Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel

Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel 340 Years of Philadelphia's Hometown History Drexel began its stewardship of the AKC in 2019, with funding from the City of Philadelphia (2019-24).

Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel University
Drexel University is now the steward of the Atwater Kent Collection (AKC)—the collection of the former Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent—held in the public trust. As its steward, Drexel is continuing the mission of the former Museum: collecting, preserving, and interpreting a collection of 130,000+ objects amassed to tell the important st

ories of Philadelphia’s past and give context for the present. Drexel’s goal is to make this city history collection accessible as a “museum without walls”—for research, interpretive, and educational use—through an Online Collection, loan program, exhibitions, and public programming. Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel is a comprehensive global research university and experiential learning leader. This began with and continues a comprehensive collection evaluation, including an inventory, object research, and ongoing work to improve the Collection Database to facilitate access and use of the AKC.

How about that day in 1981 when director Brian De Palma drove a jeep into John Wanamaker's?? From the filming of the mov...
12/19/2023

How about that day in 1981 when director Brian De Palma drove a jeep into John Wanamaker's??

From the filming of the movie "Blow Out" starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow and Dennis Franz. Photo by Neil Benson.

Drexel Magazine - the alumni magazine of Drexel University - has the Fall Edition live online...featuring details about ...
12/01/2023

Drexel Magazine - the alumni magazine of Drexel University - has the Fall Edition live online...featuring details about what we have been doing in the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel.

Atwater Kent: Unboxed and Rebooted: Thousands of urban artifacts from the shuttered Philadelphia History Museum are on display once more (and now digitized!) through Drexel’s stewardship of the Atwater Kent Collection. https://drexelmagazine.org/

Riding into winter like a guy wearing a blue and gold hat on the back of a reindeer...Object: Christmas Ornament of comp...
12/01/2023

Riding into winter like a guy wearing a blue and gold hat on the back of a reindeer...

Object: Christmas Ornament of composition material, circa 1870-1920. Bequest of Mary K. Gibson who formerly lived on Walnut Street in the city as well as in Wynnewood. She was a member of a number of cultural and civic organizations in/around Philadelphia as well as helped organize the Women's Land Army during the First World War.

Credit Card is ready to go for holiday shopping!Metal rectangle imprinted with name and address; front has Lit Brothers ...
11/25/2023

Credit Card is ready to go for holiday shopping!

Metal rectangle imprinted with name and address; front has Lit Brothers card with cardholder's signature. "Mrs. R. Schnell" circa 1960.
Samuel and Jacob Lit opened their first store at Market and N. 8th Streets in 1891.

Add a cup of coffee with that slice of pumpkin pie and we are good to go...The first Horn & Hardart Automat opened at 81...
11/20/2023

Add a cup of coffee with that slice of pumpkin pie and we are good to go...

The first Horn & Hardart Automat opened at 818 Chestnut Street on June 9, 1902.

Don't know about you, but we are sweeping this week to DONE! 🙂Eclipse Dust Pan, circa 1884Advertising trade card with il...
11/17/2023

Don't know about you, but we are sweeping this week to DONE! 🙂
Eclipse Dust Pan, circa 1884
Advertising trade card with illustrations of dust pans. Haslet, Flanagen & Co. 116 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Manufacturer of "Plain, Stamped and Japanned Tin Ware and House Furnishing Goods"

Glass bottle with sulphate morphine powder (about half full) inside. Cork stopper and paper label produced by Rosengarte...
11/13/2023

Glass bottle with sulphate morphine powder (about half full) inside. Cork stopper and paper label produced by Rosengarten & Sons.

Rosengarten & Sons were manufacturing chemists in Philadelphia. Factory complex was several buildings and courtyards originally built 1855 between 18th, Fitzwater, 17th, and Catherine streets.

Photo reprint of Restaurant interior, November, 1941. Three men in overcoats - one wearing a hat - sitting at a bar. Mal...
11/03/2023

Photo reprint of Restaurant interior, November, 1941. Three men in overcoats - one wearing a hat - sitting at a bar. Male bartender in white shirt with tie pouring a drink. Behind the bar are displayed a variety of alcohol bottles. Multiple signs are on the wall for prices of drinks and food. On photo print is text "Photo taken here 1941"

From "Pop Edwards Bar" at 16th and Market Street - the first bar in Philadelphia to serve legally after Prohibition ended. They sold beers from around the world.

Happy Halloween!circa 1880
10/31/2023

Happy Halloween!
circa 1880

We ❤️ Phillies! Just like Mike!Mike Schmidt, in uniform lying on the astroturf, hugging a baseball bat. Phillies Third B...
10/25/2023

We ❤️ Phillies! Just like Mike!
Mike Schmidt, in uniform lying on the astroturf, hugging a baseball bat. Phillies Third Baseman Mike Schmidt, 1983, A baseball hero - Schmidt was voted National League's Most Valuable Player 1980, 1981, 1986, and was MVP of the 1980 World Series.
Photo by Neil Benson, circa 1983.

Black hat/helmet with decorative floral open-work metal piece on crown. City of Philadelphia seal,  #2158 and decorative...
10/24/2023

Black hat/helmet with decorative floral open-work metal piece on crown. City of Philadelphia seal, #2158 and decorative band around crown are of metal.

Owned by Howard P. Sutton (1880-1959), former Superintendent of Police, Philadelphia. Sutton was Superintendent from 1950–1952 (although he appears to have acted in that capacity earlier.) Born in England, he was a Sergeant in the Philadelphia police force in 1918 and was a police inspector in 1930.

Pair of black patent leather pumps, three inch splay heel, pointed toe, "Made in Italy" by Via Spiga Shoes. From the las...
10/17/2023

Pair of black patent leather pumps, three inch splay heel, pointed toe, "Made in Italy" by Via Spiga Shoes. From the last store window display, before Strawbridge & Clothier department store closed.

Time for Tea?Commercial-size black painted tea tin with design in gold. Gold leafing surrounds an outdoor scene of a man...
10/02/2023

Time for Tea?

Commercial-size black painted tea tin with design in gold. Gold leafing surrounds an outdoor scene of a man in a conical hat in old-fashioned Chinese tunic and loose pants.

John Wagner and Sons began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1847 as a cigar importing business, but soon added wines, teas, and spices to its list of imports. Later on, the company expanded into the specialty food market. The Wagner family sold the business in 1950, and it changed hands a few more times until 2000, when it was purchased by Williams Foods, Inc.

We are thrilled to be selected as one of this year's The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grantees! The project, "Reshapin...
09/14/2023

We are thrilled to be selected as one of this year's The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grantees! The project, "Reshaping Historical Narratives through the Atwater Kent Collection" will bring together a diverse group of storytellers to investigate artifacts from the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel to unearth overlooked arcs of Philadelphia history. In collaboration with First Person Arts, WHYY and Drexel University - storytellers will craft narratives based on their discoveries, contributing to a podcast series and an exhibition of artifacts dating from the past three centuries.
Stay tuned for more!

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Last Weekend for Seeing Philadelphia exhibition! [Hosted at PAFA, Hamilton Building, 128 N. Broad Street]N.E. Corner of ...
09/01/2023

Last Weekend for Seeing Philadelphia exhibition!
[Hosted at PAFA, Hamilton Building, 128 N. Broad Street]

N.E. Corner of 12th and Market Streets. View of the Philadelphia and Reading building on the corner is the Sunray Super Drug Store; next door is the entrance to the Reading Terminal train and bus. Under the awning, taxis line the streets waiting for fairs while people can be seen walking up and down Market Street. On the opposite corner, sits a building with a sign for an electric sign hanging for a Hotel Terminal on the upper levels while a white sign and awning on the lower level are for a F***y Farmer Candy Shop.

What time is it? Electric clock advertising Schmidt's beer, oblong plastic case, black with red face and white numbers, ...
08/31/2023

What time is it?

Electric clock advertising Schmidt's beer, oblong plastic case, black with red face and white numbers, coat of arms on center of dial.

From "Pop Edwards Bar" at 16th and Market Street - the first bar in Philadelphia to serve legally after Prohibition ended. They sold beers from around the world.

The Christian Schmidt Brewing Company was headquartered in Philadelphia. Founded in 1860, it was the largest brewing company in the history of the city, producing nearly 4,000,000 barrels of beer a year in the late 1970s. Closed in 1987.

Less than two weeks left for Seeing Philadelphia - open during regular hours at PAFA in the Hamilton Building. (Thursday...
08/24/2023

Less than two weeks left for Seeing Philadelphia - open during regular hours at PAFA in the Hamilton Building.
(Thursday - Sunday) Last open day is Sunday, September 3rd.

More Info or to visit the Online Collection Portal visit www.philadelphiahistory.org

Manual Labor Bank note. This note was issued to the value of 10 US dollars on 2 August 1836 by the Manual Labor Bank, fo...
08/22/2023

Manual Labor Bank note. This note was issued to the value of 10 US dollars on 2 August 1836 by the Manual Labor Bank, founded the same year by businessman Thomas W. Dyott (1771-1861) in Philadelphia.
The capital is stated at upper right to be 500,000 US dollars. However, the bank failed in 1839 and his depositors and savers lost their money.
Dyott is shown in the portrait at right (signature at lower right). At left is a portrait of Benjamin Franklin. The signature at lower left is of the bank's cashier Stephen Simpson. The main artwork shows the glass blowing factory established by Dyott.

Only a couple of weeks until it closes!
08/16/2023

Only a couple of weeks until it closes!

"Seeing Philadelphia," the inaugural exhibition of the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel University is currently on display at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 📷

This free exhibition presents windows into Philadelphia history in prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, and maps from the Collection, paired with the photography and writing of students and community members.

Learn more and visit "Seeing Philadelphia" now until September 5: https://bit.ly/3pGeUkT

George B. Bains & Son, Leather Goods - 1028 Chestnut StreetChromolithograph card with image of a basket hung from a tree...
08/15/2023

George B. Bains & Son, Leather Goods - 1028 Chestnut Street

Chromolithograph card with image of a basket hung from a tree limb, basket holds sleeping baby. A small dog pulls on rope that rocks the basket. A post with sign has retail store details with script at bottom for Opening store dates.

Happy International Cat Day! Meet "Thomas Catt" who lived with his owner Joseph Guarini on Garnet Street, circa 1925. Th...
08/08/2023

Happy International Cat Day!
Meet "Thomas Catt" who lived with his owner Joseph Guarini on Garnet Street, circa 1925.
This picture was submitted for a photo contest organized by the Pennsylvania SPCA once located at 924 N. Broad Street.

Gift of the Pennsylvania SPCA / Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel

Small, box-y shape, tin (B) and lid (A) painted yellow-green with black and red lettering and detailing.  Philadelphia c...
08/07/2023

Small, box-y shape, tin (B) and lid (A) painted yellow-green with black and red lettering and detailing. Philadelphia company.

The push pin was invented by Edwin Moore in 1897 in Philadelphia. He patented his design in 1900 and that same year started the "Moore Push-Pin Company." The first offices were at 125 S. 11th Street (where Jefferson Hospital is now). In 1912 they move operations to northwest Philadelphia Wayne Junction area until the 1970s. They subsequently moved out of the city to Montgomery County.

Shopping, anyone? Gift Box from Allen's Department Store. Covered in beige, lightly line-textured paper with line images...
08/04/2023

Shopping, anyone?
Gift Box from Allen's Department Store. Covered in beige, lightly line-textured paper with line images of historic buildings of Germantown interspersed with the store name logo "Allen's" - the Germantown store was located at Chelten Avenue and Greene Street. It opened in 1927 and closed in 1979.

Buildings: Germantown Friends Meeting, Grumblethorpe, Stenton, Ottinger House, Germantown Academy, Christopher Sauer House

[Some of the sites featured on the box are open for tours in Historic Germantown!]

It's a horse. In an electric ambulance. (circa 1920)The image shows a horse strapped in and ready to be transported in a...
08/03/2023

It's a horse. In an electric ambulance. (circa 1920)

The image shows a horse strapped in and ready to be transported in an electric ambulance driven by two men. The ambulance has lettering on the side that reads "THE// PENNSYLVANIA SOCIETY// FOR THE// PREVENTION OF CRUELTY// TO ANIMALS// 1627// Chestnut St." A keystone can be seen near the seat of the driver containing an image of a man beating a fallen horse while an angel defends the horse with a sword.

The ambulance is parked in front of a stable with large barn doors. The bottom right edge has black letter printing that reads "MFG. BY// COMMERCIAL TRUCK CO.// OF AMERICA// PHILADELPHIA// A153".

The Commercial Truck Company operated in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and produced large electric trucks from approximately 1908 to 1927.

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals building, decorated with red, white and blue bunting f...
07/28/2023

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals building, decorated with red, white and blue bunting for the American Humane Association Convention in 1921. The building was located at 924 N. Broad Street.
Photo by Keystone Photo Studio - 823 N. Broad Street.
(Building has been demolished)

Here is your ticket to the moon from Philadelphia!The ticket is listed as complimentary, with a cost of 3 cents broken d...
07/27/2023

Here is your ticket to the moon from Philadelphia!
The ticket is listed as complimentary, with a cost of 3 cents broken down into Federal and City Amusement Tax.
Woodside Amusement Park that was located in West Fairmount Park. It was constructed in 1897 and operated until 1955.
The Globe Ticket Company was founded in Philadelphia in 1868.

Part of the swag bag given to attendees of the circa 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia - RNC Barbie!  ...
07/22/2023

Part of the swag bag given to attendees of the circa 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia - RNC Barbie!

Republican National Convention Barbie (circa 2000) from the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel in the news!
07/21/2023

Republican National Convention Barbie (circa 2000) from the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel in the news!

In this house we believe Philadelphia's very own 'Convention' Barbie walked so Issa Rae's 'President' Barbie could run and thrive.

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The new Philadelphia History Museum showcases an array of historical objects, art, and artifacts that tell the story of Philadelphia, from its founding in 1680 to present day. The Museum features eight renovated galleries, containing stunning items from its vast holdings of over 100,000 objects, and provides various interactive elements to enhance the visitor experience. On view are items ranging from George Washington’s 1790s writing desk to Joe Frazier’s 1970s Championship boxing gloves. Visitors can also take a virtual tour of the city by walking on the world’s largest map of Philadelphia.


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