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’s weather will give us clear and bright skies. But it will be cold with the high only reaching 29° and the overnight low near 14°. The Bureau of Health released its mortality report for this week and the effects of the grip on this city are stark. Total deaths for the last week of December were 947 and for the first week of January 858. This is almost a 50% increase over the same time period of 1914 and 1915. Deaths from the grip and related illness accounted for close to half of these reported fatalities.

Miss Minnie Console, 15 years old of 1308 South 8th Street may lose the sight in her right eye as the result of a pellet from an air rifle. Minnie was sitting at an open window in her home when a group of boys playing with air rifles they received for Christmas passed by. One of the rifles discharged and the pellet struck Minnie. She was taken to Pennsylvania Hospital where the pellet was removed. No arrests have as yet been made.

In business news, fur is booming in Philadelphia. This is attested to by Monsieur Tamarin who is an importer and manufacturer of furs at 12th & Arch Streets. The reason is the current style of using fur trim on many ladies coats and other garments. The most expensive fur is silver fox which costs $500.00 for a single skin. Beaver is also in demand due to its scarcity. Beaver must be plucked and the scarcity is caused not by the lack of beaver but by the lack of experienced pluckers.

In weekend entertainment, in vaudeville at the Trocadero, 10th & Arch, Princess Kalama performs songs from the Hawaiian Islands and does her famous Hula Hula dance. At the Nixon Grand, 52nd & Market Streets, The Four Roses, Dolly & Mack, The Dinkelspiel Twins and Spellman’s Bears are on the bill. At the Globe, Market & Juniper Streets, America’s funniest comedian, Edmund Hayes headlines. In motion pictures at the Orpheum, Germantown & Chelten Avenues, Roscoe Arbuckle (shown below) stars in “Fatty and the Broadway Stars”. At the Park, Ridge Avenue & Dauphin, Mary Pickford stars in “Such A Little Queen” and in Kensington at the Jumbo Theatre, Front & Girard Avenue, three shorts are on the playbill including “Missy”, “The Wayward Son” and “The Queen of Hearts”. Tickets start at .05¢.

1-8-1916 FattyArbuckle

On the sports scene The University of Pennsylvania opens its intercollegiate basketball season tonight at Weightman Hall against Cornell. In the high school game today Catholic High takes on the Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf and West Philadelphia meets Perkiomen Seminary. In the professional game Greystock beat Reading last night 24 to 17. In boxing tonight at the National A.C., 11th & Catherine Streets, World Champion featherweight Johnny Kilbane meets Patsey Cline. Doors open at 8:00pm.