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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Riding High: 1905

Riding High: 1905

Philadelphia circa 1905. "The elevated railway at Delaware & South Streets." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

High-zoot pianos

Blasius pianos were top-of-the-line instruments. A restored 1909 example recently sold for $20,000.

Many images of the factory, which was across the river in NJ, can be found at

According to the Hagley Library, "Charles Blasius & Sons began their business in Philadelphia in 1855. Their warerooms were located at 1001, 1103, and 1119 Chestnut Street. In 1887 they bought the trade name “Albrecht,” which had belonged to one of the oldest piano makers in the United States. Blasius also made pianos under the firm’s own brand name as well as the “Ideal” and “Regent” names. Sometime between 1913 and 1918 they were bought by the Rice-Wuest Company, which continued making pianos until it went out of business at an unknown date."

Also, can anyone explain the street full of rails outside the Blasius plant?

Feral Cows

Dave... You have finally succeeded in cracking me up with that remark. I am trying to picture cows that only come out by moonlight in the darkened streets of Philly and unload. Maybe they hide by day in the darkened recesses of the alleys? Thank you for the chuckles...


The El arrived at the South Street Terminal in 1908 and was torn down in 1939.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeech ! !

'nuff said.

"Feral cows"

You cracked me up on that one, Dave. I've heard that feral cow meat tastes quite "gamey".

The El

This section of the Market-Frankford elevated was called the ferries branch--as it went down Delaware avenue to serve the ferry terminal seen at the far right (and also seen in several posts on this site). Despite the building of the Delaware River Bridge in 1926, and the discontinuance of the ferry, the spur survived until 1953.

Such good children

Under the trestle, there appears to be a young father who is solely in charge of at least six young children (possibly eight). One has to admire a man who can keep all those kids in order, close by and behaving admirably with not a single one "acting up". Wonder what he knew that the rest of us do not?


"Come on honey. The light is much better over here for photography. Right in front of the cow manure."

[From the infamous feral cows of Philly? - Dave]

Piano Man

I noticed the Blasius Piano wagon on the left. My grandparents had one of those (pianos, not wagons) and enjoyed playing it at family get-togethers.

Everybody out!

Clearly, this is the end of the line.


On the right, the young fellow and the fellow with the derby seem to be giving some sort of Ministry of Funny Walks secret "Hello!"

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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