Homepage Guestbook Who We Are Trophy Case Links Buy a Flag Historic Gifts
Navigation bar



1600's 1700's 1800 1801 1802 1803 1804 1807 1808 1809 1810 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1827 1828 1829 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1854 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882
1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
1882 1884

Philadelphia Timeline, 1883


  • January 3. Bucks and Montgomery County Farmers' Market opened in building some years abandoned, formerly erected for market-house purposes, at S. E. Cor. Of Sixth St. And Columbia Ave.
  • January 26. Underground electric light apparatus on the Thompson & Houston plan went into operation for business purposes on Market St. Between Seventh and Eleventh Sts.
  • January 29. New freight-station of Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Shackamaxon St. And River-front Railroad, open for business
  • January 30. James F. Brown, ex-storekeeper in the Almhouse, charged with forgery and conspiracy with Ellis P. Phipps, ex-steward, to cheat and defraud the public, was found guilty.
  • Fire at 2540-256 N. Broad St., occupied by Leve, Knowles & Co., J. Allen & Co., E. H. Graham & Co., flour and grain merchants, Edmund Hill & Co., machinists, and E. W. Siegeman & Co., dealers in agricultural implements. Loss, $20,000.
  • February 5. Furniture manufactory of Julian Kraan, 942 N. Ninth St., No. 914 Broad Street, formally opened.
  • March 14. New building of the Homeopathic Hospital for children, No. 914 Broad Street, formally opened.
  • March 24. United States steel-plated monitor Terror launched from the shipyard of Cramp & Sons. Length between perpendiculars, 250 feet, 3 inches; depth of hold, 14 feet, 8 inches. Keel' laid October 2, 1874.
  • April 7. Cable-motor branch of Union Passenger Railway, Columbia Ave., from Twenty-third St. To the Park, commenced regular operations.
  • The iron steam pleasure yacht Atlanta, built for Joy Gould, of New York, launched from the shipyard of Cramp & Sons. Length from knighthead to taffrail, 230 feet, 3 inches; beam, 26 feet, 4 inches; depth, 16 feet; rigged with three masts. No. 246.
  • April 10. Warrant for the extradition of Maj. Ellis P. Phipps to Philadelphia, signed by the governor-general of Canada.
  • April 13. Maj. Ellis P. Phipps, extradited from Canada, brought back to the city and lodged in the county prison.
  • April 14. Fire at the plumber's metal-works of C. A. Blessing, Montgomery Ave. bel. Sixth St. Loss, $70,000.
  • April 26. Fire at the Arch Street Opera House, by which the interior was burned out. Loss, $18,000.
  • April 28. Four-oared gig-race between the classes of the University of Pennsylvania, national course, Schuylkill River. Distance, 1-1/2 miles. Juniors, class of '84, 9 min., 15 5/8 sec; Seniors, '83, 9 min., 33 sec.; Freshmen, '86, 9 min., 33 sec.; Freshmen, '86, 9 min., 30 sec. Medical class time not taken. The Junior time was 6 1/8 sec. faster than any before made on the river by four-oared gigs.
  • May 3. Iron steamship Alameda, built for the Oceanic Steamship Company, San Francisco, launched at the shipyard of Cramp & Sons.
  • Fire at S. E. cor. Germantown Ave. and Master St., occupied by D.F. Rawle, flour dealer; John Richardson, furniture manufacturer; Montague & White, hosiery; Walton Ritter, cotton goods. Loss, $23,000.
  • May 4. Maj. Ellis P. Phipps, tried for forgery, committed as an officer of the Almhouse, found guilty in the court of Quarter Sessions and sentenced, June 30, to five year's imprisonment, at hard labor.
  • May 6. Cornerstone laid of new Roman Catholic Church and school of St. Edward the Confessor, N. E. cor. Seventh and York Sts.
  • New chapel of Trinity M. E. Church, Fifteenth and Mount Vernon Sts., dedicated.
  • May 13. Fire at 1512-16 Spring Garden St., occupied by North American Smelting Works; Pennsylvania Brass Works; D. W. Bing, foundry and machine shops; D. B. Birch, miller; Fayer, cigar-moulder, and James Kerr, manufacturer. Loss, $35,000.
  • May 22. Fire at saw and planning mill and steam packing-box factory, Marshall Sr. above Girard Ave., occupied by W. H. Howard, Williwar & Yiest and William Stone. Loss, $11,500.
  • May 27. Cornerstone laid of Mount Airy Presbyterian chapel, Germantown Ave. and Mount Pleasant St.
  • June 12. Cornerstone laid of infirmary attached to Presbyterian Home for Widows and Single Women, Fifty-eighth St. and Woodland Ave.
  • Ground broken for Cohocksink M. E. church, S. W. cor. Seventh and Norris Sts.
  • June 15. Inter-collegiate boat-race for the Childs challenge cup on the Schuylkill River between the crews of Princeton College and the University of Pennsylvania. National course, 1-1/2 miles straight away. Won by the University of Pennsylvania by two clear lengths. Time 9.311/5 minutes.
  • June 23. Spring regatta of Schuylkill Navy, National course, Schuylkill River, 1-1/2 miles straight away. Prizes, Junior single scull to Vesper Club, time, 10.19; Senior singles, Malta, 10.271/2. Pair-oared shells, West Philadelphia, 11.121/2. Junior four-oared gigs, Malta, 9.18. Senior four-oared shells College, 8.39. Double sculls, Cresent, 9.101/2. Six-oared barges, Malta, 9.423/4.
  • July 1. Henry Disston Memorial M. E. Church, Tacony, dedicated.
  • July 19. At 12 o'clock M. the telegraph operators of the Western Union Telegraph Company, to the number of two hundred and forty, struck and left their work-a movement which was general with the operators of that company all over the United States at the same hour. The strike lasted until August 17th, when the members of the Brotherhood were officially informed by their officers, "The strike is a failure. All the members who can return to work immediately."
  • July 23. The direction taken by the cars on the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Streets Passenger Railway reversed, running up Thirteenth St. and down Fifteenth.
  • August 7. Fire at stable and ice-house of Knickerbocker Ice Company, Willow Street Wharf; thirty-three horses and four mules burned to death. Loss, $35,000. Reading freight depot, adjoining, damaged.
  • Fire at chemical works of Hance Bros. & White, N. W. cor. Marshall and Callowhill Streets. Loss, $28,000.
  • August 8. Exhibition of "walking on the water" on the Delaware River by C. D. Fort. He wore shoes of light cedar. Course, from Walnut St. Wharf to Ridgway Park. In consequence of a strong tide, which carried the walker far out of his course, the time required to reach the goal was two hours.
  • August 22. Collision in the Delaware River, off Point Airy, between the ferry-boat Dauntless, of the Gloucester line, and the steam-yacht Emma A. Kline. The latter was sunk, and William Young, drowned.
  • August 29. Fire at wollen-mill, N. W. cor. Cumberland and Third Sts., occupied by Gilmour & Morris, finishers; Lee & Bowers, woolens; Robert Laycock, woolens; Garner & Co., worsted; Joseph P. Murphy, shawls, etc. Loss, $50,000.
  • August 30. Accident on Philadelphia and Atlantic City Narrow-Gauge Railroad, near Pleasantville, New Jersey, caused by defect in a switch. Cars overturned, twenty-eight persons seriously injured.
  • September 3. William J. Menow shot and killed on Front St. above Poplar by Mrs. Emily Bickel, who claimed to be the wife of Menow.
  • September 12. Steamboat Mosses Taylor, of the Bridesburg and Tacony line, sunk at Bridesburg Wharf.
  • September 17. The new Arch Street Opera House, Arch St. west of Tenth, rebuilt after being burned, opened by Rice's Comic opera Company.
  • September 19. Saw and planing mill, Norris and Richmond Sts., occupied by Jesse W. Taylor & Sons, and Henry Bradshaw, hardwood goods, burned, and adjoining property damaged. Loss, $30,000.
  • Fire broke out in the lumber yard of James Gill, 1168 N. Third St., which spread and destroyed nearly the whole block of buildings bounded by Gill's lumber yard, Eagle Iron Works of Hoff & Fontaine, and from fifteen to twenty dwelling houses, shops and other buildings. Loss estimated at $75,000.
  • September 19. Workman commenced laying the cable road of the Union Passenger Railway Company on Columbia Avenue east of Twenty-third Street.
  • September 20. Philadelphia and Atlantic Railroad (narrow-gauge) sold at public sale at Camden, N. J. and bought by G. W. R. Kercher for the Reading Railroad Company.
  • September 24. New Central Theatre, on site of old Grand Central Theatre, Walnut St. above Eighth, opened. Front, 80 feet; depth, 135 feet, height to the cornice, 58 feet; auditorium, 76 feet deep; stage, 74 feet wide, 40 feet deep; height of rigging-loft, 76 feet; proscenium opening, 28 feet square. Seating capacity (orchestra, orchestra circle, balcony and gallery), 2,600.
  • New hall of Philadelphia Turn Verein, 433 and 435 N. Sixth St., dedicated.
  • September 29. Saw and planing mill, Willow between Eleventh and twelfth Sts., property of the assignees of William B. Thomas and occupied by J. J. Crout & Son, sash, blind and door manufacturers, and Henry A. Hunsincker, planing mill, burned. Loss, $20,000.
  • First annual meeting of the Pennsylvania division of the League of American Wheelmen at Fairmount Park, followed by the bicycle races at the Gentleman's Driving Park. About four hundred wheelmen in line.
  • October 1. Filemyer's brewery, 2527 N. Broad St., partly destroyed by fire. Loss, $15,000.
  • Reception of the Athletic Base Ball Club after its return from the West, where it had won champion pennant of the American Base Ball Association. Parade participated in by base ball clubs, yacht clubs, social clubs and other organizations.
  • October 8. Improvements in Franklin Square having been finished it was opened to the public and illuminated for the first time with electric lights.
  • October 24. The Letitia house, the cottage of William Penn. built in 1682, which was the first State House of the providence and was the oldest mansion in the city, having been removed from Leticia Court to Fairmount Park, was formally presented to the park Commissioners on behalf of the Bi-Centennial Association of Pennsylvania.
  • November 10. Iron steamship San Pablo, built for the Pacific Improvement Company, Launched from shipyards of Wm. Cramp & Sons. Length, 350 feet; width, 42 feet; depth, 29 feet; engines, 2,000 horse-power; carrying capacity, 4.000 tons.
  • November 17. Fire at the sheds of the American Line Steamship Company at Christian St. Wharf. Cotton and other merchandise intended for shipment burned, also the tugboat Palls, some hosting floats, lighters and other vessels. Loss estimated at $120,000.
  • November 18. The new eastern standard of time adopted by the railroad companies of the eastern division of the country went into operation at noon. By resolution of City Councils, the public clocks were set thirty-six seconds faster than the current time, that being the time of the seventy-fifth meridian and the difference at Philadelphia.
  • November 28. The Fences of Carpenter St. and on Washington Ave., on the line of Fifteenth ST., which blocked up travel by reason of the occupancy of the ground by the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad Company, taken down.

< 1882 1884 >

Excerpted from "Happenings in ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900" by Rudolph J. Walther, 1925, Walther Printing House, Philadelphia, PA

Click here for Store