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


The weather will bring fair skies to the city today with moderately pleasant temperatures this afternoon. The high today will be about 40° with the low tonight near 26°. Colder temperatures are predicted for tomorrow.

In business news H.S. Roberts, president of J.S.Ivins’ Son, Inc., 625 North Broad Street, discussed what he believes makes the company’s cakes, crackers and candies so popular. The secret he said is “scrupulous cleanliness.” Mr. Roberts said the company normally makes 2 tons of sponge cake each day and about 750,000 cookies. The factory also produces ‘saltines’, ‘lunch-thins’ and ‘Sweet Maries’. Mr. Roberts explained that nearly all the work is now performed by machines which are meticulously cleaned by employees. Mr. Roberts proudly stated that there are larger concerns than his but none are cleaner.

2-7-1916 Ivins Ad

The use of motor vehicles by the post office in transporting the mail has put out of work the horses that formerly pulled the mail wagons. Sixty of those horses went on sale today at Bull’s Head Bazaar, 38th & Market Streets. The horses sold for an average of $225.00 a head. Also on sale were “war horses” previously rejected by the British, French and Russian governments. These mounts were sold for $200.00 a head which was actually more than the foreign inspectors originally offered.

Across the river in Camden County, Virginia Poinsett, 11 years old of 222 Virginia Avenue in Westmont, is resting at home with a broken left shoulder and other injuries today caused by a fat man. Young Virginia was sledding on Lees Avenue when the stout fellow of at least 250 lbs.  started to waddle across the path at the base of the hill. Virginia called out to him to clear the track and she attempted to steer her new Christmas sled away from him. But the man could not move quickly enough and the sled skidded into the back of his leg causing the behemoth to fall on her and flattening her in the snow. It took 5 others to get the man off the little girl. She is expected to fully recover.

Protests by Catholics against the play “Marie-Odile” have caused the director to rewrite and omit certain lines. A meeting was held in the office of Director of Public Safety William Wilson this morning between Miss Francis Starr, who stars in the play, Leonard Blumberg, manager of the Adelphi Theatre and several Catholic leaders. Director Wilson stated that after having seen the play he did not sense any anti-Catholic sentiment or any disparagement of convent life. However in the hope of reaching an accord among the parties and allaying the concerns of Catholics, Mr. Wilson suggested certain lines be removed and changed. The play’s director agreed and the changes will be made in time for this evening’s performance.