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 Weather Bureau is calling for increasing cloudiness today with the possibility of light snow or rain late this afternoon and tonight. Today’s high will be about 32° with the low tonight near 23°. One of this city’s oldest and most loved theatres has re-opened. The Chestnut Street Opera House, 1021 Chestnut Street, has been entirely remodeled, renovated and modernized. Last night’s performance of “You’re in Love” was greeted by a capacity crowd.

Mr. Francis Mack, superintendent of the A&M Haydon Carriage Bolt Company of 304 North 22nd Street, has solved two problems at one time. Mr. Mack was tired of hiring workers with no ambition or desire to learn a trade or those that would seize any opportunity to quit the company when work became available at a business producing war material. He was also aware of the large number of crippled men in this city selling newspapers or doing other menial work. Mr. Mack believed these men had experience, ability and the ambition to better themselves.

So Mr. Mack decided to address his problems. He contacted the State Employment Bureau and asked for crippled men who wanted work. Before long he had a number of these unfortunate men working for him (shown below with Mr. Mack at center).

Handicapped Employees of A&M Haydon Carriage Bolt Company

These men are missing a leg or have a twisted spine or foot and include one who is a hunchback. To help the men Mr. Mack modified the machines that operated with foot pedals so they could be operated with hand levers. The men proved to be so dedicated, conscientious and productive that the company no longer needed a foreman to oversee them. Mr. Mack believes all Philadelphia companies should consider giving men like this an opportunity to work.


On the Italian front, French troops have now joined the Italians east of Brenta in an effort to halt the German-Austrian assault. Reinforcements have also come for the Teutons as Bulgarian troops have now been seen on the upper Piave River front. Fighting is hindered today due to a blizzard sweeping over northern Italy. On the eastern front, members of the German general staff have arrived in Petrograd for discussions with the Bolsheviks regarding an armistice. There are also reports that Grand Duke Michael Alexandovitch, the brother of the former Czar, has been arrested and is being held in Smolny Institute which is the Bolshevik headquarters. Additionally the Bolsheviks now claim control of most large Russian cities including Petrograd, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov and Kazan.