Strange Philadelphia: Stories from the City of Brotherly Love

Front Cover
Temple University Press, Jun 20, 2012 - History - 240 pages
0 Reviews

Most history books paint Philadelphia as a place of revolutionary greatness, but there exists a forgotten, alternative history of the City of Brotherly Love. For example, did you know that

when Ben Franklin was Deputy Postmaster General for the American colonies, he ignored rival printers' requests for mailing priveleges. Instead, he loaded down the mail carriers with his own papers and enjoyed the use of a private delivery system that cut off the competition.


the Slinky was created by a marine engineer stationed in Philadelphia, who later became an evangelist and Bible salesman in Bolivia, leaving behind his wife, his children, and the Slinky fortune.


50,000 people gathered in Fairmount Park in 1953 hoping to see a vision of the Virgin Mary, who three schoolgirls claimed to have seen near a park bush. Though the Blessed Mother never did appear, visitors to the site left behind offerings of rosaries, flowers, crutches, and over $6,000.


while 11,000 spectators sat in the Spectrum waiting for the Ice Capades to begin, 32-mile-an-hour winds blew a chunk of the roof off the city's newly constructed stadium.


Find these and a hundred more "strange" and fascinating stories in this collection of vignettes. These pieces of the past can't be found in history books—they are surprising side bars to the famous and not-so-famous events and people of historical Philadelphia.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

What Do You Mean Strange?
1
The Deal I683
9
Penns Witch 1683
10
The End Is Near Part 1 I694
12
Please Mr Postman I737
13
The Caveman Part 1 I741
14
Bens OffColor Advice I745
17
Roast Turkey I750
18
Jeaness Will 1907
108
Custody Battles 1909
111
An Ordinance for Pinheads 191O
114
Thin Air 1911
115
A Night to Remember 1912
116
True Confessions 1924
119
A New Chief in Town Part 2 1925
121
At War with the Walkins 1926
123

The Town of Bath I76S
20
The Philadelphia Tea Party I773
21
The Floating Bridge I776
23
Burned on the Fourth of July 1776
24
The Fort Wilson Affair I778
25
Arnolds Debt I778
27
Up Up and Away Part 1 1783
28
Up Up and Away Part 2 1784
29
Citizen Genet 1793
31
Up Up and Away Part 3 1793
33
Rushs Good Intentions Part 1 1793
35
Rushs Good Intentions Part 2 1799
38
Live on Stage 18071813
39
The Dyott Deception 181O
41
A Mammoth Theater War 1812
43
Thomas Jefferson Wrote Here 1824
45
The Goodyear Bust 1826
47
The Chessmaster 1826
48
Gondar the Rhinoceros 1830
51
Brother Bonaparte 1841
53
Samuel Scotts Last Leap 1841
55
Building a Better Dinosaur 1841
57
A Shot at Scott 1843
59
The ProtestantCatholic Riots 1844
60
The End of the World Part 2 1844
62
Prayers upon the Water 1847
64
Dueling Shakespeares 1849
66
Poe Undercover 1849
68
Ever Heard of Carl Rumpp? 1850
71
The Caveman Part 2 1856
73
A New Chief in Town Part 1 1856
75
Have Mercy God The Trains Have Met 1856
78
Killing Catto 1871
81
The Epizooty 1872
84
The Great Keely Motor Hoax 1872
85
Alas Poor Pop 1874
90
Puttin on the Blitz 1877
92
Ooops 1884
94
The Duel 1879
95
No Accounting for Taste 1880
97
The Constitutional Centennial 1887
98
A War on Drugs 1892
102
Goldmans Bust 1893
104
The First Docudrama 1897
105
Climbing the Walls 1926
126
The Bizarre Case of Dr Eldridge 1927
127
The Hit 1927
129
The Palace of Depression 1932
131
Getting a Monopoly on Monopoly 1933
133
Bakers Billions 1934
136
The Spite Fence 1935
138
A Fascist Parade Flap 1936
141
Franklins Fan 1937
143
Forming a Blessed Union 1937
146
Junker Jubilee 1938
148
The 230 Fingers of Dr K 1938
149
Arsenic and Old Philadelphia 1939
151
Cracking Down on Pinball 1941
154
The Philadelphia Experiment 1943
156
The Almost Integration of Baseball 1943
160
The Twisted Tale of Slinky 1945
163
The Catch 1945
165
A Bitter Butter Battle 1947
166
All Hail the Warrior Cabbies 1947
168
Boys Will Be Girls 1949
170
The Archaeology Game 1950
173
A Visitor in Fairmount Park 1953
175
How the West Was Shot 1953
177
Rizzo Goes to Blazes Maybe 1954
179
Crocketts on Parade 1955
181
The Striking Case of Lou the Barber 1955
182
The Neck Goes Down 1955
185
Mr Clark Goes to Washington 1960
187
An Insult to Sex 1961
190
Divine Intervention 1961
193
J I Rodale Hygiene Playwright 1961
196
The Philadelphians of Oz 1963
199
The Deb Rampage 1963
202
The Lions Tale 1964
205
Room at the Top 1967
209
Snowballs at Santa 1968
212
The Coxson Case 1973
214
Buried Alive 1975
217
Silencing the Candidates 1975
218
Mime Beating on South Street 1988
220
The Color of Money 1989
223
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Lou Harry is Senior Editor at Seven Arts Magazine, he has written for dozens of publications, including New Jersey Monthly, Theater Week, and Atlantic City Magazine.

Bibliographic information