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1889 1891

Philadelphia Timeline, 1890


  • January 16. Steamer Edwin Forrest driven on the sand-bar off Burlington Island. No one was injured, and the steamer was afterward floated without injury.
  • January 20. George W. Wright pleaded guilty to the embezzlement of $38,660.20 from the order of Tonti and was sentenced to pay a fine of $1000 and to undergo an imprisonment of four years and nine months in the penitentiary.
  • January 26. David Alexander, a monomaniac, fired a shot from a revolver at Bishop Whitmaker of the Protestant Episcopal Church while the was conducting services in St. John's Church. The bullet missed its mark. Alexander was after adjudged insane and sent to the Danville Asylum.
  • February 1. Spring Garden market house opened for Business.
  • February 21. The roof of the Grand Opera House fell while efforts were Being made to raise it, injuring seven workmen.
  • March 1. Cars began running on the Catharine and Bainbridge Street branch of the Philadelphia Traction Company. Coaches of the Philadelphia Traction Company. Coaches of the Omnibus Company General began running on broad Street.
  • March 10. A special train on the Bound Brook division of the Reading Railway made the trip between Philadelphia and Jersey City in 85 minutes, Claimed to be the fastest time ever made between these points.
  • April 30. The Bank of America and its numerous branches suspended payments. On the following day the Gloucester City National Bank suspended. This was followed by the suspension of the Fidelity Surety Trust and Safe Deposit Company of Camden and its branches through their officers, as was the American Life Insurance Company, which suspended business on May 10, in compliance with a writ of quo warranto issued by the Attorney-General of the State. Numerous suits were brought against the officers of the various institutions involved.
  • May 1. Parish house of St. Simeon's Protestant Episcopal Church dedicated. The new building of the First Penny Savings Bank of Philadelphia opened for business. Lehigh Avenue electric cars began regular service with six cars.
  • May 14. Steamer City of Seattle launched at Neafie & Levy's shipyard.
  • May 28. Steamer Essex launched at Cramp's shipyard.
  • May 29. Smith's and Windmill Islands formally transferred to the United States in the mayor's office.
  • May 30. John C. File, late treasurer of the Lutheran Orphan's Home, confessed that he had made away with almost the whole endowment fund of the institution.
  • June 3. The dynamite cruiser Vesuvius Formally transferred to the Government by Cramp & Sons. She sailed for the Brooklyn navy yard on June 18.
  • June 6. Announcement made that Cramp & Sons had increased their capital stock to $3,500,000 for the purpose of establishing new and extensive shipbuilding yards near Greenwich Point. Severe electrical storm. Alice Farrel, six years old, killed by lightning. Lightning also stuck G. & H. Barnett's oil storehouse, setting it on fire and burning 38,500 gallons of oil. Many minor casualties occurred. City Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill formally opened.
  • June 12. A freight train wreck at Beach and Otis Streets threw two freight cars into the Aramingo Canal and killed John Fallack, a rolling mill employee.
  • June 16. A street car struck by a railroad train at Ninth and Green Streets. Several passengers injured, one seriously.
  • June 19. Two men fatally scaled by the bursting of a mash tub at Betz's brewery.
  • June 24. Joseph Buecher shot and killed Dennis Crowley at Fourth Street and Girard Avenue.
  • July 2. The Fairmount Park Motor Company to build and operate a gravity railroad in the Park, formed.
  • July 14. New police station at Manayunk opened.
  • July 17. Severe storm. One man drowned in the Delaware River. Part of the roof of the Second and Third Streets car stables fell on a car, killing a horse. Numerous minor accidents caused by high wind and lightning.
  • July 24. Gambling establishments at Gloucester raided by Camden county constables.
  • July 29. Wooden steamer Pawnee launched at Charles Hillman & Co.'s shipyard.
  • July 30. Conference of citizens with the Board of United States Engineers on the matter of improving the harbor and removing the islands of the Delaware.
  • August 19. lighthouse-tender "Armenia" launched at Dialogue's shipyard.
  • August 21. A severe windstorm partially demolished the car stables of the Twelfth and Sixteenth Streets and the Tenth and Eleventh Streets railway companies. Six persons were killed and seven injured. Considerate other damage was done by the storm.
  • August 25. A forty-six-inch supply pipe of the Corinthian Avenue Reservoir burst, doing considerable damage.
  • September 4. A Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive overturned while rounding a curve at Beach and York Streets, killing the engineer and firemen and seriously injuring the conductor.
  • September 5. Roman Catholic High School dedicated.
  • September 18. New public manual training school on Howard Street below Girard Avenue, began in regular sessions.
  • September 25. Mrs. Annie miller brutally murdered near Merchantville. N. J. Francis lingo arrested for the crime.
  • October 14. The Master Brewers' National Convention opened at Mannerchor Hall. Delegates from all parts of the United States attending. Entertainment of delegates, Kommers, banquet, drive through Fairmount Park, etc.
  • November 19. Contract for building a new reservoir at Roxborough awarded to John B. Reilly.
  • November 20. Barker Brothers & Co., bankers, suspended and made an assignment. The senior member of the firm had been in active business for fifty-three years.
  • December 1. First day of the run on the Keystone National Bank, which, though temporarily allayed, finally led to the suspension of the bank, the exposure of its fraudulent methods and those of other bank officers and of City Treasure Bardsley.
  • December 20. The cruiser Newark left Cramps' shipyard for her trial trip, which took place on December 22. The trip was very successful.

< 1889 1891 >

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

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