On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back each day for new editions.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 1915
The forecast calls for another day of cloudy overcast skies with probable showers this evening. Today’s high will reach 82° with the low about 62°.
A magnificent ice palace such as exists in London, Paris and Berlin is being planned for Philadelphia. The project is planned by financially and socially prominent men of this city and led by Robert K. Cassatt and William J. Clothier. It is to be located at 33rd & Walnut Streets. The structure will be designed by Horace Trumbauer who provided the drawing below. The roof of the building will be an ice rink which in summer will be converted into a garden where music, dancing and refreshments will be provided. The building will cost at least $500,000.00 and if approved construction will begin in October. In the winter along with skating, ice hockey games will be scheduled. The rink will be 85 feet by 200 feet and accommodate 1500 skaters. A total seating capacity for spectators and visitors will be 6000.
Henry Disston & Sons of this city, one of the largest saw manufacturing companies in the world, is currently filling an order for 2 million steel bars to be made into shrapnel. The order is believed to have been placed by intermediaries for the German military. Although Disston officials admit they have such an order they deny any knowledge as to where the shrapnel is eventually bound. The contract is worth $140,000.00. In other war business news it was revealed today that machinists at the Frankford Arsenal have been offered $500.00 a month to leave the Arsenal and move to Russia to work. Russia is desperately trying to find skilled machinists to work in its munitions plants. As of today none have taken the Czar’s government up on the offer.
The Canadian Minister of Militia, Major General Sam Hughes, said today that he believes there are 2000 Americans in the ranks of the Canadian military. General Hughes also said he knows of at least 100 Americans who have fallen while fighting in Flanders because he has personally written to their families expressing his sympathy for their loss.
In Eastern Europe, the German army has announced the capture of the forts surrounding Kovno, Lithuania on the Niemen River. It is believed that the fall of Kovno will soon follow. The Russians continue their retreat from Poland and now from Lithuania. As they fall back they are destroying all railroad lines that could be used by the Germans. Over 5000 miles of railway lines have been destroyed thus far. On the Turkish front in the Aegean Sea a German submarine has sunk the British transport Royal Edward which was carrying troops to the Dardanelles. It is believed over 1000 men are lost.
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