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 predicting cooler temperatures today and advising it may be cold enough tonight in some areas to bring on frost. In the city, today’s high will be about 62° with a low tonight of 46°. The Department of Health said today that deaths from the epidemic have not yet been calculated for yesterday or today. The last released daily death report was for Saturday which reported 618 deaths.

Two more emergency hospitals have been opened to care for influenza sufferers. The Red Cross has opened a hospital at the St. Stephen’s parish house in Wissahickon. And the North Philadelphia Business Men’s Association will open an emergency hospital tomorrow at 4015 Germantown Avenue. The Germantown Avenue location was formerly the Nicetown Public Library.

In the Central Station Magistrate’s Court today Magistrate Mecleary declared that henceforth anyone caught spitting will be fined $1.00 plus court costs. The Magistrate made the pronouncement after discharging 40 men brought in on the charge last night. The Magistrate declared he wanted them to spread the word that leniency will no longer be shown due to the gravity of the influenza epidemic.

Fourteen firefighters are not just working their shifts protecting citizens from fires but are also serving as emergency nurses when their duties at the fire station are over. When not at the station the men volunteer to care for influenza victims at Emergency Hospital Number 2 located at the Home for the Indigent in Holmesburg. The firemen’s duties include providing medicine and administering injections as directed by doctors, bathing the men, mopping floors, carrying and transporting new patients to the hospital and carrying out the dead. Presently there are 400 critically ill patients at the hospital.

The Firemen-Nurses are George Schwartzman, Reuben Dean, Richard Butler and Samuel Burger of Engine Company No. 14 and Daniel Dyson, Charles Lavery, James Hilton, Frederick Stahl, Harry Schlichter, John Hey and George Kessler of Truck Company No. 15. Both companies are located at Frankford Avenue & Orthodox Street. And from Engine Company No. 52 of Wissinoming are James Burke and Harry Lumley. Coincidentally last night as two of the men carried a patient into the facility the man remarked “I think I know you boys”. It turned out the man was Captain John Buhler of Engine Company 32, 6th & Locust Streets. The Captain was struck with the flu last week and fought it until he collapsed and was taken to the hospital. The Captain had served with his bearers on a number of fires in the past.