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


The city and region will have fair skies today and this evening. Today’s high will reach 50° with the low tonight near 30°. Stanley V.  Mastbaum, a major figure in the theatre and motion picture business of this city and the country died yesterday. He was the managing director of the Stanley Company, the Stanley Booking Corporation and the Stanley Theatre. He died at the home of his mother at 1822 North Broad Street. Mr. Mastbaum was 37 years old and had been ill for several weeks as a result of septic poisoning. Recently, according to friends, he was feeling better which led him to visit his mother. His mother, his wife Hilda and other family members were at his bedside when he died.

Stanley V. Mastbaum

Mr. Mastbaum was born here on April 1, 1879 and educated in the Philadelphia public school system. He started his career in business as a rug and tapestry buyer for the Gimbel Brothers department store. Shortly after his marriage in 1908 he left that endeavor and entered the real estate business with his brother Jules. In 1912 the brothers entered the entertainment industry and began purchasing and operating motion picture theatres, including the magnificent Stanley Theatre at 1620 Market Street.  Mr. Mastbaum was known as an adept, honorable businessman and generous philanthropist. He was a member of many local clubs and organizations and was also a part owner of the Portland, Maine baseball club.

In sports, the 9th annual Meadowbrook Club Athletic Carnival opens tonight at the 2nd Regiment Armory, Broad & Susquehanna Avenue. Twenty-one events are on tonight’s schedule. Over 1200 athletes have registered for the games representing army, navy, college, high school and social clubs. Also, St. Joseph’s College has announced that it will field a baseball team this season. Originally it was felt the college might not have enough athletes to field a team due to so many of its men joining the service.


London was bombed again by German airplanes last night. Eleven are known dead and at least forty-six are injured. At least six others are believed to still be buried under rubble. On the western front, our forces near Toul in the St. Mihiel sector repulsed a German attack last night in which the Germans employed liquid fire. In the east, there is a report from Copenhagen that Germany has concluded a peace treaty with Finland which includes the promise of military aid against Russia.