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


It is getting cold in the city now that December is here. The temperature last night reached only 28. Today’s high will reach 40° with the low this evening about 22°.

The search continues for 4 month old Louis Frederick Snyder who was kidnapped on Monday while sleeping in his coach outside of a store while his mother, Mrs. Louis Snyder, 2151 North Leithgow Street, shopped. The incident occurred at Front & York Street.  Police and neighbors of the family in Kensington are going house to house to find the baby and the “pug nose” women, as witnesses described her, who took the child. The woman is further described as about 5’5” tall, blond hair, fair complexion, about 18 years old and weighing about 110 lbs. If you have any information on this matter please contact police immediately.

The 15th & Snyder Avenue police station has some unusual prisoners today. Last night patrolmen were called to 13th & Morris Streets in South Philadelphia to handle a disturbance which was making sleep impossible for the residents. It was the sound of bleating goats. The “tribe” had escaped from somewhere and were creating quite the ruckus. It took a number of policemen and a patrol wagon to round them up and transport them to jail. They are charged with disturbing the peace. A charge their owner will answer to when he is found.

A terrible blaze burned 2 houses at 704-06 Passyunk Avenue today (shown below). The fire was assisted by broken and rotten fire equipment. The fire began in the manufacturing factory of Abraham Jolles a manufacture of quilts who lives with his family above the factory. Although fire engine companies 11 and 22 responded quickly they could do little because of the bursting of rotten hoses and the inability to get the pump of Engine 22 to work.

12-1-1915 Passyunk Avenue Fire

In sports today, Columbia visits Haverford College this afternoon in an important soccer match. A Haverford win will deny Columbia the college championship. Also on the soccer scene, a meeting will be held tonight to explore the creation of a manufacturer’s league. The move is led by the Electric Storage Battery Company of Allegheny Avenue. Interested teams include Hale & Kilburn, American Pulley, Cresson Morris Manufacturing, Wheeler Manufacturing, Allen & Co. and Holseld Manufacturing.  In professional basketball the 1st place Greystock Greys will visit Camden at the Armory tonight. It will be remembered that the Camden club was sold in January for the sum of $1,425.00 to Dr. C.B. Helm, a veterinarian, Dr. Charles Empey, a dentist, Mr. C.A. Turner, a laundry proprietor and Mr. Samuel Herman, a tailor.


According to British reports, German casualties of killed, wounded and captured now equal 3,600,000. Austria has conceded that the fall of Gorizia to the Italians may occur shortly. In the Balkans, large numbers of Serbian troops retreating from the Bulgarians are seeking refuge on Greek territory. Greece has yet to decide what action it will take. Additionally, over 15,000 Serbian prisoners have been taken by Bulgar forces at Prizrend.