Philadelphia Timeline, 1874
- January 1. Fire at sugar refinery of McKean, Newhall & Borie, a Grange Place between Second and Third Streets; loss, $200.000.
- January 29. New Olympic Theater, Market Street, south side below Thirteenth, destroy by fire; loss, $200.000. Two firemen were killed.
- February 8. Miss Hage and Ms, Lee, two ballet dancers at Mortimer's Varieties (corner tenth and Callowhill Streets). burned by their dresses taking fire from a stove. Both subsequently died.
- February 6. The Franklin Saving Fund Society adjudged bankrupt. Indignation meeting of depositors held same day at Assembly Building (S.W. corner Tenth and Chestnut Streets).
- Fiftieth anniversary of the Franklin Institute celebrated at Musical Fund Hall.
- February 13. The larger beer brewery of Henry Muller, Thirty-Second and Jefferson Streets, fell in from the weight of a great quantity of ice which was being stored in an apartment. There were twenty-eight persons in the brewery at the time; of this nine were killed, and eleven badly injured. Everything in the building was destroyed, the pecuniary loss estimated at $100.000.
- February 18. Autopsy upon the bodies of the Siamese twins (Chang and Eng Bunker) finished at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
- February 27. First demonstration made against taverns and lager beer saloons in imitation of proceedings in Ohio and other Western States. About twenty women visited three or four saloons in the neighborhood of Susquehanna Avenue and Fifth Street, Sang hymns in front of these places and delivered prayers. None of the saloons closed.
- March 5. Ropewalk of John P. Bailey & Co., Otsego and Morris Streets, burned; loss $20.000.
- March 19. Fire at Insall & Dorey's spring factory, 1437 Hutchinson Street; loss $35.000.
- March 24. Machine shops and other buildings at the Shipyard of Wm. Cramp & Son, Beach and Norris Streets, burned; loss $175.000.
- April 29. Steamship Mediator burned at Pier 19, Delaware Avenue below Callowhill Street; loss 250.000.
- May 8. Boiler explosion at the Keystone Mills, Callowhill Street near Twenty-Fifth; two persons killed.
- May 23. Sash-factory and planing-mills of Hazel & Co., north-east corner of eighth Street and Girard Avenue, burned; loss $25,000.
- May 29. Fire al 11 North sixth Street, occupied by Edward Stern, printer; loss $20.000.
- May 31. Eighteenth Street Chapel of M. E. Church, corner of Eighteen and Wharton Streets, dedicated.
- June 3. Cornerstone laid of the addition to German Hospital, corner of Corinthian Street and Girard Avenue.
- June 4. University Hospital Thirty-Fourth and Spruce Streets, dedicated by Governor Hartranft.
- June 17. Edward Payson Weston, at the Chesnut Street Rink (Twenty-third and Chestnut Streets) commenced and effort to walk two hundred miles at the rate of fifty miles per day in ten hours per day. He accomplished it on the fourth day. Time, first day, 9h. 59m. 15s.; second day, 9h. 56m. 50s. Third day, 9h. 56m. 40s.; fourth day, 9h. 54m. 20s.
- June 18-19. Regatta of the Schuylkill Navy. Course, from the Falls Bridge to Rockland, one and half mills. Prize for four-oared shells won by Argonaut Rowing Association of Bergen Point, NJ Prize for pair-oared shells won by Nassau Boat Club, NY Prize for single sculls won by J.R. Keaton of the Harlem Rowing Association of New York.
- June 24. Fete champetre at Belmont, West Park, under auspices of Women's Centennial Committee.
- June 27. Regatta of the Amateur Rowing Association on the Schuylkill. Course, from Rockland and return, two miles. First prize won by Nereid; second prize, Lucilla.
- July 1. Charles Brewster Ross, a boy four years old, son of Christian K. Ross, of Germantown, together with an elder brother, was carried off and kidnapped by two men. The older boy was released at Richmond and Palmer Streets, and return to his home, but the younger one was not heard from. Very large rewards were offered for his recovery, and the case was one which attracted attention all over the United States.
- Zoological Gardens at Fairmount Park formally opened to the public.
- Public announcement made that the Centennial Board of Finance had accepted the bid of Richard J. Dobbins for the erection of the Centennial buildings. The contract price for Memorial Hall was $972,595, according to specified dimensions, or maximum cost of $1,249,273, if the cubic capacity of the building shall be increased thirty per cent. The contract cost of the main Exposition Building, covering eighteen acres, was $1,236,000, exclusive of about $80,000 for grading.
- July 3. Henry Loth's sewing machine factory, southeast corner of Broad and Wallace Streets, burned; loss, $35.000.
- July 4. Cornerstone of Public Building laid at Broad and Market Streets. The building had been commenced long before that time,
- Girard Avenue Bridge formally opened. Total length, 1000 feet; total width, 100 feet. The widest bridge in the world. Cost, $1,404,445.
- July 16, The Athletic and Boston Baseball Clubs sailed for Europe upon a professional tour on the steamship Ohio.
- August 4. Fire at mill, northwest corner of Germantown and Columbia Avenues; loss, $22,000.
- August 5. Cornerstone laid of Memorial Baptist Church, northeast corner Broad and Master Streets.
- August 25. Signor Pedanto made a balloon ascension from Windmill Island. At the office of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Fourth Street and Willings Alley, the aerostat struck a flagpole on the top of the building, which tore a hole in the balloon, causing the gas to escape. The balloon descended rapidly, whereby the persons in the car were injured.
- September 1. Fire at James Wright's carpet factory, Twenty-third and Simes Streets; loss, $25,000.
- September 5. Centennial celebration of the meeting of the First Continental Congress at Carpenters' Hall.
- September 9. Steamship Abbottsford arrived with the members of the Athletic and Boston Baseball clubs on board.
- September 26. Annual regatta of the Schuylkill Navy. Course from Rockland, one mile up the river and return. Single scull prize won by J.B. McBeath, of Quaker City Club, time,16m. 10s; gigs,. Pennsylvaniaia Club, time 14m. 18s. Double sculls, Steele and Whitemar of Pennsylvania Club. Barges, Ione of Crescent Club, Ttime, 14m. 38 1/2s. Four-oared shells, Pennsylvania club, time, 9m. 15 3/4s.
- October 1. Cornerstone laid of new building for the women's Medical College, corner of Twenty-First Street and North College Avenue.
- October 11. Church of the German Reformed Salem congregation Fairmount Avenue below Fourth, dedicated.
- October 18. Cornerstone laid of Roman Catholic Church of St. Agatha, northwest corner of thirthy-eigth and Bridge (Spring Garden) Streets.
- October 27. F.H. G. Brotherton concluded, at 806 Green Street, the pedestrian feat of walking 1000 half-miles in 1000 half-hours, being 1000 half-hours of consecutive hours, which effort was commenced on October 6.
- October 29. Falls of Schuylkill Brewery, belonging to Jacob Hohenadel, burned, loss $45,000.
- November 2. Fire at glassworks of F.J. Cook, York and Thompson Streets; loss, $35,000.
- November 12. Fast traveling on Pennsylvania Railroad from Jersey City to West Philadelphia depot, 1 hour 47 minutes, including two stoppages. From Philadelphia to Baltimore, 2 hours, 15 minutes. From Baltimore to Philadelphia, return, 2 hours, 13 minutes.
- November 21. Manayunk and Roxborough inclined railway opened.
- December 14. William Mosher and Joseph Clark, abductors of Charles Brewster Ross, shot and killed while attempting burglary at the residence of Judge Van Brunt, at Bay Ridge, Long Island.
Excerpted from "Happenings in ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900" by Rudolph J. Walther, 1925, Walther Printing House, Philadelphia, PA