinthian Reservoir, completion of stone tower at Fairmount. No source, no date.

5. Water in Kensington. Editorial regarding terrible water in Kensington, with mention of Sewers, Gunner's Run, disease. "…Whether this [new Delaware water works project, completed in 1850] enterprise was in order to give certain parties profitable jobs cannot be known; but the plan from the first was deemed to be objectionable by persons who believed that the refuse and discharges from the large number of vessels at Port Richmond above, and the washings from the shipping and the common sewers below, would combine so as to render the Delaware water taken from any point opposite Kensington impure and foul. [Since the works were completed in 1850],Every summer a complaint comes from the houses supplied by the Delaware works. The basins have been cleansed again and again; the pipes leading out into the Delaware have been changed and extended with but a temporary relief; and the evils of the water system of the vicinity seem to be chronic. At present it is said that a painful and dangerous form of dysentery exists in the region supplied by the works at Gunner's Run, and the water is blamed for the consequences." Includes text of handbill posted by S. Atkinson, M.D., blaming the bad water on the fact that the "dirty stinking pipes" [sewers] had not been cleansed since Consolidation. He recommended opening the fire plugs and cleaning out the pipes, and then the water supply would improve. Sunday Dispatch, 1862/03/09

6. The Turbine Water Wheel Discussion. Select Council to reply to Mr. Neal's minority report regarding awarding of turbine to Geyelin. [Month? 12, 1860]

7. Councils Committee on City Property recommended the purchase of 60-acre strip along Schuylkill, from Wire Bridge to just above Girard Avenue. Still needed approval of full Councils. Price between $160,000 and $180,000. "Upon the plan of the city, there are fifteen streets running through this strip of land, and it is estimated that the cost of grading said streets, whenever they shall be opened, would cost the city more then the entire amount asked for the property. If the ground is turned into a public park, it is probable that a number of fine improvements will be made on the brow of the hill, the situation of the ground being most admirable for the erection of fine country seats…" Also mentions that Geyelin has been awarded turbine contract; and Landing avenue to be graded and paved, between Smith's rolling mill to Pennsylvania avenue…
No Source, 1860/05/31


1. Brooklyn City News. Excursion to the Engine House at Ridgewood. Speeches made by Mayor, Councilmen, etc. Brooklyn Water Works. No source, no date.

2. Strength of Boiler Iron. Probably Scientific American, no date.

3. Suit of Commercial Bank vs. hydraulic engineer Albert Stein, regarding the water works of an unnamed city. The engineer of the Philadelphia water works (probably Graff) is cited in the article.

4. Letter to unnamed newspaper from correspondent in Paris, "Malakoff," regarding the reorganization of city government and contemplated public improvements. No source, 1859/12/29

5. United States Census of 1850 compared to 1860, by state. Lists Free and Slave . No source, no date.

6. Frederic Graff designed sarcophagus for remains of Henry Clay. No source, no date.

7. United States Census figures for Philadelphia, by ward, including manufacturing establishments, probably 1860. No source, no date.

8. Dimensions of the principal European churches. In persons, and square yards. No source, no date.


1. The other side of the question. Birkinbine's dismissal of Barry and Garrett. Letter from him dated September 15, 1859, giving his side of this controversy. Also, small article about a petition for extension of Fairmount Park, from Wire Bridge to Girard Avenue, "signed by several hundreds of our heaviest taxpayers." No source, no date.

2. West Philadelphia Water Works. Repairs planned. No source, 1859/06/04

3. Difficulties at the Water Works. Letter from Job. R. Barry, concurred with by W. Garrett, "Late Engineers at the Fairmount Works," decrying the unjustness of their dismissal by Birkinbine. Sunday Transcript, 1859/07/31

4. Advertisement, signed "Equity," refuting Birkinbine's explanation of the dismissal of Job Barry and Washington Garrett from Fairmount, which had been published in the North American, September 17, 1859. North American, probably September 20, 1859. The exact advertisement appeared in the Ledger, 1859/09/20.

5. Two other short articles about Birkinbine, Barry, Garrett. No source, no date.


1. The Croton Water is Pure. Chemical Examinations by Messrs. Chilton and Torrey. Their Report. Dated August 25, 1859, to Croton Aqueduct Board, [New York City Water Supply]. No source, no date. See also page 152, 153. These are probably all different pieces of the same article.

2. Report of the special committee [of Councils] in the case of Mr. Job R. Barry. Hearing held May 26, 1859. Concluded that "Mr. Barry's statements of the transaction is the truthful one…" No source, no date.

3. New Mill House delayed. No source, no date.

4. Cutting off water. Register of Water instructing Purveyors in each ward to cut off water to those who had not paid their water rents for 1859. No source, 1859/10/22

5. Councils in Motion. Organization and election of officers. Sunday Dispatch, 1859/05/15

6. Letter, signed, "old Citizen," lauding the decision of Frederic Graff to become a candidate for Chief Engineer. Evening Journal, 1859/06/14

7. Letter from Job Barry explaining his view of Birkinbine and his dismissal from Fairmount. No source, no date.

8. Cochituate Water Works aqueduct broke, affecting Boston water supply. No source, no date.

9. Heads of Departments. About Water Basins. Letter, from "An Observer," about the water supply, and critical of various aspects of it. Philadelphia Daily News, no date. Second copy on 148.


1. The Department of Water,. Editorial regarding the department's importance, praising Birkinbine, with extract from his 1859 Annual Report. "We might refer in this connection to the enormous coal fraud in the water department during the democratic administration, which was ferreted out and exposed by Mr. Birkinbine, aided by Mr. Neal and other members of Councils…." Based on 1858 annual report, writer concludes: "Under democratic rule it costs 61.20 cents per foot to lay water pipe, and under the People's party 28 cents. We cite these facts in view of the approaching municipal election…Should the democrats recover sway there [in Councils], they will, of course, oust these officers, an put back their worthless old hacks again, or seek out others equally objectionable…."
No source, no date.

2. List of newly elected Council members.
No source, no date.

3. Letter from Job. R. Barry, defending himself against Birkinbine's dismissal.
Sunday Dispatch, 1859/05/22

4. The Egotistical Arrogant Assumption of Official Incumbents. Letter, signed "Aqua," against Birkinbine.
Evening National Argus, no date.

5. The Fairmount Water Works.
Letter, signed "Citizen," regarding work at Fairmount, blasting of rocks, new mill house not needed, Birkinbine no good, etc.
Press, no date.


1. Court hearing related to Angelique Brinkle, asking to be released from charge of breach of peace.
No source, no date.

2. Three advertisements for bid proposals for cast iron water mains, 1849, 1868 and 1869.
No source, no date.

3. Report on practicality of using salt water to flush streets in New York City. October 13, 1869. Article continued on 153 and 155
No source, no date.
1869 ca.

4. Chemistry of a River. Concern over condition of Schuylkill river, in an editorial from probably a New York newspaper, as it refers to "our own Croton." Shown that acid from coal mines was a major cause of the disappearance of fish in the river above Reading, but that limestone neutralized the acid before it gets to Philadelphia. "So the Schuylkill, without its limestone tributaries to neutralize the acid from the coal mines, would be unable to furnish pure water to the city of Philadelphia, or to feed the boilers of the twelve hundred steam engines which have made her so great a manufacturing centre. Considering that the Schuylkill is a mountain stream, with a precipitous channel, purified by heavy freshets, and that is chemical condition is absolutely perfect, it is difficult to understand how our neighbors of Philadelphia can be alarmed for the purity of their water. On that score nature has done everything for them but to raise it to their lips; and having made it pure to their hands, it will be their fault alone if it does not continue so."
Reprinted from New York Tribune.
No source, no date.

5. Letter from W. Garrett, replying to attack by Birkinbine on his reputation as an engineer. Also mentions Job Barry.
No source, no date.
Probably 1859

6. The Worthington Engine. The contract for the new pumping engines at the water works. Investigation by the Common Council committee. No bids received. A one-sided decision. Questions into contract between Graff and Worthington, of New York,
No source, no date.


1. Steam fire engine trail in new York City. Philadelphia engine part of trial.

2. Biographical sketch of Madame Gazzaniga, "the prima donna of the Philadelphia Italian Opera Company," and a list of the 39 operas in which she had appeared.
Evening Bulletin

3. Two advertisements for concerts at American Academy of Music, February 17, no year given. Graff listed as one of Committee of Directors. See also 133:3.

4. The Wholesale Poison Question. Editorial noting that manufacturers have petitioned against a bill in the State Legislature which would forbid "the use of the [Schuylkill] river for sewage purposes from Norristown dam to Fairmount dam." Editorial adamantly against the pollution of stream by manufacturers. [In two pieces on page] [Complete transcription below]
Sunday Transcript

A committee of the manufacturers doing business along the line of the Schuylkill River, have addressed a petition to the Legislature against the bill which forbids the use of the river for sewage purposes from Norristown dam to Fairmount dam. The document is, in many respects, an extraordinary one, and the arguments advanced in behalf of the manufacturers will not bear the application of common-sense and common justice. The most cogent reason offered by the petitioners why they should still be permitted to use the river as a sewer, is, that the roughly estimated number of thirty thousand persons are dependent upon the offending factories for their support, and that Philadelphia has thirty-six million dollars capital invested in theses establishments. We fully admit, with the petitioners, the vast importance of this large interest, not only to the welfare of this great number of people, but to the industrial interests and the wealth of the city. But even allowing for a moment that the enforcement of the law would have the effect of ruining this interest, and of throwing all of these people out of immediate employment, no unprejudiced man would hesitate to say that it would be better to entail this disaster upon these communities, and to rob the city of the advantages gained by the investment of this capital, than to place in jeopardy the health of the million persons who form the population of Philadelphia, by poisoning the source of the water supply.

This manufacturing interest is not, as the petitioners assert, "as necessary to the growth and prosperity of the city as the supply of pure water is to the health of the inhabitants." The first is a matter of dollars and cents; the other of life and death. If the manufacturers are driven from this locality, they will find other places in the vicinity of this city where they will continue their operations. But there is no necessity for either of these disastrous consequences. We long ago proposed to obviate the difficulty by compelling the manufactures to construct a system of sewage with which to drain the poisonous filth which flows from their establishments. This, the petitioners assert, cannot be done; they say that "no artificial drainage can be efficiently substituted for the natural bed of the Schuylkill River," and yet in the very same article they propose that the great city of Philadelphia shall erect a series of iron pipes from Flat Rock Dam to Fairmount and procure water by this means. If the first proposition is not feasible, this one is manifestly absurd. If less than one hundred factories find it impossible to construct drains great enough to carry off their own refuse, how utterly impossible will it be for the city to carry a sufficient supply of water though a single iron pipe, or, indeed, though a dozen? The proposal of the petitioners has not the merit of common sense or common honesty.

The real position is just this: A few men plant themselves by the side of a stream, the water of which supports the life of one million human beings. Deliberately, they empty into that stream foul matter which, in large or small quantities, is taken into the stomachs of this great multitude of people. The manufacturers know this must be the case when they make the river their common sewer. When the representatives of the people undertake to legislate in their behalf, these gentlemanly Borgias come forward and say, "You must neither break up our business, nor put us to the expense of building sewers; if you do not wish to drink our poison, you must expend a few millions in tapping the river high up, and, as the factories increase, you must lengthen your pipes, and take them further up the river." At this rate we will have to build waterworks at Pottsville [near the source of the Schuylkill River] in a few years.

The fact is, that the people have the best right to the river; because they are in the majority; because they erected their works before the factories were thought of; and because the Almighty placed the stream there as a source of water supply, and not as a sewer. Their rights must be protected before any individual interest, and if any expense is to be incurred, it must fall upon the late comers, who planted themselves there in full knowledge of the fact that they were using the river for improper purposes. We sincerely hope that this foolish and selfish petition will not have any effect upon the Legislature. That body owes it to itself to protect the people as a mass, and to let manufacturers look out for themselves when their interests militate against those of the whole community.

5. Small note on Boston water consumption
No source.
1869 ca.

6. Chart showing what time it is in various cities when it is 12 O'clock in New York. Before standard time zones established. From Appleton's Railway and Steam Navigation Guide. For example, the time in Philadelphia would be 11:55.
No source, no date.

7. Society of Practical Engineering, New York City, summary of meeting at Cooper Institute during which Lawrence Holms of Paterson, read "an exhaustive paper on The Filtration of Water for Industrial, Commercial, and Domestic Purposes."
No source, no date.

8. Advertisement from Bushong & Brothers, of Reading, Pa., reprinting a letter sent to Frederic Graff, in favor of a lower bidder for iron pipe, Messrs. Mellert & Kinsey, of Reading. "The city loses some sixty-thousand dollars by this rascality….We feel in duty bound to spare no pains or expense to have this fraud on the tax-payers investigated and exposed." Graff returned the letter without comment.
No source, no date.
Letter dated April 22, 1870

9. Note from London board of Sewers regarding total traffic in crowded places in the city.
No source, no date.

10. Currency exchange rates provided by James Ross Snowden, Director of the Mint, Philadelphia, November 12, 1857.
No source, no date.


1. The Water Department and its Engineer. Long editorial about Birkinbine, Barry and Garrett, with a scathing critique of Birkinbine, especially his design for the West Philadelphia Water Works (Twenty-fourth Ward Works).
U.S. Mechanic's Own (Philadelphia)

2. The Job Finished. Editorial. Select Council passed, by vote of 18-1, over the Mayor's veto, the Water Loan bill. "No debate was permitted….The scheme was hustled through the Camber pretty much as a burglar hustles his plunder out the window."
September 6, [year not included]

3. Fairmount. The present prospect. No increase in the supply of water. the effects of the late rains not noticeable. Philadelphia superceded by new York. Chief Engineer Graff sends to New York for assistance. "…The Schuylkill…reminded us more of a country mill pond than a navigable river." Nice description of Fairmount Water Works, the river at low stage, with fishermen, people strolling. Works not working-not enough water-'John Fuller', a wrecking and steam fire tug, from a private New York firm, employed in pumping water from below the dam into the reservoir, rather than the Philadelphia steam fire engines…. End of article to be found on 153.
No source, no date.

4. The Worthington Pump. Letter to Editor, incomplete, dated June 26, 1868. Why is an inferior and more expensive New York pump being used? [from Mr. B. H. Bartol, "who for years managed one of our large machine shops: see reference in 151:7] [End of letter on 155]
June 26, 1868

5. Water Meter. Small article in favor of metering, talks about waste of water.
No source, no date.

6. Philadelphia Water Supply. Letter discussing the scope of the Schuylkill watershed, the use of store reservoirs to equalize flow of the river, Schuylkill Navigation Company. Corrects mistakes in previous letter.
No source, no date.

7. The New York Pump at Belmont. Another Chip By Chisel. Letter signed "Chisel," complaining about use of New York-made Worthington pumps at Belmont, pipe from Jersey City…. "Mechanics throughout the country know at a glance Philadelphia made machinery by its fine finish and absence of useless decoration as compared with the rainbow-hued ornaments employed on Yankee tools. I saw lying at the [water] works a lot of Patent Pipe from Jersey City, and I also learned that the Chief Engineer [Frederic Graff Jr.] proposes erecting more patent New York pumps….Has anyone seen any advertisements for bidders?…"
Evening Star
No date

8. Fairmount Water Works in Danger. Letter signed "Safety," regarding the enlargement of the works, and the danger of building the new Mill House on the mound dam.
North American and U.S. Gazette
No date.


1. The Steam Engine Controversy. Letter, signed "Economy," against the [Worthington] Duplex pump.
Evening Star
No date

2. An Insult to Philadelphia. Editorial, regarding Worthington pumps for Belmont.
No source, no date.

3. Reputation of Philadelphia Mechanics. Editorial against the Worthington pumps.

4. Several other editorials against the Worthington pump.
No source, no date.

5. "Cornish Bull" vs. "Patent Duplex." Letter, signed Hydraulic, comparing these two engines, Cornish made in Philadelphia and Duplex made by Worthington in New York. Concludes that it would be cheaper to pay $100,000 for two Cornish engines than to accept as a gift two Duplex engines. [See 151:7 for date information]
Evening Star

6. The Pump Controversy. Editorial suggesting that no restrictions should be made in bids by requiring that the material be made in Philadelphia, or else other cities might respond in kind. Suggests that Graff may need to be trusted in this scientific matter, and that Merrick & Co., manufacturer of the Philadelphia-made pump, might or might not be the best. Encourages a scientific commission to report on the questions, as cheaper "in comparison to what may be lost if an inferior pump, not able to do the work required, is adopted.:
No source, no date.

7. Letter from John Torrey, on vegetable matter in Croton reservoir, New York City Water Supply. See also letter from James Chilton, 153, and a second fragment on 153.. Also 147:1
No source

8. Fragment of article on new York City Water Supply.
No source, no date.

9. Part of Select Council minutes, June 1868, with letter from various Philadelphia manufacturers discouraging the passage of an ordinance requiring bidders to manufacture items in Philadelphia.
No source


1. Fragment of Council minutes, providing text of discussion between Bowker, Henderson, and Bardsley, regarding contract for Worthington pump.
No source, no date.
1868 ca.

2. Copy of manuscript letter, signed B. H. Bartol, to Mayor Morton H. McMichael, asking him to veto the purchase of the Worthington pump.

3. Excerpt from Common Council minutes, with discussion of Worthington pump. Also a mention: "Mr. J.C. Martin offered a resolution, instructing the Committee on City Property to inquire into the expediency of importing 40,000 English sparrows."
No source, no date.
1868 ca.


1. Advertisement for bid proposals for iron pipe, signed by Frederic Graff.
No source, no date.

2. Who can Answer? Letter, signed 'Inquirer," regarding questions about differences in cost between Worthington engines purchased for Roxborough and Belmont works. Also question about high cost of laying the pipe across the Schuylkill?
Evening Star
No date

3. Worthington Engine investigation in Common Council. Meeting on March 22, 1871. Committee consists of Mitchell, Allen, Bardsley, Bowker and Kendrick. Graff made statement. The committee will meet again "Monday next."

4. Fragment of article on Paris, giving statistics of streets, gas, houses, quays, transportation, accidents, and consumption of beer, brandy and liqueurs.
No source, no date.

5. End of the Pump Controversy. Editorial. Worthington pump chosen. Philadelphia mechanics should "live and let live…"
No source, no date.

6. The Worthington Contract. Letter signed "Fair Play," denouncing the decision of the "Special Committee appointed by Common Council" regarding the Worthington pumps.
No date
1871 ca.

7. Advertisement, signed "Mechanic," "to Republican Voters of the Second Senatorial District," against Common Council member A. Wilson Henszey, who voted in favor for the Worthington firm in favor of Merrick and Sons."
No source, no date.

8. Editorial: "There are some jokes that are no jokes at all. In that little story that Aesop tells about the boys and the frogs the matter of throwing stones was certainly no joke to the frogs, however it may have appeared to the boys, and the tax-payers of Philadelphia will scarcely appreciate the facetiousness of Mr. Shermer's remark yesterday at the meeting of the Water Committee [of Councils], that it would be well not to make the commission test the Worthington pumps too large, as all the members would have to be paid. This jest of Mr. Shermer was responded to by Mr. Davis, who in the most jocular mood imaginable suggested that $25,000 be appropriated, whereupon, according to the reporters, there was laughter. All this may have been very funny to the gentlemen named and their fellows on the committee, but it does not appear to us in that light, for too much suspicion has already been excited with regard to the management of the Water Department for those who have to foot the bills to look with complacency upon the process of playing ducks and drakes with their money, or to consider the suggestion that certain men are to be bought up as a jest that is entirely too likely to be a stern reality to be at all amusing."
No source, no date.

9. Hot Water vs. Cold. Graff being charged by William B. Henderson in awarding pump contract without bids, in violation of section 27 of the act of consolidation, and special committee has been appointed.
Source illegible

10. The Water Supply. Editorial, excoriating Democrats on Select Council, who, except for Col. Page, voted against an appropriation for work extending the water supply and he Fairmount Park. They did this because they wanted to keep the patronage jobs the appropriation would create out of the hands of the Republicans until after the Fall election.
No source, no date.

11. Letter from Graff, to Select Council, dated September 5, 1871,
regarding a water loan passed by Councils June 28, 1871, but vetoed by the Mayor. Letter refers members to Select Council Journal, 1871, p. 80 and page 31 of the appendix. East Park Reservoir discussed.
No source, no date.
1871 ca.

12. Common Sense of the Worthington Pump Controversy. Editorial insists the rightness of the decision to award contract to New York firm, instead of insisting it go to a Philadelphia firm. "This all comes from the same causes that bring people to Philadelphia to buy all the large number of superior articles we manufacture, in preference to those they can get at home."
Ledger and Daily Transcript

13. Letter Signed "Economy," about the Worthington Pump controversy, against paying more for a New York pump. Dated June 5, 1868


1. Note reprinted from New York Sun, giving tax valuations both before and after Central Park was built, showing surplus of more than $1 million, and "which demonstrates the fact that a generous, well-appointed Park acts not only as lungs to a city, but will pay for itself."
No source, no date.
1867 ca.

2. Belmont Pumping Engine. What a Machinist Has to Say. Letter, signed "Hammer," asking for a test to be made of the Worthington Duplex pumps. "The selection of new York pumping engines for the Philadelphia Water Works has been thoroughly advertised throughout the country, and has already resulted in great detriment to the reputation of Philadelphia…." Second copy on 156
Evening Star

3. Inspector of Coal Oil in trouble. Mr. Robert M. Evans. Republican candidates for State Senate, including "Connell and Henzsey," and others, have signed petition for his removal. Reference to Alderman Carpenter. Not clear what city this I in reference to, though Henszey is mentioned as a Philadelphia councilman running for senate on 154:7.

4. Annual meeting of Schuylkill Navigation Company. Mentions tonnage carried, compared to 1868. Mentions problem with Fairmount Water Works using more water than it is allowed.
No source.
Ca. 1869

5. Advertisement, in which "citizens are…earnestly requested to abstain from the waste of water in any form whatever," due to "long continued drought and consequent unprecedented low stage of water in the Schuylkill.." Signed by Frederic Graff. Dated August 12, 1869
No source

6. Water Meters. Editorial in support of them.
Evening Star
No date, except Friday, January 6.

7. The Roxborough Water-Works. Common Council Committee investigating Worthington pumps to meet again Monday.
No source, no date.

8. The Croton Aqueduct department, New York City Water Supply. First part of an article.
No source.
Ca. 1858

9. Fragment of editorial about "whiskey ring."
No source, no date.

10. Municipal Loans and Works. Editorial about a Common Council resolution to publish an ordinance creating a loan of $1,640,000 "for the further extension of the reservoirs, Water Works, building of new reservoirs, introduction of turbine wheels, laying of new water mains, building of culverts, construction of an additional ice boat, etc. the work to be provided for by this loan is indispensable to the progress of the city…." Mention that, at Fairmount, old wheel houses have been removed and operations begun to introduce new turbine wheels in place of the old breast wheels. New water works required for West Philadelphia, "in consequence of the old establishment having been blocked up by the formation of a mud bank or island in the river directly in front of it. The reservoir for the same district is also to be finished…. From the proceeds of the new loan must also be paid…the $800,000 recently appropriated to defray the cost of culverting Cohocksink creek, Mill creek and other streams. Mill creek is quite as formidable an obstacle in West Philadelphia as Cohocksink creek is in Kensington and Penn Districts. The work ought to have been one [already], and our only surprise is that the Board of health have not presented both those filthy streams as public nuisances, since they undoubtedly area, and of the worst kind, too…." [See 130: for advertisement of this resolution, adopted April 9, 1868, by Common Council.]
No source, no date.

11. The Latest in Photography. Photoglyphic Engraving. Invented by Fox Talbot.
No source, no date.

12. Rules of Fairmount Park[?], fragment of Section 19 empowering a Park Police force.
No source, no date.

13. New Iron and New York. Railroad tracks laid with new T iron; incomplete article.
No source, no date.

14. Advertisement for bid proposals for cast-iron service pipe, iron and brass castings, lead and gasket. Dated January 30, 1868
No source, no date.
1868 ca.


1. Schuylkill Navigation Company Report for 1869 at annual meeting of Stockholders.
No source, no date.

2. The Waste of Water. Good editorial supporting the more careful use of water, especially during the summer months.

3. The Water Main Contract. Letter, signed S. Fulton & Co., refuting Bushong & Brothers advertisement accusing the Water Department of not awarding pipe contract to lowest bidder. [See 150:8 for original advertisement]

4. Advertisement? "We want to be just with the Schuylkill Navigation Company in the matter of its claims against the city [regarding the city using too much of the water during a dry summer]. If it is true that the company never declared but a single dividend, and that was one summer when the directors turned out and mowed the tow-path and divided the hay, why, then, we approve of giving this claim consideration. It would be rather much to tell the directors to go to grass again, wouldn't it? Hey?"

5. The Supply of Water Downtown. Mains in southern part of city being laid. Thirty-inch main in Broad Street, Washington Avenue, Fifth, Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh Streets.
Ledger and Transcript

6. Two editorials(?) concerning the Croton Aqueduct, New York City Water Supply.
No source, no date.

7. Advertisement for bid proposals for new 40 inch main for Boston Water Works. Bids due July 31, 1858. Signed by John H. Wilkins, President of the Water Board, and James Slade, Chief Engineer.
No source, no date.

8. Trial of Steam Fire engines at Boston. Philadelphia engine assumed to be the best.
Report dated August 11, 1858.
No source, no date.

9. Our Supply of Water. Schuylkill extremely low, no water running over dam at Fairmount. "The exigencies of the Schuylkill Navigation (who calm the prior right to the water by the terms of their charter) require the stoppage of all the wheels at Fairmount for a portion of every day….We trust all will see the necessity of avoiding the waste of the fluid at this time. It is to the interest of every one to prevent it."
No source, no date.

10. Letter from "Chisel," incomplete, regarding the Worthington engines.
No source, no date.
1868 ca.

11. "A remonstrance against lighting with gas," presented to Councils 25 years ago, in March 1833. The article states, the petition is reprinted "on account of the peculiar objections it contains." Suggests that the waters of the Schuylkill and Delaware will suffer and all the shad and other fish will disappear for some unclear reason. Part of an article on the Courts, which is incomplete.
No source
1858 ca.

12. Brief article warning against water waste because of low Schuylkill.
No source, no date.

13. Brief article giving a list of other years in Philadelphia history which were hot and dry. Refers to article in Daily Evening Telegraph of the 1st inst. (July 1, 1870) for much valuable information.
No source

14. Water main being laid across Susquehanna "at the upper part of our city" [Harrisburg??]
No source, no date.


1. Letter to Press, signed "Housekeeper," regarding waste of water during this drought time and asking why order is not issued to ban washing of sidewalks and sprinkling of streets.

2. Small note asking residents not to waste water, calling attention to the "card" [advertisement?] of the Chief Engineer in another column.
No source, no date.
1869 ca.

3. Engraving titled 'Menagerie" [Philadelphia Zoo?]
No source, no date.

4. Croton Reservoir New York Water Supply during drought times.
No source, no date.

5. Improvement of the Schuylkill Canal. Attempt, using cofferdam, to deepen the entrance to the locks. Could involve blasting rocks.
No source, no date.

6. Brief summary of receipts of Water Department 1857 and 1858, and assessment of 70,000 houses in preparation for issuing the duplicate for 1859.

7. [Envelope, with handwritten in ink:]
Property of the Water Frederic Graff
Department of Philada.
June 24/[18]68
[Handwritten in pencil at top:] 1867-71.
[Perhaps this held some of the clippings that are included in this album?]

8. Brief note wondering why the Chief of the Highway Departments, Mahlon Dickinson, is always in trouble with the Councils, "while they close their optics to the grossest mismanagement on the part of the Chief Engineer of the Water Department [Graff]."
No source, no date.

9. Graff Letter, calling attention to advertisement in paper of today regarding the "alarming low stage of water in the pool supplying Germantown." See for 130:10 for two copies of advertisement.
Daily City Item

10. The Old Wooden Water Pipes. Last week the last of the old pine wood water pipes were removed from Bread street, by the Water Department, to make room for iron pipe. The last of these logs were laid in 1828, and extended on each side of Broad street, from Filbert to Vine, and out Vine to Fifteenth street. The city had altogether 241,604 feet of Pine logs laid at various times, the first having been connected with the old water works at Penn Square…..
No Source

11. Scarcity of Water. About low level of Schuylkill.
No source, no date.

12. Advertisement from Graff, urging against water waste.
No source.

13. Water supplies of Philadelphia and London compared for 1867.
No source, no date.

14. The City Water Works. Pumpage information. Kensington now supplied from Fairmount. West Philadelphia works "kept fully employed to answer the demands of that large and rapidly growing population."
No source, no date.

15. Engraving: United States emblem: Eagle and E Pluribus Unum.
No source, no date.

16. Water for Philadelphia. A plan to supply the city on both sides of the Schuylkill with an increased supply of purer water. Letter, signed "H." "The water in the present dam, between Manayunk and Fairmount, is injured by the great quantities of dye waters and other filth, let into the river below the upper dam, which is situated at Flat Rock, immediately above Manayunk." Suggests taking purer from the dam above Flat Rock. Evening Bulletin, 1858/10/25

17. Advertisement: In accordance with a resolution adopted by Common Councils" January 20, 1870, "the annexed bill, entitled "An ordinance creating a loan for the further extension of the Water Works," is hereby published for public information…" No source, 1870/01/21


1. Concerns about impediments to navigation in the Schuylkill in 1768. Could be part of Westcott's history?? Good information about plans and ideas that ultimately were adopted years later by the Schuylkill Navigation Company. No source, no date.

2. Belmont Water Works. Some Facts About the New Pumping Engine. Review of the controversy with the Worthington pumps. "Mechanics of Philadelphia, your reputation is assailed by those who should do most to protect you. You who handle the hammer and chisel, run lathes and know what a job is worth, go to the Belmont Water Works and see for yourselves…. Insist upon an honest public trial by fair men…
Evening Star, no date, only Tuesday August 9, which would make the year 1870. 1870/08/09

3. Water Down Town. Broad Street main to be filled this week… No source, no date.

4. "The large fountain on the north side of the Fairmount basin will be played on the Fourth of July. This is the largest basin in the city, and the jet of water will be thrown at a greater height than any heretofore constructed in Philadelphia. No source, no date.

5. Honored in the Breach. Personal cleanliness, compared to cleanliness in the city. Washing pavements can be done too often. Consumption a cause of this constant saturation of the bricks and increasing the humidity of the atmosphere. "One may as well live in a bog as in some parts of Philadelphia where this abuse exists." The Day, 1870/10/28

6. Argument against Graff's reorganization of the Water Department.

7. Number of dwelling houses in Philadelphia, 1860 vs. 1870. Table by ward, including number of residents per house. No source, date only Wednesday January 18, making the year 1871: 1871/01/18

8. The Water Question. Editorial, worrying about water supply being deficient the coming summer because of inadequate machinery. "We don't want a recurrence of the scenes of last summer - housewives walking squares [blocks] for water for their tea, and the Fire Department totally paralyzed and permitting buildings to be destroyed for fear of wasting that which it was not improbable might be required for the support of life." No Source, 1870/06/29

9. Water. Fountains erected throughout the city [Philadelphia] during the past year [1869]. Gives addresses and donor of each fountain. Philadelphia Fountain Society. In 1869, 11 fountains erected, making a total of 32.

10. Corruption. Councilmanic investigation. A $55,000 contract. The one man power. Injustice to Philadelphia mechanics. Committee investigating whether Graff awarded Worthington a contract for pumps without asking for bids. William M. Henderson instrumental in investigation. Post, 1871/4/5

11. New spring found near the steamboat landing at Fairmount. No source, no date.

12. Commencing of operations at the Belmont Water Works. The water pumped into the new reservoir, near George's Hill. Article describing the reservoir and the pumps and engines, Worthington Duplex design.

13. Philadelphia Mechanics Awake. Editorial about breaking up of the "water ring in Councils." The continuing controversy over the purchase of Worthington pumps from New York. Sunday Times, 1870/10/16


1. Letter, signed "Taxpayer," regarding Graff's secrecy over his estimates of the cost of the new East Park reservoir. Inquirer, No date.

2. Schuylkill water analyzed in 1870; as pure as it was when analyzed in 1842.
No source
1870 ca.

3. Water Supply. An important suggestion. Editorial supporting construction of East Park Reservoir.
Philadelphia Post

4. Delaware Water Works. Basin sat Kensington (Delaware) Works being cleansed of mud, but problem with unfit water still not the mud, but the source of the water at the intakes.
No source, no date.

5. Table of Water Rates in Boston.
No source, no date.

6. Advertisement for bid proposals for cast iron mains. Due April 14, 1868.
No source

7. An Attempt to Galvanize. Robert Evans, "Fighting Bob," Councilman, had words of praise for Birkinbine in a Council debate over a $53,400 Water appropriation. Editorial scoffed at the idea of "resuscitating Birkinbine in the chief engineership…. If it is true, as the enemies of Mr. Graff now say, that he is a failure, what a stupendous, unapproachable failure Birkinbine must be!"
No source, no date.

8. New Cornish Engine. At Schuylkill Works. Description of this engine. Perhaps from Scientific American?
No source, no date.

9. Letter from Birkinbine to Graff, demanding an investigation into Graff's contention that some of Birkinbine's work was faulty. Letter dated March 3, 1871.
Evening Telegraph.

10. Patent Pump. Letter to Councils, from maker of patent compound propeller pump, dated May 9, 1871.
No source

11. At Last. Common Council to investigate manner in which contract awarded to Worthington for Roxborough.
No source, no date.

12. the Power of Locomotives. New York and Erie railroad experiments.
No source

13. Trial of Philadelphia Steam Fire engines. Southwark, Weccacoe, Good Intent companies.


1. Part of letter from Birkinbine responding to letter of "H." regarding aqueduct water system for Philadelphia
No source, no date.

2. Trial of Steam Fire Engine Good Will.
No source, no date.

3. Statement of Graff regarding Mayor Daniel M. Fox's reasons for vetoing water appropriation. Reservoirs, East park, etc.
The Press

4. Advertisement authorizing contract for two pumping engines for Twenty-fourth Ward Works. Ordinance for not more than $95,000, approved July 10, 1868
No source

5. Mayor Fox, his reasons for vetoing water appropriation, East Park etc.
Letter dated August 22, 1871.
No source.
Other items on this page also concerning this issue.

6. Advertisement for bid proposals for pipe, and necessary branches and turns.
Due Thursday March 24, no year given.
Signed by Birkinbine.
No source, no date.

7. Improvements of the grounds and works at Fairmount. Good description of the work being undertaken. Fountain, lawn, gardens. "The improvements to the square have been most economically made. The sunken portions have been filled up with earth dug from the city culverts, and the black dirt used to manure the ground was taken from the streets of the city, and the gravel to pave the walks was dug from beneath the soil of the square…."

8. Improvements of mound dam, widening it from 20 to 85 feet, wall built to accommodate new turbines. New Mill House. Corinthian Reservoir being raised by nine feet.
Ledger and Transcript


Back to

Website by Panacea Design and Adam Levine
Page last modified April 4, 2015