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


There will be clear skies over the city today with light winds. The high will be about 40° with the low tonight near 28°. The “grip” is taking its toll on the city’s police and firemen. Dr. Hubley Owen, chief police surgeon, said today he has personally visited 96 policemen and 63 firemen struck down with the malady and he knows many more who he has not seen are also suffering.

In other police news, Policeman Wilson of the 7th & Carpenter Street station is a hero today for his action in saving 3 people from a fire at the Russian bathhouse and dwelling of Louis Rubenstein at 310-312 Carpenter Street. Wilson carried two women and 1 man through smoke and flame to safety before firemen arrived. One woman, Antonia Belesky the manager of the bathhouse, was completely naked when found by Wilson. Yet the policeman did not hesitate to find clothing for her. He picked her up and took her out of the burning building and into a nearby drugstore where clothes were provided.

The Moyamensing Soup Society opened it kitchen today for the winter months (shown below). The opening is a great relief to the poor and hungry of that section of the city who lined up for a can of healthy, nourishing soup and a loaf of bread. The kitchen is located in the Society’s headquarters, 926 Carpenter Street. The crowd included the wives and children of men now serving in the Italian army.

1-4-1916 Moyamensing Soup Kitchen

Also on hand was Mrs. Teresa Seata of 823 Carpenter Street who is 102 years old. Mrs. Seata is well known in the neighborhood as a rag-picker. She came with an empty can for the soup and a straw basket to carry the bread in. She received the soup and 3 loaves of bread. The extra loaves were for her friend with whom she shares an apartment, Mrs. Angelina Capania. Mrs. Capania, 97 years old, was too ill to accompany Mrs. Seata today.

In national news, Representative Edwin Webb, Democrat of North Carolina, today introduced in the House of Representatives a constitutional amendment for the nationwide prohibition of alcohol. Congressman Webb is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

On the sports beat, Gimbel’s and Wanamaker’s have opened their indoor golf courses for those longing for the links. Both courses feature 9 holes. Snellenburg’s presently has a golf school but no course as yet. Although one is in the planning. In Eastern League Basketball last night DeNeri beat Trenton in a tough contest 32 to 22. In the High School game today Northeast meets West Philadelphia, Central travels to Southern High and Temple Prep goes south to Vineland High.