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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – TUESDAY AUGUST 27, 1918
This city will have a sunny day with fair skies. The high will reach 84° with the low tonight near 68°. This afternoon a huge blaze engulfed the Crawerman Building, 6th & Vine Streets, forcing over 1000 girl employees into the streets, many in their bloomers. The four story building is occupied by the Progress Paper Box Company and Wegman & Mesiriv Company both of which make folding paper boxes as well as Crawerman Manufacturing Company and Marnik & Block who both produce women’s shirtwaists. Many of the girls discarded their skirts out of fear they would catch fire as they fled the building. Those young ladies had to contact family and friends to bring them skirts to wear.
The blaze became so intense that eventually it was declared a six-alarm fire. Firemen tried time and again to bring the blaze under control. But each attempt was halted due to the overwhelming smoke from the burning boxes inside. Many firemen, overcome by the smoke and heat, were carried away to an ambulance where a police surgeon revived them. But after a few minutes rest instead of remaining with the doctor most returned to the battle. Such is the bravery and determination of the Philadelphia Fireman.
Businesses and homes along 6th Street and Vine Street were evacuated over fear of the fire spreading. At one point the heat was so intense that windows in some of house along 6th Street shattered sending women and children screaming into the street. The building itself is a total loss. There were no serious injuries reported either to the employees of the building or the neighbors. But 20 firemen were injured fighting the inferno; most suffering smoke inhalation while others suffered cuts from breaking and falling glass.
In Washington, D.C. the Fuel Administration has called upon the public east of the Mississippi River to cease driving passenger automobiles, motorcycles and motorboats on Sundays to preserve gasoline. The government is requesting citizens to voluntarily comply with the request or it will be forced to issue prohibitory regulations. The request is specifically only directed at private vehicles used for personal pleasure.
In baseball today, out in Pittsburgh the Phillies played their last doubleheader of the season and won both games. In the first contest Moran’s men exploded for 5 runs in the 4th allowing them to hold on to a 7 to 6 win. In the second game the Phillies bats came alive in the eighth inning scoring 6 runs for an 8 to 2 win.
Here at Shibe Park it was an Army-Navy day where all service men are admitted free. Unfortunately for the servicemen the A’s could not handle the Cleveland Indians. Going into the 5th Cleveland had the lead 3 to 2. The Indians loaded the bases and scored one run but the real action took place when Tris Speaker tried to score on an infield hit. Speaker was called out. A call he vehemently disagreed with. He began haranguing Umpire Connolly and even assaulted him by smashing into him. Speaker was ejected from the contest but in the next inning the Indians scored 4 runs to clinch the game 8 to 6.
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