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Multi-Modal: 1908

Multi-Modal: 1908

Philadelphia circa 1908. "Pennsylvania R.R. ferry terminal, Market Street." Across the Delaware River we can see the Campbell's Soup factory in Camden. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Sanborn Fire Insurance map of the building

Sanborn made detailed maps of some cities used for determining fire insurance rates. They often included details like what kind of work went on in buildings, what building were made of, if there was a fire alarm or security patrol. They are fantastic when you can find them. Here's the one for this building.

And the full set for Camden.

My Grandparents

My grandparents used this ferry on a regular basis for many years, especially after they bought a cottage in Ventor - just south of AC - around 1912, and commuted from North Philly and then Glenside in the 1920's.

The "Strange Facade" is Repousse' Copper Work

The "Strange Façade" of this building is repousse' (sp.?) hammered copper work. The building has a modern steel frame. If this were a color photo, the building would appear verdigris green, just like the Statue of Liberty in NY harbor, which is also copper repousse'

Sheet copper is hammered over wooden forms. Skill is needed to prevent the copper from tearing.

The Hoboken Terminal, formerly the Delaware Lackawanna & Western terminal, in Hoboken, NJ has a repousse façade, as does the Governor's Island Ferry Terminal.

Note that the building has many 3-D architectural details in the copper. Think of what that would have cost in stone.

What's Oliver Hardy up to?

The aforementioned man by the mailbox seems to be intently eyeing the conversation between the men under the "Electric trains" sign. I wonder what they're saying?Looks a bit suspicious.

Also, in the backround towards the right you can see the outline of a castle. What is that?

The Victor Factory

The Victor Talking Machine Company factory at the beginning of their huge expansion, before the iconic cabinet factory was built.

Mm-mm Good

The fellow standing by the mail box looks as though he just finished off one of those towers of soup.

Railroad memories

I went to work for the railroad on the Camden side of this photo back in the early 1960s. By then, the passenger service was just a shell of its former self due to the Ben Franklin Bridge and automobiles. However, back in the day, thousands of people escaped the heat of the city via the ferries and numerous passenger trains to Atlantic City and other shore points over the tracks of what would become the Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines in 1933. Trains with names like The Seashore Limited, Boardwalk Arrow, Boardwalk Flyer, Rocket, Flying Cloud, Jolly Tar, Shore Queen and many more. Now THOSE were the days!

Strange Facade

What is the front of this building made of? It's wavy and looks like some sort of metal.

Campbell's Soup

The company's HQ in Camden, New Jersey.

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