Philadelphia in 1880
An excerpt from
Report on the Social Statistics of Cities

Compiled by George E. Waring, Jr., Expert and Special Agent.
Part I: New England and the Middle States
Department of the Interior, Census Office
Washington: Government Printing Office. 1886

Transcription of pages 773, 810 to 839
using ReadIris OCR Software

Original title page

George E. Waring Jr., this volume's compiler, was a leading sanitary engineer of the 19th century and had a special interest in drainage and sewers, and that particular information first drew me to this report. But as I read the rest of the Philadelphia section, I realized that, in total, it presents a vivid portrait of the city as it was in 1880, and I thought that, for this reason, it might have a wider appeal. I have divided this excerpt into two parts.

Section 2: Philadelphia in 1880, starts below.

Click here to access
Section 1: Drainage, House-Drainage, Cesspool- and Vault-Emptying, Sewage Disposal

The History of Philadelphia's Watersheds and Sewers

Compiled by Adam Levine
Historical Consultant
Philadelphia Water Department
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Philadelphia in 1880

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Once in the text, click any section heading to return to the Contents.

Water Communications  Wharves Railroad Communications  Climate and Health
Streets  Street Railroads  Water-Works  Drinking-Fountains  Gas  Public Buildings  Hospitals
Dispensaries  Asylums and Homes  Homes for the Aged  Asylums for the Unfortunate
Reformatory Homes  Public Parks and Pleasure-Grounds  Public Squares  Places of Amusement
Cemeteries  Markets
Sanitary Authority--Board of Health  Nuisances  Burial of the Dead  Infectious Diseases  Registration and Reports
Municipal Cleansing  Street-Cleaning  Dead Animals  Liquid Household Wastes
Human Excreta  Manufacturing Wastes  Police  Prisons
Public Schools  Libraries  Fire Department
Commerce and Navigation  Manufactures

Philadelphia Population, Financial Condition, and a map showing distances to other major cities
(page 773)

<<PAGE 810>>


Philadelphia is situated on a tract of land embraced between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, which, lying to the east and west of the city, and gradually nearing each other, unite to form its southern boundary. In the original plan this tract comprised about 1,200 acres, but the enormous additions made during the present century have increased this area to 82,700 acres, so that the city now covers a territory amounting to 129 square miles, an extent not exceeded by any American or European capital save the city of London. The latitude of Philadelphia is 39° 57' north, 75° 9' west from Greenwich. It is 136 miles northeast from Washington, and about 100 miles from the Atlantic ocean, following the bay and river. The site of the city is a nearly level plain, varying from to 2 to 46 feet above tide-water, but in the suburbs to the west of the Schuylkill the land rises in places to an elevation of <<PAGE 811>> from 112 to 120 feet. The total length of the city is 23 miles, with an average width of 5 1/2 miles between the rivers. Having thus a large river to east and west, and fanned by strong currents of air, the situation of Philadelphia in point of healthfulness is most advantageous. The city is entitled to send 5 representatives to the national Congress, and 8 senators and 28 representatives to the state legislature.


Philadelphia may be ranked among the Atlantic ports. The width and depth of the Delaware river enables steam-vessels of the largest size to come up to her wharves, where there is an extraordinary depth of water, being 57 feet at low water at the pier-heads for more than half a mile, and not less than 25 feet for 3 miles of the river frontage. The only obstacle to navigation is a bar in the river below the city, and on this there is 19 feet at low and 25 feet at high water. The strong current setting on the western shore at both flood and ebb tide prevents encroachments on the harbor by deposit. The rise of tide is but 6 feet, and floods and overflows are unknown.


The wharves of the port of Philadelphia lie along the west shore of the Delaware river for miles. Conspicuous among them are those of the Clyde Steamship Company, the Red Star line, the American Steamship line, the Philadelphia and Southern Mail Steamship Company, and the great ship-building yard of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, which has a launching-dock 400 feet long and 250 feet wide, with shipways which allow of the building of 4 vessels at a time, and an immense dry-dock which will lift a steamship of the largest size. At Girard's Point, near the junction of the Schuylkill with the Delaware, are the docks and warehouses of the International Steam Navigation Company, and their enormous grain-elevator, 100 feet wide, 200 feet long, and 124 feet high to the peaks of the roof. This stands in the middle of a wharf 500 feet long by 250 feet wide, with a dock of the same dimensions on either side. The total capacity of this elevator is 800,000 bushels, and by its facilities 6 vessels may be loaded at the same time.


The salubrity of Philadelphia is exceptional, the mortality being 1 to every 1,000 persons less than that of London, 2 to every 1,000 persons less than that of Paris; and 7 to every 1,000 persons less than that of New York. This is due in part to the unbounded supply of fresh water and its universal use for cleansing and bathing purposes, but also in a great measure to its natural advantages of situation and the sweep of fresh air across the city from river to river. The foundation of the city is mainly a dry, well-drained gravel, making good sewerage an easy matter. The range of temperature throughout the year is very considerable, including all degrees from below zero to 100°, but the extremes of heat and cold are of short duration, and the average of the year is moderate, escaping the worst evils of the southern and northern climates between which the city may be said to lie. During the past 122 years the highest recorded summer temperature was 101°, the mean annual temperature being about 52°.


In 1880 Philadelphia had the following railroad communications:

The Pennsylvania railroad, to which the city owes much of its progress in recent years. The total number of miles operated and controlled by this railroad is estimated at over 2,000. Its rolling-stock comprises 1,000 locomotives, half as many first-class passenger cars, and over 25,000 freight cars. The total assets of the company have been placed as high as $180,000,000. Its principal passenger depot is on Market street, and its chief freight depots are on the block of ground bounded by Market, Filbert, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth streets, and at Delaware avenue and Dock street, extending to the water.

The Philadelphia and Reading railroad, whose offices are on Fourth street.
The Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore railroad, whose depot is on Broad street and Washington avenue.
The North Pennsylvania railroad.
The Camden and Atlantic railroad.
The West Jersey railroad.
The West Chester and Philadelphia railroad.
The Lehigh Valley railroad.

Penn's original arrangement of the streets has been adhered to. Those streets running from river to river are crossed at right angles by those running north and south, the latter being designated numerically from the Delaware, as First, Second, Third, and so on, and the intersecting streets from east to west bearing, as a general thing, the names of trees or of persons. The city is divided at Market street into North and South, all streets above Market street being known as North Third, etc., and, those below as South Third, etc. The houses are numbered by blocks, small intermediate streets being included in the blocks. Each block is calculated as containing precisely 100 houses. <<PAGE 812>> There are 2000 miles of streets, of which 900 miles are paved and 1,102 miles are either unpaved or laid with gravel. The extent of the paved streets and the cost per square yard of each, as nearly as may be estimated, is as follows:

Materials.....................Miles........Cost per square yard
Cobblestones................ 500.........................$1.25
Stone blocks....................47...........................3.00
Broken Stone.................100..........................1.50

The gravel roads cost 19 cents per square yard. The chief commissioner of highways says: "Cobble-stones, when properly laid, make a durable and cheap pavement. Rubble-stone is used in districts where the long haul of cobble-stones would render the cost too high, and while such a pavement, laid with care, is durable, it does not give general satisfaction, from its rough and irregular surface. Broken stone is used in the semi-rural sections, and is the old macadamized road, the merits of which are, of course, thoroughly understood. Asphalt in various forms and combinations has qualities which render it desirable for some purposes, but it has not yet proved itself the most desirable under all circumstances, which general quality is found more completely in the stone block or Belgian pavement, and to which we would unhesitatingly give the preference. Wood we ignore, experience having shown that its rapid and constant decay renders it unfit for use."

The pavements of those streets in which car-tracks are laid are maintained in repair between the curbs by the horse railroad companies, while the others are attended to by the highway department, the work being done under contract. When the cobble-stone pavement settles out of shape, or gets in holes or ruts, the stones are taken up, the ground is loosened with picks and smoothed with shovels, a little sand is scattered over it, and the cobble-stones are returned to their places, rammed, and covered with earth. This treatment is effective for a longer or shorter time, according to the amount of traffic on the street. The extent of streets paved with cobble-stones is so great that any attempt to replace the whole of it with Belgian blocks would involve an enormous expenditure of money. The great length of paved streets to be kept in repair may account, in part, for the very indifferent condition in which some of them are. No cobble pavement, however well laid, can be kept properly cleaned by the means usually applied in cities, the hollows, ridges, and ruts preventing the brooms, sweeping-machines, etc. from reaching the accumulation of dirt and filth, this dirt being brought to the surface by rains, or when the streets are sprinkled, only to he carried, when dry, all over the city in the shape of dust. However, the cobble-stone pavement has been an imperfect element in the development of the city, as its use has rendered possible the improvement and occupation of many miles of streets which would probably have remained undeveloped if expensive pavements and the consequent high assessments on abutting property had been laid. The macadamized roads and streets consist of quarried stones placed on edge, forming a rough bottom 8 to 10 inches deep, and covered first with coarse broken gneiss or other hard rock then with finer stone of the same character, and over all the fine dust from the screenings of the broken stone. Very little limestone is used, but in its place a large quantity of slag from the iron furnaces, which is very hard and contains a large proportion of lime, is laid. In addition to the pavements enumerated above, many of the abutting property-owners have laid composition blocks in front of their respective residences.


There are 285 miles of car-tracks laid in the city, having a broad rail nearly on a level with the pavement for the more convenient use of carriages. There are 1,197 cars, with 6,946 horses in use, and employment is given to 3,672 men. During the year 1879 the total number of passengers carried was 88,360,982. There are no regular omnibus lines in the city, but there are 25 single omnibuses and 68 hacks regularly licensed by the highway department. This, however, gives no adequate idea of the actual number of these vehicles in the city, as a recent law permits the owners of livery stables to run hackney coaches, upon the payment of a state tax, without requiring a special license from the city.


Philadelphians are noted for their free use of water, of which the city has an abundant supply, conducted over the city by over 730 miles of pipe. The smallest and cheapest house has its bath-room, and the incessant washing of sidewalks and door-steps is a grievance complained of by strangers who are trying to see the city on foot. The water department, which is under the control of the city, consists of the following officers: a chief engineer, a register, and a chief clerk, besides a large force of draughtsmen, clerks, engineers, and laborers.
The water-works are divided into the following sections: The Fairmount, Schuylkill, Delaware, Belmont, Roxborough, and Chestnut Hill.

The Fairmount reservoir is divided into 4 basins, having a capacity of 26,896,636 gallons. The works are run with 7 turbine wheels and 1 breast-wheel, with a Worthington steam-pump for use when the water-wheels cannot be run on account of low water in the Schuylkill. The Fairmount supply began with a pumping-engine at Chestnut <<PAGE 813>> street, Schuylkill, and a distributing reservoir at Center square, which were begun in May, 1799, and brought into use the 1st of January, 1801. In April 1819, a dam across the Schuylkill at Fairmount was begun. The first water passed out from the new reservoir on July 1, 1823. Subsequently the city purchased the Lemon Hill and other properties to secure the river from defilement, and formed what is now known as Fairmount park.

The Schuylkill water-works, at the foot of Thompson street, supply the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th wards of the city. Their daily average is 5,226,008 gallons. They were erected in 1844 as independent water-works by the commissioners of Spring Garden and the Northern Liberties, after an ineffectual protest at the high rates charged to the inhabitants of the district as compared with those of the city proper. They are run by steam-power, with Cornish side-lever and compound engines.

The Delaware water-works are situated on the Delaware river at the foot of Wood street. These works went into operation in 1850. They supply the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th Wards, their daily average capacity being 4,960,709 gallons. They are run by steam, a Worthington beam and horizontal engine.

The Belmont water-works have their reservoir at George's hill, Fairmount park. They were built to replace the West Philadelphia water-works, which went out of use in 1870. They are run by 3 Worthington steam pumping engines, and furnish a daily average of 5,226,008 gallons.

The Roxborough water-works are on the east bank of the Schuylkill, above Manayunk, on the line of the Philadelphia and Norristown railroad. They were finished in 1870, are run by steam-power, and furnish a daily supply of 2,281,287 gallons. On the completion of these works the Germantown and Chestnut Hill works were abandoned as pumping-stations, and. receive their water from the Roxborough reservoir through 2 large mains which cross the Wissahickon in Fairmount park.

The total amount of water pumped in the various works in 1879 was 19,894,101,515 gallons, or an average of 54,504,387 gallons per day. The average cost or raising 1,000,000 gallons 1 foot high is 5.07 cents. The total receipts of the department during 1879 were $1,419,179.07, and the total expenditures $443,693.68.


Through the agency of the Philadelphia Fountain society 61 public drinking-fountains have been established within the limits of the city. Seven additional fountains have been added by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They are kept in order by a fund appropriated for the purpose.


The works for the manufacture of gas are the City, Point Breeze, Spring Garden, and Frankford works, owned by the city, and the Northern Liberties gas-works: which are the property of a private corporation.

The City gas-works were authorized by an ordinance of the council in 1835. This company has a capital stock of $125,000, but the city reserved the right to purchase the works from the shareholders at any time, which right it claimed in 1841, when it bought out the stockholders for $173,000, and took possession of the works through the agency of a board of trustees. In 1859 the remaining independent companies were bought out, and the whole service, with the exception of the gas-works of the Northern Liberties, was brought under the control of the city. Great care was taken in the outset to secure the best improvements then effected in the manufacture of coal-gas in Europe, and the Philadelphia works have always furnished gas cheaper than is usual in other American cities. The total amount of gas made during the year 1879 by the combined works was 2,180,625,000 cubic feet.


The buildings owned or occupied by the city for municipal purposes are: The state-house or Independence hall; the city hall; the county court-house building; the quarter-sessions building; and the hall of the American Philosophical Society, in Independence square; the new city hall, in Penn square; the house of refuge, in Poplar street; the house of correction, on the south bank of Pennypack creek at its junction with the Delaware; the morgue, on Noble street, between Front street and Delaware avenue; the Philadelphia almshouse, with which is connected the Philadelphia hospital, on the west side of the Schuylkill: south (If the Darby road; and the lazaretto or quarantine station, on Tinicum island. The west room on the first floor of the state-house, in which the sittings of the second Continental Congress were held, was formally withdrawn from public use about 1830 and held as a national museum, to be devoted to "dignified purposes only ". It now holds a valuable collection of relics, including the original charter of the city of Philadelphia, with Penn's signature and the great seal of the state, and the liberty bell, now cracked and soundless, which rang forth the declaration of American independence. The old Congress hall was begun in 1790 and finished in 1791. The hall of the American Philosophical Society was erected in 1789. The society took its origin from Franklin's famous club, "The Junto," established in 1743. The new city hall, in Penn square, was begun in August 1871, and it is expected will be open for use a few months from this date (1880). The dimensions of this magnificent building are 470 feet from east to west by 486 1/2 feet from north to south, and the area covered by it is equal to about 4 1/2 acres. The building contains 520 rooms and is supposed to be absolutely fire-proof.
<<PAGE 814>>
The Philadelphia almshouse consists of 5 main buildings, each 3 stories in height and 500 feet long, and extending from a central building. The grounds comprise 130 acres. The buildings, which are managed by a board of guardians elected by the councils, are devoted to the poor and sick, to the insane, and to friendless children. The guardians also grant out-door relief in the various wards. The average daily population of the almshouse is over 4,000, and out-door relief is afforded to nearly 80,000 annually.

To this list of buildings for municipal purposes should be added nearly or quite 200 public-school buildings, the total real-estate value of which is, including their furniture, nearly $6,000,000.

The buildings owned or occupied by the United States government in the city of Philadelphia are the United States custom-house and sub-treasury, on Chestnut street, between Fourth and Fifth, built in 1824; the United States appraiser's building, on Second street; the post-office, on the south side of Chestnut, between Fourth and Fifth; the United States courts, on Library street; the new post-office, on the corner of Ninth and Chestnut; the United States naval hospital; the United States naval asylum; the United States navy yard, on League island, in the Delaware; the Schuylkill arsenal, on the Gray's Ferry road; and the Frankford or Bridesburg arsenal, on Tacony road and Bridge street; and the United States mint, on Chestnut street, corner of Juniper. The mint was established by act of Congress on the 2d of April 1792. The corner-stone of the present building was laid in 1829. It was made fire-proof in 1854, and the interior has been frequently altered. It is a marble building with a Grecian portico, and contains on the main floor, first, the deposit-room, where gold and silver bullion is received and weighed; second, the copper-melting room, where ingots are cast for the minor coinage; third, the gold- and silver-melting room; fourth, the rolling and cutting room; fifth, the coining-room. The building contains 12 strong vaults, securely guarded, and a cabinet containing the largest and most valuable collection of coins in the United States.

The deposits of gold of domestic production made at the United States mint from its earliest period to the close of 1880 amount to $873,097,015.62. The deposits of native silver during the same time are $121,924,919.14.


There are 23 hospitals within the limits of Philadelphia, and 13 dispensaries at which gratuitous medical and surgical treatment are given to the poor. The list of these is as follows:

The Pennsylvania Hospital, founded in the year 1752 by the exertions of Benjamin Franklin and his friends. The western wing was not built until after the Revolution, and the central building was finished about 1805. This hospital occupies the square bounded by Eighth, Ninth, Spruce, and Pine streets, the entrance being on Eighth street. The entire frontage is 278 feet in width. Over 100,000 patients have been admitted to this hospital since its establishment, of whom more than one-half have been poor patients supported by the institution.

The Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane (male department), between the West Chester and Haverford roads, west of Forty-third street, opened for the reception of patients in 1841. The principal building and wings have a front of 436 feet, 3 stories in height, and the institution accommodates 250 patients.

The Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane (female department), on Forty-ninth street, opened for use in 1859. It has an equal capacity.

Philadelphia Hospital, conducted as a branch of the Blockley almshouse. The insane department of this
hospital contains on an average over 1,000 patients.

Wills Hospital for Diseases of the Eye, on Race street, between Eighteenth and Nineteenth, opened March 3, 1834. This institution furnishes clinical assistance gratuitous to all who desire it.

Friends' Asylum for the Insane, Adams street, founded in 1811 by members or the society of Friends, has accommodations for about 75 patients. This institution was one of the first for the accommodation of the insane in the United States.

Preston Retreat, Hamilton street, opened in 1866. This is a lying-in hospital for the use of "indigent married women of good character, residents in the city and county of Philadelphia and the county of Delaware".

Municipal Hospital, Hart lane, near Twenty-first street, for the treatment of persons laboring under infectious diseases.

Saint Joseph's Hospital, south side of Girard avenue, from Sixteenth to Seventeenth street, under the care of Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity, but non-sectarian in its management. Capacity, 250 beds.

Charity Hospital, 1832 Hamilton street, chartered in 1858, and supported by private subscription. Daily clinics given, with advice and medicines to the respectable poor.

Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church, southeast corner of Lehigh avenue and Front street, occupying a square of ground. This fine building, whose doors are open to patients of all creeds and nationalities, has a capacity of 300 beds.

German Hospital, southwest corner of Girard and Corinthian avenues, founded by the efforts of citizens of German descent in 1860. Both the German and English languages are spoken in the institution, which is open to the sick and injured of all nationalities.

Saint Mary's Hospital, corner of Frankford road and Palmer street, under the care of the Franciscan Sisters of the Roman Catholic church, and entirely supported by voluntary contributions.

<<PAGE 815>>

Jewish Hospital, Olney road, near the York pike, founded in 1866. It admits all sufferers without regard to religious belief, but with special arrangements for Jewish patients so far as regards the peculiar observance of their religion.

Orthopedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases, northeast corner of Seventeenth and Summer streets. The cases annually treated number 600.

Presbyterian Hospital, corner of Thirty-ninth and Filbert streets. Accommodation for 100 patients.
Germantown Hospital, Shoemaker lane, near Chew street.

Children's Hospital, Twenty-second street, below Walnut. Children under the age of twelve received.
Accommodations for about 50 patients. The Children's Sea-shore hospital, at Atlantic City, may be considered a branch of this institution.

Homeopathic Hospital, Cuthbert street, west of Eleventh; under the control of the Hahnemann Medical college.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, south side of Spruce street, between Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth; founded in 1871; opened in part for use in 1874. This splendid hospital is entirely free to all residents of Pennsylvania who may need its services. Its endowment amounts to nearly or quite $1,000,000.

Woman's Hospital, corner of North College avenue and Twenty-second street; under the care of women, and for the reception of women and children only. It was established in 1861 in connection with the Woman's Medical College.

Lying-in Department of the Northern Dispensary, 608 Fairmount avenue.
State Hospital for Women and Infants, 1718 Filbert street.
Mission Hospital for Women and Children, corner of Eighth and Mary streets.


Philadelphia Dispensary, erected in 1801, on Fifth street, between Library and Walnut.
Eye and. Ear Institute of the Philadelphia Dispensary, southeast corner of Thirteenth and Chestnut streets.
Northern Dispensary, 608 Fairmount avenue.
Northeastern Dispensary, corner of Tulip and Fox streets.
Northeastern Dispensary (homeopathic), 1520 North Fourth street.
Southern Dispensary, 318 Bainbridge street.
Howard Hospital, 518 Lombard street.
Germantown Dispensary, connected with Germantown hospital.
Infirmary for Eye and Ear, 419 Wetherill street.
Moyamensing Dispensary, at House of Industry, Catherine street, below Seventh.
Dispensary for Skin Diseases, Eleventh street, above Locust.
Church Dispensary of Southwark, 1017 Morris street.
Philadelphia Lying-in and Nurse Charity, 126 North Eleventh street.


The number of these charitable institutions in Philadelphia is very large. A partial list only can be given:
Asylum for Children (Philadelphia almshouse), corner of Thirty-fourth and South street.
Asylum of Philadelphia Orphan Society, Haddington, West Philadelphia; instituted in 1814.
Saint Joseph's Female Orphan Asylum (Roman Catholic), southwest corner of Seventh and Spruce streets.
Saint John's Orphan Asylum (Roman Catholic), Westminster avenue, near Forty-ninth street.
Colored Orphans' Shelter, under charge of the society of Friends, corner of Haverford and Forty-fourth streets.
Catholic Home for Destitute Orphan Girls, 1720 Race street.
Church Home for Children, Angora station, on West Chester railroad.
Lincoln Institute for Boys, 308 South Eleventh street.
Educational Home for Boys, Greenway avenue, near Forty-ninth street, West Philadelphia.
Industrial Home for Girls, Twelfth street, below Spruce.
Northern Home for Friendless Children, occupying a square of ground between Twenty-second, Twenty-third, Brown, and Parrish streets.
Chartered by act of assembly, 1854.
Burd Orphan Asylum, of Saint Stephen's Church, on Market street, at Delaware county line, for the support of white female orphans not less than 4 or more than 8 years of age, who have been baptized in the Protestant Episcopal Church of Pennsylvania.
Day Nursery for Children, 410 Blight street.
Home for Destitute Colored Children, Maylandville, Darby road, near Forty-sixth street.
Foster Home Association, Poplar street, near Twenty-fourth.
Saint Vincent's Home (Roman Catholic), northwest corner of Wood and Eighteenth streets,
Saint Vincent's Orphan Asylum (Roman Catholic), at Tacony.
Union School and Children's Home, southeast corner of Twelfth and Fitzwater streets.
<<PAGE 816>>
Union Temporary Home for Children, northwest corner of Sixteenth and Poplar streets.
Western Provident Society and Children's Home, Forty-first and Venango streets.
Orphans' Home of Evangelical Lutheran Church and Asylum for Aged and Infirm, 5582 Germantown avenue.
Jewish Foster Home, 1431 North Fifteenth street.


Christ Church Hospital, between York and Huntington, Forty-ninth and Fiftieth streets; founded in 1772. Accommodates 100 inmates. The present building was erected in 1857.

Friends' Almshouse, south side of Walnut, between Third and Fourth streets. The land for the erection of this building was given to the Society of Friends in 1713 by John Martin, a poor man, on condition that they would build an almshouse on the premises and would take care of him for the remainder of his life. Only a few aged inmates occupy at present what is left of the old building, which is supposed to have been in the mind of Longfellow when he wrote his description of the spot where Evangeline meets her long-lost lover.

Indigent Widow's and Single Woman's Asylum, Cherry street, near Eighteenth; opened about 1820.
Saint Ann's Widows' Asylum, Moyamensing avenue, below Christian street; under charge of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.
Temporary Home Association, 505 North Sixth street.
Saint Luke's Church Home for Aged Women, 1317 Pine street. Penn Widows' Asylum, Wood and West streets, Kensington.
Home for the Homeless, 708 Lombard street.
Presbyterian Home for Widows and Single Women, Fifty-eighth street and Greenway avenue.
Baptist Home for Women, corner of Seventeenth and Morris streets.
Home for the Aged and Infirm Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Lehigh avenue, between Thirteenth and Broad streets.
Asylum for the Aged and Infirm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 5582 Germantown avenue.
Asylum of Little Sisters of the Poor (Roman Catholic), Eighteenth street, above Jefferson.
Old Men's Home, Thirty-ninth street and Powelton avenue. Mapother Home, Harrowgate lane, west of Kensington avenue.
Old Ladies' Home, Charfield [sic: Clearfield?] street and Frankford road.
Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Men and Women, Belmont and Girard avenues.

Boarding-house for Young Women, 1433 Lombard street, which provides a comfortable Christian home for members of the Protestant Episcopal church.

Boarding-house of Women's Christian Association, 1605 Filbert street.
Bedford Street Mission, 619 Alaska street; fire, lodgings, and baths for the poor.
Boarding Home, 915 Clinton street, for working girls.


Pennsylvania Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, northwest corner of Broad and Pine streets; founded in 1820; finished and occupied in 1825.
Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind, northwest corner of Twentieth and Race streets; founded in 1833.
Pennsylvania Working Home for Blind Men, 3518 Lancaster avenue. Pennsylvania Industrial Home for Blind Women, 2931 Locust street.


Asylum of Magdalen Society, for the reformation of fallen women, corner of Twenty-third and Race streets; founded in 1800.
Home of the Good Shepherd, for the reformation of unfortunate women without respect to creed, Twenty-second street, above Walnut, under charge of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church.

Asylum of the Rosine Association, Germantown avenue, below Rising Sun lane.
Howard Institution, 1612 Poplar street.
Midnight Mission, 911 Locust street.
Franklin Reformatory (for inebriates), 913 Locust street.
House of Industry, Catherine street, above Seventh.

In addition should be enumerated 8 or 9 "relief societies" founded by different nationalities; "soup societies" for the supply of the poor with nutritious food during the winter months; and a number of fuel, industrial aid, assistance, and humane associations.

Mention must also be made of the Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charitable Relief and Repressing Mendicancy, established in 1878, which has done and is doing a valuable work.

<<PAGE 817>>



Of these the largest and most important is Fairmount Park, situated on both banks of the river Schuylkill, and covering an extent of 2,740 acres. Next to Epping and Windsor Forests, in England, and to the Prater, at Vienna, it is the largest city park in the world. It is divided by common usage into Old Fairmount, Lemon hill, East park, West park, and Wissahickon park, contains a great variety of surface, and commands wide and beautiful views. The number of trees and shrubs is immense. It was calculated some years since that the park contained 34,000 trees each over 18 feet in circumference and 70,000 of lesser size.

Hunting Park, containing 45 acres, is situated at the intersection of Nicetown lane with the old York road. It was opened for public use in 1835, and is under the control of the commissioners of Fairmount park.


In founding the city William Penn set aside. 5 squares as public parks or inclosures. They were known as Northeast square, Southeast square, Northwest square, Southwest square, and Center square. Their modern Dames are as follows: Southeast, now Washington Square, occupies the block of ground lying between Sixth, Washington, Walnut, and Locust streets. It contains a little more than 6 acres. It was used for many years as a burial-ground and potter's field, and hundreds of American soldiers were interred there during the Revolutionary war. This use ceased in 1795, and about 1820 it was reopened as a pleasure-ground to the public.

Northeast, now called Franklin Square, lies between Sixth, Franklin, Race, and Vine streets. It contains between 7 and 8 acres. A portion of this square also was for a long time appropriated for burial purposes by a German Reformed congregation, under a grant from one of the Penn proprietaries, but the grant was annulled by the city authorities about 1835, and the square restored to its original intention.

Northwest, now known as Logan Square, extends from Race to Vine streets, and from Eighteenth to Logan, and contains a little over 7 acres. It was formerly the place chosen for public executions. In 1864 the whole extent of the square was inclosed for the great fair of the United States Sanitary Commission before mentioned.

Southwest or Rittenhouse Square is comprised between Walnut Locust, Eighteenth and Rittenhouse streets) and contains 6 1/2 acres.
Centre Square was finally given up for the occupation of municipal buildings.

Independence Square is the block of ground extending from the south side of Chestnut to the north side of Walnut street, between Fifth and Sixth, and contains a little more than 4 acres. The public buildings upon it have already been described.

Jefferson Square, between Washington, Federal, Third and Fourth streets, contains 22 acres.
Passyunk Square occupies part of the old parade-ground between Twelfth, Thirteenth, Wharton, and Reed streets.
Norris Square, 486 by 330 feet in extent, is situated between Diamond, Howard, and Haddock streets and Pennsylvania avenue.
Fairhill Square, on Lehigh avenue, is 500 feet by 210 in extent.
Germantown Square, one-half acre, is in front of the old Town hall of Germantown.
Union Square occupies a small triangle at the junction of Fifth and Buttonwood streets.
Shackamaxon Square, also triangular, is at the intersection of Maiden street with the Frankford road.
Thourun Square is at the corner of Sixth street and the Germantown road.


Philadelphia has 8 theaters, 5 halls, 1 zoological garden, and 1 museum, as follows:

American Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets; seating capacity 2,900; opened in 1857.

Walnut Street theater, Ninth and Walnut streets; seating capacity, 1,500; opened in 1829.
Arch Street theater, Arch street, west of Sixth; seating capacity, 1,500; opened in 1828.
Chestnut Street theater, Chestnut, between Twelfth and Thirteenth streets; seating capacity, 1,500; opened in 1863.
Amateurs' Drawing Room, Seventeenth street above Chestnut; seating capacity, 700; opened in 1865.
Concordia theater, 417 Callowhill street; opened in 1854; burnt in 1868 and afterward rebuilt.
Eleventh Street opera-house, Eleventh street and Marble alley; seating capacity, 1,100; opened in 1854; used for minstrel performances only.

Simmons and Slocum's opera-house, Arch street; between Tenth and Eleventh streets; seating capacity, 1,100; opened in 1870; burnt in 1872; rebuilt and reopened the same year.

Wood's Museum, corner of Ninth and Arch streets; besides a collection of curiosities and a menagerie, has a regular theatrical department where performances are given.

Concert hall, north side of Chestnut street, between Twelfth and Thirteenth -streets; is a well-appointed concert room with a seating capacity of 1,200; opened in 1853.
<<PAGE 818>>
The Assembly buildings, southwest corner of Tenth and Chestnut streets, used for concerts, exhibitions, and balls; built in 1839; burnt in 1851; rebuilt in 1852.

Mannerchor hall, corner of Franklin street and Fairmount avenue; under the charge of the German Mannerchor Society .

The Musical Fund Society hall, Locust street, above Eighth; has a concert-room 60 by 110 feet in size, which is held to be, acoustically considered, the most perfect music-hall in the United States. It was built in 1854, and for many years was the fashionable public room for balls and lectures as well as concerts.

Handel and Haydn hall, northeast corner of Eighth and Spring Garden streets; is a large building, 4 stories high, and devoted to the uses of the Handel and Haydn Musical Society and their concerts.

The Zoological Garden occupies a beautiful situation on the banks of the Schuylkill, within easy distance of the city with which it is connected by two lines of street-railway and various lines of ferry-boats. The total amount of land occupied by this garden is 33 acres, which are tastefully laid out and shaded by fine forest trees. Within the inclosure are the following buildings: "Solitude", a mansion formerly occupied by John Penn, now used for a variety of purposes; the carnivora house, with out-door cages, a large substantial structure; the aviary; the monkey house; the eagle house; the elephant and rhinoceros house; the bear-pits; besides a large number of pens, cages, etc. The cost of the buildings was over $150,000.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is a fine fire-proof building 260 feet in depth by 100 feet in width, on the corner of Broad and Cherry streets. It is in the Byzantine style of architecture, and is built of brick and stone. The institution was organized in 1805, and for many years occupied a building on Chestnut street above Tenth. The lower floor is devoted mainly to educational purposes, a directors' room, a lecture and life-class room, a studio for painting, drapery, and still-life, a modeling-room, a library and print room, and galleries of casts from the antique. On the second story are three ranges of galleries, divided by a fire transept 30 feet in width. The collection of paintings and marbles is large and valuable. The six galleries on the north contain each one important painting by an American artist, and are known as the Allston, the Benjamin West, the Leslie, the Stuart, the Sully, and the Neagle galleries.

Pages 818-830, the Drainage section, can be accessed here

<<Page 831>>


The first movement made in Philadelphia for the establishment of a cemetery not under the direct control of a religious organization was in 1825, when a "mutual association" purchased a lot of ground in what is now called Washington avenue, between Ninth and Tenth streets, which was divided into burial-lots and apportioned among the members. Two years later Ronalson's Cemetery, on Tenth street, was started, and in 1836 the beautiful piece of ground known as Laurel Hill Cemetery was set aside for the same purpose. This cemetery is divided into three portions, known as North, Central, and South Laurel Hill. It is situated on the east bank of the Schuylkill, is picturesquely placed and wooded, and contains many fine monuments. The other cemeteries of Philadelphia are:

West Laurel Hill, on the west bank of the Schuylkill at Pencoyd station, 110 acres.
Monument Cemetery, west side of Broad street, between Montgomery avenue and Diamond street.
Mount Vernon, Ridge avenue, immediately opposite Laurel hill.
Glenwood, northeast corner of Ridge avenue and Islington lane, 23 acres.
Woodlands, Darby road, 80 acres.
Mount Moriah, near Darby road, between Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth streets.
Old Oaks, Township Line road and Venango street.
Odd Fellows' Cemetery, Islington lane, 32 acres.
Mechanics' Cemetery, adjoining cemetery of Odd Fellows.
Mount Peace Cemetery, Nicetown lane, near Ridge avenue.
Greenwood, belonging to the Knights of Pythias, Adams street.
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Main street, above Paul.
Leverington Cemetery, Ridge road, Roxborough.
Fairhill, Germantown, above Cambria, belongs to members of the society of Friends (Hicksite).
Cathedral (Roman Catholic}, Lancaster avenue, between Forty-eighth and Fifty-first streets. New Cathedral (Roman Catholic), corner of Second street and Nicetown lane.
Mount Sinai (Jewish}, Bridesburg.
Beth El Emith (Jewish), comer of Fishers avenue and Market street.


The provision supply of Philadelphia is superior to that of most cities, and her markets have always had a wide celebrity. In 1709 the first permanent market-house was erected in High street, west of Second. Additions were gradually made until the line of market buildings extended in an unbroken line from the Delaware to Eighth street and beyond. In 1859 the demolition of these old buildings began, and one by one they were pulled down, their place being taken by large separate buildings in different parts of the city. Philadelphia now contains from 35 to 40 public markets, of which the principal are:

The Farmers', Market street, between Eleventh and Twelfth streets.
The Eastern, corner of Fifth and Merchant streets.
The Central, Market street, between Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets.
The Franklin, northeast corner of Twelfth and Market streets.
Southwestern, corner of Market and Nineteenth streets.
Fairmount, southwest corner of Twenty-second and Spring Garden streets.
Delaware Avenue, two buildings, extending from Delaware avenue to Front street, the great depot for oysters, fish, and Jersey products.
Lincoln, southeast corner of Broad street and Fairmount avenue.
Germania, southeast corner of Poplar and Seventeenth streets.
Federal, southeast corner of Seventeenth and Federal streets.
Callowhill Street, south side, extending from Sixteenth to Seventeenth street.
West Philadelphia, Market street between Fortieth and Forty-first streets.

There are few cities in the world in which such strict attention is paid to the quality of food as in Philadelphia. The supply of butter, eggs, poultry, and milk from the neighboring counties is almost unlimited in quantity and of superior quality. Prices are moderate, and the diet of the poor is of unusual excellence. The price of beef by the carcass varies from 8 to 12 cents a pound. The principal depots for the sale of cattle, sheep, and Iambs are at the Park drove-yards, Thirty-second street and Lancaster avenue; the Abattoir; the Stock-yard, Forty-fourth street and Belmont avenue; and the new stock-yards at Paschalville, in the southwest portion of the city.


The chief sanitary organization of Philadelphia is vested in the board of health, an independent body composed of 12 members, 9 of whom are appointed by the board of judges of the court of common pleas and 3 by the city-council. The act creating the board does not designate any fixed number to be selected from the medical profession, bat at present one-third of the members are physicians. The board is in no way subject to the control of the city <<Page 832>> government, except through the amount of appropriation made by the council. The annual expenses of the board in absence of any declared epidemic vary. For 1880 the appropriation is $254,871.55, of which $192,839.78 is expended for street-cleaning, collection of garbage and ashes, etc., leaving $62,031.77 for the usual sanitary purposes, divided as follows: For quarantine station, $14,949; for hospital for contagious diseases, $6,900; and for expenses of general office, salary of health officer, port physician, medical inspector, etc., removal of nuisances, and incidentals, $40,182.77. During an epidemic the board may increase its expenses to any amount the city council may appropriate. The authority of the board, as defined by laws and ordinances, is practically unlimited over the health and sanitary condition of the city, and the control of diseases of a contagious nature. The chief executive officer of the board is the health officer, who receives a salary of $2,100 per annum, as fixed by an act of the assembly, and in addition the sum of $2 for every vessel liable to health fees, making his yearly compensation about $5,000. He is required to examine the weekly accounts of the inspectors of vessels, and report monthly to the board; to keep a cash account of the daily receipts as they occur; to keep a record of all bills; to consult with the city solicitor in all business regarding legal proceedings; to see that all orders of the board regarding quarantine, abatement of nuisances, etc., are enforced; to keep a record of all diseases of an infectious or contagious nature; to publish weekly a list of all deaths, and annually a list of all births and marriages; and to have a general superintendence over the registration department. The other executive officers are the port physician, the lazaretto (or quarantine) physician, and the quarantine master, their duties being indicated by their respective titles. In addition to the above the following assistants are regularly employed: 1 medical inspector, 1 chief inspector of street-cleaning, 10 inspectors of street-cleaning and nuisances, 2 messengers (to collect record of births), 2 inspectors of privy cleaning, 2 vessel inspectors, and 18 vaccine physicians. All receive regular salaries except the last-named, and they are paid according to the number of persons vaccinated. With the exception of the medical inspector, all the inspectors have sufficient authority conferred on them by the mayor to arrest parties for violating the health ordinances.

NUISANCES. --Inspections are made only as nuisances are reported, except when specially made in certain localities. When a nuisance is reported an inspector is sent to investigate, and when the complaint is well founded the owner or agent of the property is called upon to abate the nuisance. If this is not done within the time specified in the notice the health officer does the work under instructions from the board, and, if the owner or agent fails to pay for the work, a lien is filed against the property. Whenever the cost of removing the nuisance exceeds the sum of $25, the health officer writes proposals and lets the work out to the lowest bidder. The following is the time allowed to parties for the removal of nuisances after notice has been served:

To remove dead animals, slaughter-house offal, and other matter in a state of decomposition, and to cleanse and disinfect infected houses, 24 hours.

To cleanse overflowing and leaky privy-wells and water-closets, to disinfect foul wells, and to cleanse slaughter house manure-pits during quarantine season, 3 days.

To cleanse full privy-wells and manure-pits, filthy houses, cellars, yards, alleys, and vacant lots, and to repair and regulate surface-drainage and leaky and defective drain pipes, 5 days.

To remove hog-pens, to cleanse slaughter-houses and. cow stables, and to fill up or drain ponds of stagnant water, 10 days.

For defective sewerage appeal is made to the city council to remedy defects through the survey and highway departments. Street-cleaning is entirely under the control of the board, and there are two ways of remedying any defects--one by doing the work at the expense of the contractors for street cleaning, and the other by annulling the contract.

The board sees that all garbage is removed, but its final disposal rests with the contractors who remove it. Ordinances prohibit the pollution of streams, and the board has full control over the removal of excrement.

BURIAL OF THE DEAD. --No interment of a body is allowed unless a death certificate signed by either a physician, a coroner, or the health officer is first obtained, and to which must be appended the certificate of the undertaker. In addition, the superintendent of the cemetery must furnish a certificate of burial. No disinterment or removal of a body from one grave to another in the same cemetery, or from one cemetery to another, is allowed unless a permit is first obtained from the health officer. The undertakers are required to return all certificates and permits to the office of the board once a week. The burial of a body in the inhabited or thickly settled part of the city at a distance of less than 8 feet below the surface of the ground, or in the rural districts at a less depth than 6 feet below the surface of the ground, is decided by the board to be prejudicial to health, and is positively forbidden.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES. --Small-pox patients are isolated only with their own consent, being then sent to the hospital for contagious diseases, which is situated outside the built-up portion of the city. Scarlet-fever patients are kept at home, but without special rules except for the lower classes. Sometimes cases are sent to the hospital for contagious diseases. <<Page 833>> During time of severe epidemics the public schools are closed, disinfected, etc. Vaccination is compulsory only so far as concerns children attending the public schools. It is, however, done at public expense by the physicians appointed for the purpose.

REGISTRATION AND REPORTS. --The registration of all births and deaths is under the charge of the health officer, undertakers returning all death certificates to the registration office, while messengers collect from physicians, etc., the number of births. The board reports annually to the mayor, and this report appears as an appendix to the mayor's annual message. It is also published separately by the board.


Street-cleaning. --The streets are cleaned at the expense of the city, by contract, the inspectors of the board of health watching and directing the contractors. Very little of the work is done by hand, sweeping-machines being used on all the streets except some in the suburban districts. From November 1 to April 1 all the streets are cleaned once a week, and during the balance of the year some of the streets are cleaned daily, some three times a week, some twice a week, and some weekly. The work is generally well done, considering that most of the streets are paved with cobble-stones. The better-paved streets are kept in excellent condition. The annual cost of the work, including the removal of garbage and ashes, was, for the past year, $192,839.78. The sweepings, in some instances, are used for grading the outskirts, but generally are sold to farmers. The merits of the street-cleaning of Philadelphia rest in the simplicity of the system and the economy of the administration. A new plan is to go into operation next year (1881) which it is said will be more economical, as it seeks to remedy defects now existing, i.e., improper dumping-grounds, inefficient sweeping-machines, and tardy removal of street-dirt after sweeping. A new and systematic disposal of refuse will go into operation at the same time.

Removal of garbage and ashes. --All garbage and ashes are removed at the expense of the city. The work is done under contract, and the inspectors of the board of health supervise it. While awaiting removal garbage is kept in receptacles not larger than a half-barrel, inside private premises until the collector makes his visit, when it may be placed temporarily on the sidewalks. It is not allowed to keep garbage and ashes in the same vessel. The garbage is mainly used for feeding swine, a small portion of it going to rendering-establishments, while the ashes are used for grading in the suburbs. So far no injury to health has resulted from the manner of keeping, handling, or disposal of the garbage, though occasionally a nuisance does arise owing to neglect on the part of the contractors. The merits of the system are frequency and cheapness of removal, while its principal defect, a non-systematic manner of disposal, will be remedied in the new plan to go into effect next year.

Dead animals. --Dead horses are removed by private parties, and the carcasses are utilized. The carcasses of all small animals are removed by the street-cleaning contractor and buried. Dead animals on vacant lots are removed at the expense of the owners of the lots. The rendering-establishments in which dead horses are utilized are under the regulations of the board of health. The cost of the removal of dead animals, except where the removal is from vacant lots, is included in the cost of street-cleaning, etc. No record is kept of the number of animals removed annually, and the system is reported as working satisfactorily.

Liquid household wastes. --Where sewers exist, all the liquid wastes from houses pass into them; where there are no sewers, chamber-slops are deposited in privy-vaults, while kitchen-slops and laundry wastes are disposed of by surface-drainage. No definite estimate has ever been made as to the proportion of wastes that pass into the street-gutters. Dry wells are used only to a limited extent, and they are porous, the idea being to sink them to gravel. The cesspools are nominally tight and have overflows connecting with the sewers. They receive the wastes from water-closets, and are cleaned out in the same manner as vaults. The street contractors are required to flush the gutters as often as' they clean the streets. The board of health reports that there have been cases in the suburbs of the city where the contamination of drinking-water by the overflowing or underground escape of the contents of cesspools and privy-vaults seemed probable.

Human excreta. --The board of health estimates that out of the 145,000 buildings in the city about 26,000 are provided with water-closets, the remainder depending on privy-vaults. Nearly all the water-closets deliver into t he sewers, either direct or by cesspools that are connected with the sewers by overflows, though in some of the old houses they connect with the privy-vaults. The privy-vaults are open below, with brick and mortar walls. All vaults, sinks, and cesspools are emptied in the day-time, by the odorless-excavator process, the persons doing the work being licensed by the board of health. Privy-cleaners must obtain a permit from the board before cleaning any vault or cesspool, and this permit must be returned to the health officer the day after the work has been performed. The dry-earth system is used only to a limited extent. The night-soil is generally used as a fertilizer, in the untreated state, but none of it is so used on land within the gathering-ground of the public water-supply, so far as the jurisdiction of the city extends.

Manufacturing wastes. --All the liquid wastes that are not utilized for other purposes flow into the sewers. The solid wastes, if of any value, are used, and the remainder carted beyond the built-up portion of the city.

<<Page 834>>


The police force of Philadelphia is appointed and governed by the mayor of the city. The chief of police--salary, $2,325 per annum--is the chief executive officer, and has direct control of the force, under the direction of the mayor. The remainder of the force in the several grades, and the salaries of each, are as follows: 4 captains at $1,350 each per annum; 8 detectives at $1,080 each per annum; 27 lieutenants at $1,035 each per annum; 57 sergeants at $974.16 each per annum; 1,200 patrolmen at $2.25 each per day. In addition, there are a lieutenant and 24 men, with 2 tug-boats, who act as harbor police. The force is assigned to one central station and 24 police districts. The central station is at the city hall, whence it has telegraphic communication with the district stations.

The uniform is of dark-blue cloth, with gilt buttons, and each man furnishes his own, the city allowing each policeman $20 annually in addition to the regular pay for this purpose. The men are equipped with a badge or shield having on it the coat of arms of the city, and a belt, a club, a rattle, and a revolver. The force in each district is divided into No. 1 and No. 2 squads. No. 1 squad goes 011 duty at 5 p. m, and remains until midnight. No. 2 relieves No. 1, and remains on duty until 7 a.m., when it is relieved by one-half of No. 1 squad. The first half of No. 1 squad remains on duty until noon, when it is relieved by the other half of the squad, which remains on duty until 5 p.m. Thus half the men are on street duty at night, one-half remaining in the station-houses; and during the day one-quarter of the men are on duty in the streets, one-quarter having a day off every four days, and the remainder are on duty in the station-houses.
The police force patrols nearly the whole area of the city. During the past year (1880) there were 44,315 persons arrested, the principal causes being for intoxication and disorderly conduct. Some of these were disposed of by fines, and other cases were returned to court and then disposed of. No account is kept of the amount of property lost or stolen in the city, but during the year the police recovered lost and stolen property to the value of $75,026.89, and returned the same to the owners. The number of station-house lodgers during 1880 was 90,202, as against 109,673 in 1879.

The police force is required to co-operate with the fire department by preserving peace at all fires and preventing persons from crowding on the "fire-grounds". Special policemen are appointed, at the request of citizens, for duty as watchmen, etc. They are paid by the persons who have them appointed, and are required to assist the regular force when called on so to do. The yearly cost of the police department, including the expenses of the mayor's office, is $1,270,633.37 for 1880.


The Eastern penitentiary of Philadelphia occupies a lot of about 11 acres, extending from Fairmount and Corinthian avenues to Twenty-second street and northward to Brown. The building has a frontage of 670 feet. It was begun in 1823 and finished in 1829. The original intention was to conduct it on what was called the Pennsylvania plan of solitary confinement; but this, carried out strictly, proved productive of insanity among the prisoners, and the system, though still called solitary, has gradually been relaxed, even to the extent of occasionally putting two persons into one cell. The prisoners are taught various handicrafts, they are allowed to write and receive letters under inspection of the officers, and a library of 6,000 volumes is open for their use.

The Moyamensing, or Philadelphia County prison is situated on Passyunk road near Tenth street. The building was finished in 1836. It is solidly built of Quincy granite, and contains 400 cells for male and 100 for female prisoners. The appropriation for the support of this prison in 1879 was $124,396.

The house of refuge occupies a lot extending from Parish street to Poplar and from Twenty-second to Twenty-third street. It was incorporated in 1826 for "the employment of the idle, the instruction of the ignorant, and the correction of the depraved". It has separate departments for boys and girls and a special department for colored children. It will accommodate about 600 inmates.

The house of correction is on the south bank of the Pennypack creek at its junction with the Delaware. It occupies apiece of ground from 200 to 300 acres in extent, which is in part devoted to farming and industrial purposes. The building is intended for the reception of vagrants, drunkards, and persons guilty of slight offenses against the peace and good order of the community. There is attached to it a chapel capable of holding 2,500 persons.


The public schools of Philadelphia are supported by taxation, and are conducted for the benefit of all residents of the city. They are governed by a board of education, and there are school directors for each section, who are elected annually by a vote of the citizens. The schools are graded with primary, secondary, consolidated, and grammar schools. There are besides a high school for boys, and a normal school for girls, which latter is meant for the education of young women who intend to become teachers. In 1879 the subdivisions of the educational system of Philadelphia included the following schools: 1 high school for boys, 1 normal school for girls, 1 school of practice, 64 grammar schools, 30 consolidated schools, 137 secondary schools, 238 primary schools; making a total of 472. The total number of teachers employed was 2,070. The total number of pupils under instruction was 105,567. The amount expended for the support of the schools was $1,430,942.33, and the amount appropriated for the erection of new school-houses was $79,256.11.

<<Page 835>>

Philadelphia is rich in public as well as in private libraries. According to the returns of the census of 1870 there were not less than 3,700 libraries in the city, comprising 2,985,770 volumes. During the intervening decade these numbers have doubtless increased considerably. The Philadelphia, the most important of the public libraries, is one of the oldest in the United States, and, so far as is known, was the first to inaugurate the lending system, now so prevalent. It was founded in 1731 by that "Junto" of which Franklin was a prominent member. At his suggestion the members of the little club brought each his small store of books to their club-room, that they might be ready for consultation and a "common benefit". Later, the plan proving to have inconveniences, Franklin started a project for a subscription library, and from the small beginning grew the present inestimable collection, amounting, with the Lyceum library, which is united with it, to over 100,000 volumes.

Until 1878 the Philadelphia library continued to occupy the brick building on the corner of Fifth and Library streets, erected for its accommodation in 1790. Its more valuable books and collections were then transferred to a splendid fire-proof building on Broad street, bequeathed to the Philadelphia library on the condition that it should henceforth be known as the "Ridgeway library". This building has accommodations for 400,000 books. The fiction and modern works are now placed in a building designed in imitation of the old edifice but nearer to the center of the city.

The Mercantile Library is located on the west side of Tenth street, between Chestnut and Market, in a building 300 feet deep by 80 wide, erected in 1869. The number of volumes in the library is over 130,000, and its membership is estimated at over 12,000.

The Athenaeum Library and Reading Room is on the corner of Sixth and Adelphi streets, below Walnut. It was instituted in 1813, and in 1847 was removed to its present building, one of the finest in the city.

The Apprentices' Library, on the southwest corner of Fifth and Arch streets, is the only free library in the city. It was established in 1820 "for the use or apprentices and other young persons, without charge of any kind for the use of the books". It contains some 25,000 volumes, has a free reading-room for men, and it is estimated that nearly 80,000 young people have since its beginning enjoyed the advantages which it furnishes.

The Friends' Library, 304 Arch street, began with a bequest of books from Thomas Chalkley in 1741. It contains 7,000 volumes, largely relating to the history and progress of the Quakers.

Friends' Library, Race street, west of Fifteenth, established in 1834, has an equal number of books.

Law Association Library, southeast corner of Sixth and Walnut streets, was founded in 1802 by members of the bar for the sake of keeping a complete collection of law books within reach of the members of the profession.

Southwark Library Company, Second street, below German, is a stock company, founded in 1822, and has about 10,000 volumes.
Mechanics' Institute, Southwark; about 4,000 volumes.
City Institute, Eighteenth and Chestnut streets; 3,000 volumes.
Spring Garden Institute, corner of Broad and Spring Garden streets; 5,000 volumes.

Moyamensing Institute Library, corner of Eleventh and Catherine streets; founded in 1852; 4,000 volumes. Kensington Institute Library, corner of Girard avenue and Day street.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 820 Spruce street; founded in 1824; 17,000 volumes.
Library of Numismatic and Antiquarian Society, southwest corner of Eighteenth and Chestnut streets.
Library of Friends' Historical Collection, in the Pennsylvania Historical Society building.
Library of Baptist Historical Society, 550 Arch street.
Library of Methodist Historical Society, 1018 Arch street.
Library of Presbyterian Historical Society, 1334 Chestnut street.
German Society Library, 24 South Seventeenth street; 10,000 volumes.


The following regarding the fire department of Philadelphia is taken from the annual report of the chief engineer for the year ending December 31, 1879:
The department as now organized consists of 1 chief engineer, 5 assistant engineers, 33 foremen, 28 enginemen, 28 firemen, 33 drivers, 5 tillermen, 260 permanent hosemen and laddermen, and 8 temporary hosemen located in the rural districts. They are arranged into 33 companies--28 engine companies and 5 truck companies. The apparatus of the department consists of 34 steam fire-engines and 6 trucks.

At present there are in use at the different stations about 35,000 feet of hose of all kinds, and of this quantity it is stated that only a small portion can be relied on in case of emergency. It is stated that 50,000 feet are necessary to thoroughly equip the department. Regarding the fire-alarm telegraph, the chief engineer says:

“The present method of conveying the alarms is so faulty and uncertain, it is hardly worthy the name of "telegraph ", as understood by the public. The boxes are unreliable, sparsely scattered, and utterly worthless. The whole system is so completely run down for the want of necessary repair that it is almost worse than useless...So uncertain has it become that the men now wait for several rounds from the box before starting, preferring to remain in the house rather than go several miles out of the direction of the flames.”

<<Page 836>>

During the year 1879 the whole number of fires attended by the department was 742, with a loss of property amounting to $1,373,920. This loss was covered by an insurance amounting to $5,860,660. The total cost of the department for the year was $442,798.37.

These charts, in jpeg format, are about 100 kb each.

Chart showing value of commerce and navigation for 1879 and 1880 (page 836)

Charts (pages 836-39) showing value and type of manufactures based on the 1880 Census
1. Agricultural implements-Bronze castings (page 836)
2. Brooms and brushes-Hat and cap materials (page 837)
3. Hats and caps, not including wool hats-Roofing and roofing material (page 838)
4. Saddlery and harness-Worsted good (page 839)


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