Census of the United States, 1850, and of Philadelphia, 1790-1850
Philadelphia in Olden Times. Dwellings and taxables, 1683-1769; and
Dwellings in Philadelphia and New York, from 1850 Census. Credits Philadelphia's
lower person/dwelling ration as the "cause of the comparative health of Philadelphia
and mortality of New York."
Area of the United States, and
Increase of population, 1790-1850.
Public Works of Pennsylvania, their cost and their
revenue. Mostly railroads, through 1851
Statistics of Philadelphia.
Fairmount Water-Works, pumpage and other statistics; City Gas Works; Water and
Gas in Spring Garden;
Weather statistics, Locomotives; Machinery; Police.
Public Ledger, January 2, 1854
Local Affairs: the Western Trade. Pennsylvania Railroad,
description of tunnel through Allegheny Mountains at Sugar Run Gap.
Schuylkill Water-Works. Statistics, through 1851.
How to calculate
the power of Parker's water wheel. Article with information from J. Sloan Esq.,
Sloan's Mills, Floydsburgh, Kentucky, in Scientific American, Vol. 6, page 336.
Also from Franklin Institute report of June 11, 1846.
Comparing number of dwellings in Philadelphia and New York.
4, PAGE 5, PAGE
6, PAGE 7
Full text of the Act of Consolidation passed by Pennsylvania Legislature January
Fairmount Water Works. Description provided by Frederick Graff Esq. Historical
and current information. January 28, 1840
Advertisement: County Commissioner's statement of "value
of all property assesses for State purposes, the number of Watches, and the assessment
of persons, trades, occupations an professions, posts of profit and emoluments
of office, and moneys at interest, as returned by the Assessors of the several
Wards and Townships." February 9, 1854
To readers and anxious
inquirers. Consolidation. Gives extent in acres of various parts of the consolidated
city, as well as the debt burden.
The weather No. 1. From 1835 to 1853. Philadelphia.
The curiosities of the census. 1850. Including colored and white; births, marriages,
deaths; illiteracy; farms and their improvements; deaf, dumb, blind, insane, and
New York and Philadelphia. Population, dwellings and families.
From 1850 census. "The relative comforts of these two cities may be imagined
from these figures."
Hartford, Connecticut Water Works. Advertisement for
pumping engines, pipes. March 1, 1854
The Fire Department of
London--A Sketch of its Material. New York Courier
Census of Great Britain. New York Courier 
To readers and
anxious inquirers.History of property at northeast corner of Fifth and Chestnut.
Railway Bridge at Niagara. Designed by John A. Roebling
of the Water Committee, Water Works, and Assessor and Register of Water Rents,
of Pittsburgh. Reports dated January 9, 1854
Clipping dated [March] 20, 1854
Local affairs. Spring Garden.Profile of this district,
incorporated March 23, 1813. April 1854
Local affairs. The District
of Southwark. Profile of this district. 
On Horse Power. Results of the application of
horse power to raising water from the working shafts at Saltwood Tunnel, on the
South-eastern railway, in 1842. By Frederick William Simms, M. Inst. C. E.
Jagger's Patent Turbine Wheel. Engraving and article.
Patented granted October 19, 1852. Probably Scientific American. 1853
A diving bell. Described.
16, PAGE 17, PAGE
The Weather for 1853 - No. 2., No. 3, No. 4. No.
2: "Miscellaneous memoranda continued from the Inquirer of May 28th, 1853"
Weather highlights and other miscellany from January through December, 1853. Inquirer.
Fairmount Water Works. Listing of important events relating
to the works, 1792-1851.
Improved Valve Cock. Patented by John Griffiths, of
Philadelphia. Engraving and descriptive article. Probably from Scientific American
Local affairs: Spring Garden Gas Works. Yearly chart of gas meters, 1846-1853
Science, art and discovery: Ancient and modern water works and tunnels. Original
source: Scientific American.
Bartholomew' improvement in water closets. Engraving
and descriptive article. Probably Scientific American. 1855
21, PAGE 22, PAGE
Water wheels - The turbine - Article 2. Essay on
the turbine water wheel by James B. Conger, Jackson, Tennessee. With six illustrative
figures. Probably Scientific American
Meeting in favor of a passenger
rail-road and water works. In Frankford section.
of Moyamensing. Profile of this area, just before Consolidation.
Hartin's Cylinder Water-Meter. Engravings and descriptive
article about this English device. Probably Scientific American.
District of Penn. Profile of this district, just before
Science, Art and Discovery: Glazing of sheet-iron
with glass. Originally in Scientific American.
Use of Water in Street Cleaning. Editorial on Philadelphia
and need for regular washing of the streets; refutes claims of deficiency of water
for this purpose. "
Our streets and courts and alleys should be thoroughly
washed daily, especially in the summer season, when they are foul with filth that
rapidly infects the air, so that we are made literally to breathe poison three
or four months in every year. With this fact before us, need we be astonished
that mortality is augmented at a fearful rate, during a period when the thermometer
indicates a hundred degrees of heat, and the scorching sun is exhaling from gutters
and thoroughfares, filled with putrefying garbage, the subtle agents of disease
and death. We have been compelled in the midst of July and August to pass through
quarters of the town where the impurity of the atmosphere was so offensive that
it seemed we must at every step be inhaling pestilence. Heaps of offal from kitchens
and elsewhere, were rotting in the ways, while the gutters were rank with putrid
water which had remained stagnating since the last rain. There was no evidence
that the scavenger had done his work there, or that the hydrants were ever opened
to aid in the vital business of purification. This sort of neglect, so aggravated
in certain section, exists to a greater or less extent in all parts of Philadelphia,
which, though the cleanest city of its size in the country, is yet not nearly
so well cleaned as it might and ought to be
." May 12, 1854
Description of steam fire engine, possibly from Cincinnati. 1854
The [West] Philadelphia Water Works Ornamental Pipe. Note from Scientific American
regarding the standpipe that the magazine had previously attributed to Wm. H.
Howson, for which Birkinbine & Trotter were falsely, the magazine says, trying
to claim credit.
Local affairs. The Old Independence Bell. Description
of the Liberty Bell.
The Steam Fire Engine. Trial of the engine, invented
by Mr. Shawk of Cincinnati, in Moyamensing Prison. "
If any other proof
were required, after the exhibition of Latta's steam engine, or indeed if any
other evidence were necessary, knowing, as the world does, the power of steam,
that it may be used more efficiently, steadily, and economically than manual labor,
that proof was presented in the action of this fire engine
27:2 (also 36:4)
Advertisement for supplement to an ordinance approved
October 30, 1854 entitled "An ordinance organizing the department for supplying
the city with water." Enacted December 26, 1854. Approved by Mayor December
The West Philadelphia Water Works. Birkinbine and Trotter note
to editor, refuting claim by Graff made in report on 24th Ward Works, that inadequate
stand-pipe was not the one they had originally designed
Lemon Hill and Sedgely Park. Brief note thanking Graff "for his very heat
Plan of Lemon Hill and Sedgely Park, Fairmount, and adjoining property."
Extract from "Notes on America, --By a British Traveller."
"On walking through the streets of Philadelphia to the hotel the city
appeared too formal. The streets are built at right angles, those parallel to
the river being called by numbers, first, second and so on; and those intersecting
them, by the names of various trees as Chestnut-street, &c.-There are some
squares, one of which, Washington, is a fashionable promenade in the evening;
and here again the ladies excited my admiration. Some of the trees here have beautiful
flowers, as large as our horse chestnuts, but more elegant. No person, not even
children, walk off the gravelled walks upon the grass; and this forbearance, so
unusual with us, I found general in the States. In fact, respectable society is
very orderly, and the lower orders appeared to be less addicted to blackguardism.
In general the trees by the causeways, which are paved with brick, are of recent
planting. The streets are wretchedly paved; at the crossings they are actually
"The first, the most beautiful and the most useful
public works, are the water works at Fairmount
" [Author met Mr. Graff,
and says, "I
was much pleased with his urbanity
neighborhood of the works and views on the Schuylkill are beautiful. I one day
took a trip up the river in a small steamboat, a crazy, dangerous looking vessel,
built on a peculiar plan, without timbers, and her paddles, behind, with boards
over them to prevent a swell, they dip into the water quite straight. She was
intended for the canal.-Both sides of the river are beautiful, very much in English
style, something like the river near Matlock, and adorned with gentlemen's seats
in excellent taste. The first house is a Mr. Pratt's, where is a superb garden,
the finest in the United States; it may almost be considered as national. It is
said that Joseph Bonaparte offered 90,000 dollars for the place. the river, as
far as I went, was beautiful, and rendered picturesque by the remains of factories
in ruins, the damming of the water having destroyed the falls by which they were
worked; and a stone bridge also in ruins having been swept away by a spring freshet.
the Water Company purchased the water right for 150,000 and no surface water is
allowed to run into the river for several miles. The laws respecting cleanliness
and purity of the water are very severe. it would be well if some similar regulations
were adopted with regard to the Thames
27:6 (also 35:1)
Hereditary Offices. "None die, and few resign." Letter to Daily Pennsylvanian
regretting the seemingly "hereditary" public office holders, including
the City Commissioner, who "has actually grown grey in the service of the
municipal government;" The Water Works superintendent, Graff, whose "family
have held this post from time immemorial;" "The Commissioner of Highways
(Mr. Birch,) has been fed at the municipal crib for many years, and it is time
he was permitted to retire to his otium cum dignitate
Description of the steamer Ericsson, in a letter from
engineer Charles H. Haswell. Letter dated May 30, 1855
density of population for U. S. and various other countries.
of Thomas Hulme, born September 7, 1777 in England, died Philadelphia May 7, 1855.
Manufacturer of porcelain and queensware. "He had rare mechanical and inventive
powers, and many of the successful parts of some of the public works of Philadelphia
are due to Mr. Hulme's inventive genius and good sense. Many of the excellences
of Fairmount Water Works are due to Mr. Hulme." Instrumental in construction
of Louisville and Portland Canal, along the Ohio River. Member of the Franklin
Institute. Philanthropist. Father of John Hulme of Louisville. Obituary originally
from the Louisville Journal.
Advertisement for "Proposals
for repair of terraces, and for water-works at the University of Virginia."
Proposals due January 19, 1855.
Excerpt from report on Councils
meeting on the state of the 24th Ward Works, calling the stand-pipe particularly
Signing applications for office. Editorial against
this, saying that it makes the applicants forever unfit "for any enterprising,
industrious and self-relying occupation." Advocates that heads of public
department should be allowed to choose their own employees, as in private business.
Supreme Court, April 9. Justices Woodward, Know and Black. Schuylkill Navigation
Company vs. Jonathan and Andrew Robeson. Regarding damages to property due to
raising of Fairmount Dam. March 10, 1854, In Delaware County, verdict rendered
for plaintiffs for $20,900.
Shots and shells.Long article about making of ammunition.
Originally from Chamber's Journal.
Local affairs. The New Gas
Works. Description of the Works, in Passyunk (now First Ward). November 16, 1854
The Gas Works in the District of Spring Garden. Ledger 
Lemon Hill. Copy of petition signed by about 500 citizens,
presented to Councils, supporting the dedication of Lemon Hill as a public park.
It concludes: "When we reflect that the measure we propose, will not only
be the means of protecting our drinking water from impurities, but furnish the
citizens with a large, elegant and central public Park, abounding in natural beauties,
with extended lawns, groves, and water scenery, easy of access from all parts
of our extended City, we are led to believe the purchase now recommended, and
the dedication of the whole connected tract from Fairmount to the northern limits
of the grounds of the Spring Garden Water Works, to the public use forever, will
be hailed with heartfelt pleasure by all classes of our citizens."
Pleasure-Sharings; or, Clippings, for the reader, from our Personal Correspondence.
Letter "from our brilliant friend LA MOQUEUSE
as to the art and mystery
" Mentions Broadway. Probably a New York newspaper.
Science, Art and Discovery. Sharpening edged tools using diluted sulphuric or
meiotic acid.Note from a German scientific journal
(See also 40:1-4)
City and District Salaries.
Sums paid under the old corporations. Salaries in various townships, districts,
and the County government before Consolidation.
increasing the water for the Blockley almshouse, presented to committee of West
"Cloud Combination of Steam
and Air" used to run three Hoe's Patent Printing Presses in New York. Report
from Wm. H. Shock, Chief Engineer, U. S. Navy, and Horatio Allen.
Advertisement regarding Camden N. J. Water Works, mentioning engineer Frederick
An ordinance for the organization of a water department
of the city of Baltimore. Newspaper advertisement, 1853
Advertisement, requesting that Philadelphia water rents
for 1855 be paid. 1855
A valuable table. Giving capacity of boxes
of different dimensions. The Debt of Great Britain, and of France. Areas of States
The Debt of the United States 
House. Questions from "An Architect who has built theatres" regarding
some perceived problems with the new Opera House [Academy of Music]. Pennsylvania
Advertisement extending the time for competition designs
for the American Academy of Music until December 15, 1854.
Report from Committee of Councils regarding a paid versus
a voluntary fire system. Used Boston fire department as an example.
Brief note regarding "political fever" and defeat of Know-Nothings[?]
candidate for Chief Engineer of Waster Department, Frederick Erdmann.
Coal Wharves at Greenwich Point on Delaware River nearly completed.
Corner Stone of American Academy of Music laid July 26th, 1855.July 27, 1855
Science, Art and Discovery. Steam as an industrial agent. Excerpts from lectures
of William Fairbain at the Manchester Mechanics' Institution on "Steam, its
properties and application to the useful industrial arts." Originally from
the London Practical Mechanics' Journal, April 1855
by Pennsylvania Railroad determined that bituminous coal produced more steam than
"Anon, the Schuylkill, sacred to the barge of mirth,
Its green banks
consecrate to pleasure's paths,
Winds into sight with many a silvery curve;
And at the breast-work, with a ceaseless voice,
Rustles the music which its
On mountain wilds remote, where Carbon's hills
their inmost heart the miner's stroke.
Behold the mound by art and nature
"Fairmount" in whose tall top the waters lie
as in a great baptismal font;
The height from whence the river deity
from his giant and refreshing urn,
The stream which slakes a grateful city's
But fancy this; for yet no statue there,
Worthy the place, above
his liquid task
Stands to the fair winds beautiful and bright,
upon the city which he loves,
While the glad city gazes back to him.
wherefore rises not the marble pile
Above this green and consecrated height?
Not one, but many-one above the rest,
Looking like Allegheny oe'r his hills.
Lo, how it bathes unnumbered miles of streets-
A great heart through far crystal
Where, but a few short generations since,
the Indian stretched
his lazy, sombre length;
And the red deer stooped undeterred, and drank,
or 'neath the chesnut or the walnut shade,
Cropped the rank grass at leisure.
Washing Pavements. Letter to editor, from Comfort, regarding the "nuisance"
of daily washing of the pavements. Especially a problem in winter, from ice. Letter
dated October 26. Pennsylvania Inquirer
Reading Railroad Bridge.
New stone bridge to replace wooden bridge, over the Schuylkill, below the Falls
of Schuylkill. Commenced in August 1853, suspended for a time, now resumed. "
stone used in this improvement is obtained from the Connecticut, port Deposit,
Conshohocken, Leiperville, and Falls of Schuylkill quarries, Adjoining the East
end of the bridge the immense piles of rock have, in a great measure, been removed,
and that part of the city is much improved. the navigation on the West side has
been deepened from 3 to 6-1/2 feet, and for a distance of 300 yards a wall has
been built 10 feet high and 4 feet thick. One of Mr. A. L. Archambault's steam
portable hoisting apparatus is used for hoisting stone, mortar and other materials
from the ground to the top of the piers and arches, and so admirably does the
machine perform its work that many persons go there to witness its operation daily.
The machine does the work of more than a dozen men, besides saving an immense
deal of time. Another of these portable engines is to be used this week in order
to facilitate the workmen in pushing on the alteration."
for calculating the weight of a casting from the weight of its pattern. Probably
from Scientific American. Letter dated March 1855.
Trial of the
New Fire Engine for San Francisco. Probably from Brooklyn newspaper.
The Fire Plugs. Letter from "A Citizen and Heavy Tax Payer" regarding
the danger of letting hydrants freeze in the winter. Talks about stuffing the
hydrants with straw. Public Ledger
Science, Art and Discovery.
Explanation of War terms. Including "loopholes
small apertures in a
work, through which muskets may be fired."
(Same as 27:6)
Local affairs. A Seasonal
Invention. Mr. Marshall, lessee of the Walnut Street Theater, introduced recently
an apparatus invented by J. R. Barry, for cooling and ventilating, using ice reservoir,
fan driven by steam engine. etc
The Steam Fire Engine. More on
demonstration of Shawk's steam fire engine. May 25, 1855
demonstration of Shawk's steam fire engine in Pittsburgh.
signed "Young America," about Shawk's Steam Fire Engine. It concludes:
"For small fires, in narrow streets, the second or third-class hand engines
are preferable, but in case of a large fire, where a vast amount of water is necessary,
the comparison between Mr. Shawk's steam engine and the first-class hand engine
would be about as to compare the steamer Isaac Newton to one of the Troy Horse
boats, which the Knickerbocker of Albany once did ridicule so much." Public
Cornish engine at Schuylkill Works completed and tested.
Mentions that the works used more than 8 tons of coal per day in 1854. 1855
City Bulletin. The New Opera House. American Academy
of Music under construction. Some facts and figures about it.
at 63:3 and 67:3)
Advertisement offering $400 premium for best design for
the American Academy of Music. October 1854
Trial of the new New
Orleans Steam Fire Engine. Built by the brothers Latta.
36:4 (Same as 27:2)
Weights of different kinds of coal, area of coal fields in U. S. and Europe, Coal
production. Originally from Taylor's Statistics of Coal.
engine in Boston. Aldermen ordered new steam fire engine. Also, trials in Louisville,
Ordinance proposed to reduce salaries of City officers,
with long list of officers and their proposed salaries.
36:8 (also 37:5)
In voting for heads of departments, Graff beat Erdmann, 49-45.
Architecture of theatres. Letter, signed "Call-Boy,"
regarding the inadequacy of most architects in designing theaters. Originally
published in New Orleans Picayune.
Political controversy over defeat
of Erdmann for Chief Engineer.
Local Affairs. Want of Water. In
some parts of the city, but more particularly the northern and western sections
of the Twentieth Ward, and in portions of the old district of Spring Garden, the
supply of water is insufficient. Upon some days of the week this is specifically
the case, and on Saturdays there is a clean stop of the water. In vain does the
patient housewife urge the lever of the hydrant in the yard. If she happens to
forget that this is the day for a short crop, or none at all, she is in a terrible
plight for want of the means to wash up and fix things for Sunday
however, is not the whole of the evil, The property owners and residents of these
sections are not protected against fire. Many of the fire-plugs when opened are
as dry as spunk
July 28, 1855
37:4 (also 37:8)
Matters. Waste of Water. Complaint from Graff about fire plugs that are allowed
to run. Some police officers objected to the enforcement of the ordinance allowing
plugs opened only in cases of fire. "
There is no city in the world
where more water is wasted than in our good city of Philadelphia. If a window
is to be washed, the water is turned on and allowed to run into the gutter, both
while the servants are holding a long conversation with their neighboring "help,"
and long after the glass has been cleaned. It requires in many instances hours
to cleanse front door steps and pavements, during all which time the water is
permitted to flow with a perfect looseness, without fault being found, yet when
the alleys are knee deep with offal, well calculated to breed some horrible disease,
fault is found if a plug is allowed to run a few minutes to wash it away and purify
the atmosphere, breathed by hundreds who must necessarily live in our courts and
37:5 (same as 36:8)
Mustn't waste water. Brief
note on water waste, and dirty streets
July 29, 1855
to Desperation. Editorial about repercussions against Know-Nothing party members
who voted for Graff.
37:8 (same as 37:4)
Opening of fire plugs. "
of the Ninth Ward, assures us that the use of the plugs is almost indispensable
in certain portions of his police division. For instance, the contractor for cleansing
the streets of the city has heretofore had the use of the plugs for the purpose
of cleaning the market houses, which it is found necessary to wash out from two
to three times a week during the summer season. The large quantity of produce
for sale along Market st., from Eighth to Broad, causes an accumulation of offal
in the gutter, and the use of the plugs to cleanse them thoroughly is indispensable
to prevent a stench, and remove stagnated water and filth of various kinds
A Sad Disappointment. Editorial on election of Graff. Democrats voted for Graff,
Know-Nothings "dead set" against him, but Graff won, 49-45. "
wailing and gnashing of teeth has been the consequence, and much indignation at
their defeat is manifested by the "American" politicians. The public,
we imagine, will be well satisfied with the result. In capacity, fitness, and
practical knowledge, Mr. Erdmann is not to be compared to Mr. Graff, and the removal
of the latter would have been regarded as an injury to the public."
Artistical and Architectural. Small note on calculating the strength of joists
needed for a given space.
Description of trial "yesterday
afternoon" of "the steam fire engine "Young America," built
in Cincinnati, by Mr. Abel Shawk." Three hundred people out of a lager crowd
admitted into the Moyamensing Prison yard to witness the test. Another trail in
another area planned "in a day or two."
Instruments. Excerpts from "Gillespie's Land Surveying" regarding "Distances
by Pacing," "
by Visual Angles," "
Originally reprinted in Railroad Record.
Local Items. A stroll through Old Kensington. The
Olden Time and the New. The Water Works, &c.
Wonderful description of
this neighborhood, including improvements at the Water Works. "
on Saturday, through the streets so familiar to us in other years, and though
"Improvement"-that monster which destroys every link which unites us
with the past-has made some strides in its borders, there are still within the
Mecca of an "unbroken faith" many points to arrest attention, and many
fruitful subjects for earnest thought among those whose hearts are with Philadelphia,
and desire to keep her what she is, the Garden City of the American Continent
Steam Fire Engine. Letter signed by "Justice" commenting on the trail
of Shawk's "Young America," declaring it "triumphantly successful."
Trial of the Steam Fire Engine. Report on the
second trial, at the foot of Dock Street, of Shawk's "Young America."
The American Academy of Music. Report of meeting of the stockholders, and election
of directors, of whom Graff was one. Report said that the Board was in good financial
condition and could enter into contracts to erect the building.
Trial of Latta's New Steam Fire Engine. Built by Latta & Co. of Cincinnati,
trial in New Orleans, small report on results. June 23, 1855
Local Affairs. Salaries of the Old Corporations. Similar
to 31:1 except from another paper, and with slightly different numbers.
Detailed description of Schuylkill Water Works, "belonging jointly to the
Districts of Northern Liberties and Spring Garden."
Report on visit of New York Common Council to Cincinnati
"to enquire into the practicability of organizing the fire department and
changing the present system." Originally published in the Cincinnati Gazette,
Brief editorial complaining about salaries of city officers,
and that there are too many of them. Mentions Graff and Water Works, as well as
Brief note on the history of Congress Springs, at Saratoga,
The New Chambers of Councils. Description of work to
alter the second story of the main building of the State House to accommodate
City Councils. Praises the 125-year-old brick work of the original building as
"almost as hard as granite." 1854
A Steam Fire Engine
for St. Louis. Purchased from Mr. Abel Shawk, of Cincinnati. Note at end of description
of the engine: "When will Philadelphia take a step forward in a matter of
so much importance to the community?"
41:6 (See also 43:6)
for bids to erect water works at Easton, Pennsylvania. Adv. dated November 24,
1855. Bids due December 28.
Brief note on leak in basin of water
works at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Report of a meeting of the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania. One paper read discussed the population of Pennsylvania
and Philadelphia, past, present and future (to 1900).
Boiler Flues. Brief report of new invention by John Leinweber, Covington, Kentucky,
which allows cleaning without physically entering the flues.
Filtering the Schuylkill Water.
was sometime ago made to Councils, to enquire into the propriety and practicability
of erecting at Fairmount a filter of sufficient capacity to filter all the water
used in the city, before it enters the distributing pipes. It was believed that
the increase of manufactories and of population on the Schuylkill tended materially
to deteriorate the purity of the water, and consideration for the public health
required that the matter should be investigated. This has been done under the
direction of competent chemists, who establish the fact very conclusively, that
the Schuylkill water has deteriorated in no important respects from its former
excellent quality; that from the nature of its small contents of mineral matter,
and its unusual freedom from organic matter, it is superior to most waters for
domestic and manufacturing purposes; that from the nature and quantity of its
mineral contents, it is unnecessary to adopt a system of filtration to improve
its quality; and lastly, a comparison of the past and present leads to the inference
that no plan of improving the water will be required for many years to come. Mr.
Graff, who makes the report, shows that the filtered water supplied to London
by the Chelsea Water Company, the purest used in the city, is three times more
impure, after being filtered by one of the best filters in London, than the Schuylkill
water is without filtration. Mr. G. also shows that the total area of the Fairmount
reservoir is insufficient for the purposes of filtration even for the present
supply of water. It contains but 322,183 square feet, while a filter bed necessary
for the supply of water daily consumed in Philadelphia would require over 358,000
square feet. The expense would be enormous, without any adequate result. Our citizens
have reason to congratulate themselves upon the fact that they have the purest
supply of water of any city in the world.
Fairmount Water Works.Some
statistics about the use of water during the summer months.
the fire-plugs. Concern that the fire-plugs need to be protected from frost immediately
by wrapping them in straw.
Railroads in the United States. Statistics
from Dinsmore's Railway Guide, January 1856.
Schuylkill Water Works.
New engine being erected by I. P. Morris & Co., "on the plan used in
the mines in Cornwall, England."
New Croton Water Reservoir.
Letter from president of the Croton Aqueduct Department, dated April 3, 1855,
to New York Mayor Fernando Wood.
The Fire Department of Paris. Long descriptive article.
Science, Art and Discovery. A Universal Steam Fire Engine. Letter suggesting the
use of a high reservoir at Fairmount to provide pressure that would throw water
higher than any steam engine. Public Ledger
Same as 41:6
Local Affairs. Commerce of Philadelphia. Statistics
for 1855, including items imported and exported. Supply and consumption of water
by our water works. For 1855. 1856
Weather statistics for 1855.
As recorded at Pennsylvania Hospital, by Dr. John Conrad. 1856
Market Street Bridge. The need to guard against fire on the bridge, has led to
a better system to conduct water for fighting fires.
44:5 (Similar for
1858 at 108:4)
Names of the Rulers of the World. Along with title, and date
of ascension. 1856
Reduction of City Salaries. Article, originally
from Sun, reprinted with "cordial endorsement." The article begins:
"We fear that Councils are falling into the error of saving at the spiggot
[sic] and wasting at the bung; indeed we are certain that it will prove false
economy, of the most ruinous character, to ostracize talent from official position
under the city government, by placing the salaries so low that none but political
adventurers, pittifogging [sic] lawyers and black mail operators, will care about
accepting any trust under it
To find the dimension of wrought-iron tie-rods. Article
with formulas to figure this.
Cohoes Water Works Company. Editorial
about this newly-formed company.
The condensing and Cornish engines.
Letter to editor of Scientific American, describing these steam engines.
Manufacture of Plate Glass.
Newly formed company, Philadelphia Glass Company,
making "plate or hammered glass for sky-lights and vault-plates by a process
recently invented by this Company." Warehouse recently opened at 400 Market
46:1, 46:3, 46:5
Excerpt from published Councils minutes, recoding
debate over "Ordinance organizing the Department for Supplying the City with
Water." One councilman, in proposing to reduce the Chief's salary, said that
"he considered the office of Chief Engineer a useless one, and if it was
only a head that was wanted, a blockhead would answer to the purpose as well as
anything else." Other councilmen "contended that the office was one
of the most important in the City." Salary was reduced, from $3,000 to $2,500
The Cold Weather. One degree F. at noon. "
sufferings of the poor have been great
The cost of
gas in various cities. 42 of the largest cities in the United States.
Table showing governors of all the states and territories.
Mortality Statistics. For Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore,
City Statistics. Annual Assessment Report of
the Secretary of the Water Works. Includes detailed table of assessments by type
of establishment. Detroit, June 30, 1855.
The West Point Chain.Attempts to recover the chain stretched
across the Hudson river at West Point.
The New Dome of the Washington Capitol.Description
of work to be undertaken.
The West End Water Works. Select and
Common Councils invited to the West Philadelphia Water Works by the contractors,
Birkinbine and Trotter, for a "collation." Synopsis of speech by Benjamin
R. Miller Esq., and description of the works.
Opening of the Great
Railway Suspension Bridge at Niagara Falls.Union of the United States and the
Canadas. From the Buffalo Express, March 10. Description of the first train across
the bridge, and the various ceremonies.
Various statistical tables, including: Philadelphia
weather in 1854. U. S. population, 1701-1850. Population density of various American
and European countries. 1855: Governors of the states and territories, meeting
time of their legislatures. 1855
Summary of the National Finances
of the U. S. as reported by the Secretary of the Treasury
Local Affairs. Water Works-Fairmount. Post-consolidation report of the three works,
Schuylkill, Fairmount and Kensington. Various statistics. Gas Works: various statistics.
Weather statistics for 1854. Imports into Philadelphia, with totals from each
place of origin. City Mortality, weekly reports for 1854. Ledger, January 1, 1855
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Dr. James Mease, describing
where Jefferson was living in Philadelphia when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Cost of major public buildings in Washington, D. C.
Prevention of Fires
Editorial on proper mode
of fire prevention, suggesting that property owners be obligated "to keep
a reel of hose contiguous to the cock or valve of the pipe, on each floor, so
that in case of fire, the water, at a moment's warning, could be directed immediately
to the fire
." Cites similar editorial in Pittsburgh Gazette of "5th
inst." March 16, 1855
51:3-5 (Same as 58:1-3)
Local Affairs. The
Old Independence Bell. History of the bell, with copies of letters ordering it
from the foundry that show the inscription "was ordered to be cast twenty
five years before the Declaration was signed."
Prevention of Conflagrations.List "material drawbacks" in prevention
of fires: "The fire department being deficient in itself, the tardiness of
communicating alarms, and other evils
." Advocates similar preventive
measure as noted in 51:1-2. Cites same Pittsburgh source. This was advocated as
a savings of water, since the water could be directed at the fire.
Christ Church Bells--A Centennial Peal. Historical
profile of the bells of Christ Church, cast in 1754. 1854
Fire engine 'Young America" built by Shawk, competing with
local hand engines. Thee steam engine's showing "exceeded any fire engine
ever introduced to the public." The hand engines then had their trail. One
of them burst its air chamber and withdrew from the competition. "Had it
occurred to the steam engine
would have jeered and pronounced the "grate
skwirt' an unmitigated humbug
.Nobody would have concluded that the hand
engine was a humbug because it burst its air chamber, yet such an accident to
the steam fire engine would have ruined its reputation forever. "All eyes
were not turned to the old Diligent, for there it was asserted no failure could
ensue. The Diligent was fully manned, a fine stream of water shot with lightning
speed from her pipe. The men worked with incredible spirit and strength, and after
two efforts, succeeded in attaining a height of 133 feet. This drew loud acclamations
from the crowd. But the effort was evanescent, scarcely beheld before it was lost
to sight; bone and sinew could not stand the test of long continued effort against
iron and steam, and so thought many who went upon the ground prejudiced against
steam engines, but who came away fully convinced of its power and efficacy."
Concludes with good description of how hand engines, by only being able to throw
water for ten minutes or so, allow fire to "recover its hold."
Weather for first six months of 1854 compared with 1853. Table relating Temperature,
Rain and Mortality
53:1-2 (same as 84:4-5, 120:1-2)
The Composition of Our Hydrant
Water. In letter from Henry Wurtz, N.J. State Chemist, etc. to directors of [Trenton?]
Water Company, dated October 30, 1855.
New York City Gas Works.
Long descriptive article in a Philadelphia newspaper. January 5, 1855
54:1-3 (Same as 67:4-68:1)
Letter to Editor of Hartford Times,
From Edw. N. Dickerson, dated September 3, 1855, regarding the failure of a Cornish
pumping engine, made at Morris & Co. in Philadelphia, that had "fallen
far short of its promise
Wethered's Steam and Stame
Apparatus. Probably Scientific American.
Local Affairs. Various public buildings of Philadelphia,
including: Independence Hall, Custom House, Mint, Merchant's Exchange, Girard
College, etc. Also, statistics regarding locomotives built in Philadelphia in
Extracts from the Report of James Slade, Chief Engineer
of the Water Works. Cohoes Water Works Co., August 14, 1855.
Census of Philadelphia Since 1790 (to 1850) Broken
up by municipality.
56:5 (same as 1:2)
Philadelphia in the Olden Time.
Taxables and population from 1683 to 1769. Dwellings in Philadelphia and New York.
An Appeal to the Select Councilmen. To reject confirmation of appointees to posts
in the Kensington Water Works. Among the objections: that they were "men
who have got their appointment through the influence of foreigners."
Improved Fire Engine Pump. Designed by "Mr.
Ambrose Pierce, of this city." Engraving with descriptive article. Probably
58:1-3 (Same as 51:3-5)
procession to be observed at the funeral of John Price Wetherill. July 27, 1853
List of 103 passengers "From Liverpool in the steamship Arabia."
Brief article about sale of paintings belonging to the estate of Charles Graff.
Bidding "spirited." Prices ranged from $40 to $950, with about $10,000
bid in total.
The "City Father" - Long obituary of John Price Wetherill, "late
president of the Select Council," and chairman of the Watering Committee."
Respect to the Dead. Report of town meeting held in memory of John Price Wetherill.
With text of remarks by Mayor Gilpin.
Report of special meeting of Councils "for the
adoption of some appropriate testimonial of respect to the memory of the late
John Price Wetherill." Remarks by Mr. Hagert and Mr. Perkins in Select Council,
and in Common Council, Snowden, Diehl, Griscom, and Hinman.
to Connect New York and Brooklyn. Suggested by John A. Roebling. A Plan for the
Relief of Broadway. Correspondent suggested removing sidewalks to double the width
of the street.
Statistics of London. Brief note on area, gas and
water pipes, capital, taxes, etc.
[No page 61]
Capacity and ticket prices for "The new Boston
Theatre, along with editorial about it, from a Boston newspaper.
Two articles about the "New Opera House," the American Academy of Music,
describing the design and pace of construction.
Musical. Opening of the Academy of Music. Wonderfully
mean critique of the new building, which "opened last evening for a short
operatic season." "The tortuous, elongated, horse-shoe shape of the
it its principal-its fatal objection. It appears to have been the special
devise of the architect to keep every spectator as far from the stage as possible
least a third of the seats up stairs are
useless for any purpose but that
63:3 (Same as 36:2)
Theatre. Review of opera "I Puritani", with Mme. Grisi and Sgr. Mario,
and severe critique of this Philadelphia theatre as an opera house: "There
is no equality in the sound; the shrillest always prevails, and in quick movements
the echo of one sound rebounding on another of a totally different character produces
Saturday afternoon. Grand Finale of
the Italian opera season. Review of the final performance at Boston's Opera House,
with Grisi and Mario.
The opera House in Philadelphia.From the Philadelphia
North American, July 14. LOng article describing the writer's specific suggestions
for the so-called Academy of Music, which had yet to be designed.
Long critique of New York opera house, and encouragement to
Philadelphia to avoid the same mistakes in the planned Academy of Music.
65, PAGE 66
New York Academy of Music.The new Opera House at 14th Street and Irving Place
to be inaugurated tonight. Long article about this and other grand theaters of
the time. Writer gives advice to the designers of the planned Academy of Music
Hughes' Atmospheric Trip Hammer. Descriptive article and engraving Patented by
Bernard Hughes, Rochester, N.Y. Probably Scientific American.
67:4-68:1 (Same as 54:1-3)
The Weather Since 1790. Table from 1790 to 1847 provided
by Mr. Charles Pierce.
Science, Art and Discovery. Column includes
notes on the following: Gas-Making. Facts about Milk. Art of Multiplying Autographs.
Corrugated Iron. Watermelon Molasses. Anti-Seasickness berth for steamships.
Local Affairs.Comparative statistics, 1853 and 1854,
Fairmount, Schuylkill and Kensington works. Ledger and Transcript, January 1,
Weather statistics.For 1854, and rainfall 1838 to 1854.
Thawing the fireplugs.Many frozen four or five feet underground; also, a report
of two small fires.
Paving and Water. Proposes having property
owners assume more of the cost of both these improvements.
An important official document: The indebtedness of
the City. Shows loans redeemable from January 1855 through January 1901.
Controller's report for estimated expenditures and receipts for [1855?]
Ice in a water pipe. Found in a pipe almost five feet below grade.
Expenditures in 1855, and estimates for 1866, for all city departments.
Water Department list of property, from Controller's Statement.
71, PAGE 72
Engraving, with journal article, "Description of State-Street Bridge over
the Albany Basin." Journal excerpt also contains articles on cement and quicksand.
Possibly ASCE Journal?
Advertising handbill for: Direct Acting Steam Pump.
Throws 3000 gallons per hour. Manufactured by Gartley & Matlack, Hydraulic
Machinists, No. 16 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Nice engraving of the pump.
New Cornish pumping engines. Being constructed for Camden Water Works. Similar
to one at Spring Garden Works. Ledger
What the American Navy has
done. List of ships captured during War of 1812, and other naval statistics.
Water for Brooklyn.Groundbreaking for the Nassau Water Company.
Long article about the Croton Water Company
Heating buildings.Article about experiments with boilers done by Professor Kirkbride
at Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane.
List of directors [of
the American Academy of Music?] for 1856. Includes Frederic Graff.
Editorial, from L[ouisville?] Warden, about Philadelphia owning one of Abel Shawk's
steam fire engines but, because of the "selfish policy of petty politicians,"
it had not yet been used in a real fire.
Philadelphia Academy of
Music.Report on the first annual meeting of the directors. Urges support of the
enterprise. "Out city is growing with great prosperity' our lines of railroads,
perfected and projected, are destined to bring us large numbers from the whole
interior, but we cannot hope to keep them here to transact their business, and
spend their time with their families, unless we make an effort to afford them
the same inducements they find in our sister cities
75, PAGE 76
Various articles on the Cornish engine.
Pure Water. Editorial from
Philadelphia paper about "The Self-Purifying Water Filter." Good overview
of the idea of filtration circa mid-19th century. The editorial ends: "Such
an invention is certainly a public blessing, especially at this time, when the
attempt to prohibit intoxicating liquors makes it all important that Nature's
bright, sparkling beverage should be made as pure and acceptable as possible."
Excerpt from article on Councils meeting, regarding ordinance to protect Fire
plugs from freezing.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania. A sketch
of Roxborough and Manayunk. Long paper read by Mr. Horatio Gates Jones, of Roxborough.
Pennsylvania Inquirer. Monday, February 4 [185?]
Business affairs of the Academy of Music. Some facts
and impressions from the annual report.
Local Affairs. The Opera
House. Good description of the work in progress. August 11, 1855
Advertisements for bids for pipes, castings, etc. June 8, 1857
The Water Department. Frost of winter causing some damage to works, such as embankments
Engravings and descriptions of this patented design by Thomas T. Tasker, of Philadelphia.Probably
Hydrants and pumps. Complains that in areas
of the city where conduits are laid, people are still using pumps and well water-the
pumps being maintained by the City. In other areas, landlords refuse to connect
water for their tenants, and "the latter are compelled to resort to the pumps,
or beg or steal from their neighbors' hydrants and wash-paves
Novel Rotary Pump.Engraving and description of this
invention by George Denison and D.S. McNamara, part of which was patented April
The Philadelphia Water Works.Pumpage, January through
July, for the four works.
Published letter from City Controller's
Office to Samuel Ogden, Chief Engineer, dated June 3, 1857, regarding bills for
tallow and oil for the various water works in the city, from Allen, Whetham [Wheatham],
A Stranger in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, its appearance.
The Laboring Classes. The New Opera House, its Magnificence. New Churches. Squares.
Fairmount. The Schuylkill and Laurel Hill.
Mentions domesticated deer being
kept in Logan Square."Fairmount is the People's Park. It was a most fortunate
thing for Philadelphia, that Frederick Graff--the immortal architect of these
world-famous works, had the good sense to combine a Park for the People, with
the supply of a great city
. A tiny steamboat plies from Fairmount to Manayunk,
nine miles up the Schuylkill. This is the pleasantest excursion in the vicinity
of the city. You pass the cemetery of Laurel Hill, the Falls, and Wissahiccon.
The river is perfectly charming. We do not think that the same number of miles
of beautiful river scenery can be found in the United States. On our return we
stopped at Laurel Hill landing, and walked over the country grounds. This hardly
met our expectations. The ground is finely adapted for the purpose, but the area
is too limited-only 40 cares. The monuments will not compare with those in Mount
Auburn or greenwood, but perhaps it is a good sign that Philadelphia does not
expend thousands in ornamenting the tombs of the dead
correspondence of the Daily Wisconsin.May 30, 1857
How the destruction
of trees affects the rain.
By cutting down the trees upon the
mountain sides and ravines, were are inevitably entailing two great evils upon
posterity-a scarcity of fuel and a scarcity of water
"environmentalist" viewpoint of watershed and forest preservation. Mentions
that Humboldt called attention to this phenomenon as early as 1800. The article
concludes: "Our own country is yet too new, and our forests are yet, in spite
of woodmen and axes, too numerous for the scarcity of water to have become a serious
evil. But like causes produce like effects; and unless we change our procedure,
our children will suffer from our wanton carelessness. We have no right for our
own temporary advantage to desolate the country. No generation has more than a
life-interest in the earth, of which it is but the trustee of posterity. Every
man who has revisited his early home in the older States, after an absence of
a few years, can not have failed to notice the diminution of the streams and springs.
There is probably no water in the brook that turned his water-wheel. The springs
in the pasture, which he remembers as ever-flowing, are dry; and if a season of
unusual drought happens, the cattle must be driven long distances to water-a necessity
which never was known in his early years. More especially will this be the case
if a railroad or an iron establishment has occasioned a rapid demand for fuel.
The trees have gone, and with them the water; and the meadows and fields are dry
and parched. In their haste to be rich, the farmers have killed the goose that
laid the golden eggs for them."
Van Dewater's Turbine Water Wheel. Patented by Henry
Van Dewater of Albany, N. Y. Engraving and descriptive article.
Chief Engineer Ogden. His Greasing and White-Washing.Editorial
about the over-charging for tallow and oil by Schofield, Wheatham and Allen, who
supported the Chief Engineer's re-election.
Proceedings of City
Councils.Various petitions and communications relating to water, in particular
a communication from "late Chief Engineer" Graff, "calling attention
to the settlement of a portion of the Fairmount Dam, which must be remedied to
prevent disaster; also to the urgent necessity for an enlargement of the Spring
Garden Water Works
83:1-2 (same as 98:3)
King Caucus Revisited.
encouraging people in city government to "resist the tyranny of that imperious
monster, Caucus, when his demands are altogether unreasonable and not dictated
by any considerations of the public good
. Caucus declared that Mr. Frederick
a gentleman of science and reputation, in whom all have confidence,
should be deposed, and that Mr. Samuel Ogden should be elected instead. Mr. Ogden
is a practical mechanic, but it has not been asserted that he is a scientific
engineer, or that he has many qualifications possessed by Mr. Graff, and which
are most necessary for the superintendent of the important works of the city.
Yet Caucus declared against Mr. Graff because the latter was not a pure, unadulterated,
howling Democrat. He was not a Know-Nothing. The latter party tried hard to displace
him last year, but were defeated by a combination of Democrats and old line Whigs
Mr. Graff was not elected, those [fifteen councilmen] who stood by him deserve
credit for having preferred their duty to the public to the unauthorized attempt
made to control them by their associates
July 13, 1856
Raising of the Russian War Vessels at Sebastopol.Boston
contractor going to Sebastopol to raise vessels sunken during Crimean War.
March 3, 1857
Contract for the New Grand reservoir
Fairchild, Coleman, Walker & Brown
the probable successful bidders. Includes table of bids received, with amounts
bid for different aspects of the work, for this reservoir related to New York
City's Croton Aqueduct.
The Kensington Water.Nuisance exists near
Kensington Water Works: offal of catfish, from nine inches to three feet deep.
July 28, 1856
84:4-5 (same as 53:1-2, 120:1-2)
Improved Measuring Instrument. Engraving and part of
article about this device. Probably Scientific American.
for Supplying the City with Water. List of income from water rents, etc. 1856
Length of Squares in the City of Philadelphia. Vine to South,
River to River.
City Matters. A Day in the Water Department. Outline of activities
of major officers in the Department, from Chief Engineer, Water Surveyors, Inspectors,
Register of Water Rents, and various clerks. Daily Pennsylvanian
New Water Mains in the Twenty-third Ward.Committee on Water visited 23rd Ward
to look for a site for a new water works for Frankford and vicinity. With cost
estimates of proposed works.
Water Department of the City. Letter
to editor, from "Tax Payer," calls the Water Department "the LARGEST
LEAK from the City Treasury." Claims that Chief Samuel Ogden has padded the
payroll, did a private job for one of the breweries which made him $3,000, and
that he has repairs done for the Department as his own shop; also, that "sundry
members of Councils are furnishing materials to the Department
News, May 2, 1857
Local Affairs.City Water Department. Total consumption
and pumpage for 1856. Emigrant Travel over the Pennsylvania Railroad. Number of
people heading west. January 1, 1857
Local Affairs.The Philadelphia
Water Works. Basins and Fairmount dam affected by severe winter, and repairs underway.
The Brooklyn Water Works. The great Ponds. The Open Canal and Objections to it.
The Conduit. The largest Distributing Reservoir in the United States, &c.,
&c. Describes the Long Island watershed which will feed the 122 acres of ponds
that act as reservoirs for the system, and many other facets.June 9, 1857
Water Statistics.Operation of the Philadelphia water works for the quarter ending
Long letter from T. R. Scowden, Chief Engineer, dated March 3 1857, about
plans for the Louisville Water Works.
HERE FOR PDF OF THIS ARTICLE (2 mb)
The Origin and early history of Fairmount Water Works,
Schuylkill and Lehigh Navigations, and the introduction of anthracite coal.
Charles V. Hagner. The Press.
The Water Department.Editorial summarizing the first
annual report from Chief Samuel Ogden. This paper seems very supportive, almost
sycophantic, toward Ogden.
Excerpt from City Councils discussion
of Water Department budget.Thursday, January 29, [???]
Water. Residents of 20th Ward, north of Master and west of Eighth, complaining
about a lack of hydrant water.August 5, 1856
Public Health.Sewerage and Supply of Water.Long
article regarding need for flushing sewers, and how it might be accomplished.
Focuses specifically on sewers in London and Paris.
Water Permits.Letter from "B. M. M." regarding
problems obtaining permits for water. Ledger
Excerpt from Councils
minutes regarding the election of Department heads. Graff lost to Ogden by 60-37.
Local Affairs. The Cornish Engine.description of its operation.Ledger
(same as 99:6)
City Bulletin. "The Right Men in the Right Place."
Editorial regarding some of the problems of having so many "raw" hands
in charge of the City departments. Relates a story about the Spring garden Water
Works, where the "novices" were unable to stop the Cornish engine, even
after they "ran around and around, like the money is said to have done after
setting the beer barrel a-going." They finally gave up, and left the building,
fearing a "blow-up," Until the new Chief, Samuel Ogden, was "hunted
up" and stopped the engine. July 14, 1856
Doings of City Councils.Kensington
Water Works basins cleared of several feet of impurities, including fish offal.
Also problem noted with Fairmount Dam. August 8, 1856.
Know-Nothingism. Letter, signed "Sterescope," about problems since the
inauguration of the Know-Nothing administration. Water purveyor failed to turn
on water again after it was shut off to repair a leak; etc. Daily Pennsylvanian.
93, PAGE 94
Rich Disclosures! The Minority Report in the Ogden Peculating Case. Long report
from a minority committee of the Councils Committee on Water Works, substantiating
the charges against Chief Engineer Ogden. Discusses the "paper" making
the charges that mysteriously ended up in the hands of Councilmen Charles V. Hagner,
and how it seemed authentic. Subpoena of nineteen men mentioned in the paper,
and summary of their testimony. Various charges include Ogden selling iron, hauled
from the City's public yard on Cherry Street to Henderson & Company; Ogden's
delivering stone purchased by the City to another location; overpayments for range
of materials; charging for work not done. ]This report could probably be found
in the Journals of Councils from that time.] 1857
Proceedings of City Council.Long report of Select
Council meeting, with discussion of the Samuel Ogden fraud accusations. Long report
of Common Council meeting, in which Mr. Miller read a lengthy minority report
on the affair. (See 93-94 for text of report). Pennsylvania Inquirer July 17,
Excerpt from Councils minutes with election of department heads. Samuel Ogden
re-elected, 67 votes, 20 for Charles Brock, 2 for Graff.
Caucus."A large crowd, composed mainly of the natives of the Emerald isle,
assembled in front of the State House yesterday morning, to see and aid the result
of the caucus of the Democratic members of City Councils
determine who should
receive the support of the party at the election in the afternoon
Caucus chose Ogden as their candidate for Water Chief.
buildings, and Highways.Editorial in support of Andrew Miller, in his effort,
along with Mr. Hagner, to expose Ogden' frauds. It concludes: "And yet this
man is re-elected! So is AHERN, whose stupid management allows the public offices
and INDEPENDENCE HALL to be again and again broken into and plundered. It is disgraceful
that the old Hall should be under such charge. McCarthy, the High[way]man, is
also re-elected. This is throwing dust in the eyes of our citizens, and scattering
mud on their garments. MR. MILLER is getting back, we hope, to his ancient ideas
of reform and party purity. Let him keep up the steam-go ahead-and drag corruption
and imbecility from its municipal hiding places, and public commendation will
Local Affairs. Proceedings of Councils.Excerpt noting
the nominations of Chief Engineer for various Water Department positions.
More Councils minutes noting the discussions and decisions regarding the fraud
accusations against Water Department Chief Engineer Samuel Ogden.
Long editorial refuting a letter to the Daily News
of August 9th, and defending Samuel Ogden's role in cleansing the basins of the
Kensington Water Works. An excerpt from the Daily News letter, which took offense
to a Board of Health commendation to Ogden for his work at Kensington: "In
order that the public may understand how well merited were their thanks, it will
be necessary to state briefly, what was actually done when the water became so
filthy that the people could no longer drink it; when the increased sickness and
mortality in the upper part of the city, consequent on its use, called loudly
for something to be done, Mr. Ogden proceeded to the field of action. The disgusting
hell-broth (compared to which, the potion of MacBeth's witches was nectar,) was
emptied from one basin through the main pipe into the Delaware. So far, well.
When the water was all out, there lay exposed a bed of black and putrid mud many
inches thick; this was scooped up and wheeled out. During the time this was being
done, the catfish essence in the other basin lay in a state of rest for several
days, festering under fervid sun and becoming daily more intolerable in its stench,
more firm, more loathsome. On it the spectator held his nose and gazed, until
to his sickened vision the plague-fiend seemed to hover over its slime and dip
its obscure wings into its putridity before it soared away to its work of death!!!"
Daily News writer continued by asserting that the water of the second basin, rather
than being dumped into the river, was emptied into the first basin. This editorial
pointed out that this was impossible, and that the second basin was similarly
emptied and cleaned. The editorial also took offense to the writer's urging Mr.
Ogden to "return to the Reading Railroad, and in the humble office which
he there filled of running a coal train, find some respite from the pangs of a
guilty conscience," pointing out that Ogden had previously been Chief of
the Spring Garden and Northern Liberty Water Works. August 25, 1856
Loco Foco Consistency. Editorial about the defeat of Mr. Graff for re-election.
Cites the Pennsylvania as the organ of the Loco Foco party.
Daily News July
Text of Graff communication to Councils, written July 10, 1856, concerning the
settling of a portion of Fairmount Dam, and encouraging the enlargement of the
Spring Garden Water Works. Evening Bulletin July 11, 1856
98:3-4 (same as
Thawing Frozen Fire Plugs.Experiment with portable steam
boiler and tank to insert steam into the frozen plug. January 13, 1857
Bad Water in Kensington. Water so bad that "citizens yesterday were drawing
their water for domestic purposes in casks from the river and having it carted
to their residences." Meeting held today at King's Hotel "to see what
measures are necessary to remove the origin of this impurity."
(Same as 104:7)
Scarcity of Water. Small summertime not remarking on general
complaints about lack of water. July 20, 1856
Another copy of Council minutes with Miller's minority
report on accusations of fraud against Water Department Chief Samuel Ogden.
Letter, dated August 3, 1856 and signed "Some of the Sufferers from that
Day of Horror," about the cleansing of the Kensington Water Works, and accusing
Water Department Chief Samuel Ogden of various acts refuted by a later editorial
in another newspaper (see 97:2-5 for details of this letter and the refuting editorial).
Daily News, August 9, 1856
99:6 (same as 92:5, see)
Printed letter from John. C. Cresson, Engineer and
Superintendent, Philadelphia Gas Works, announcing that he is starting a business
to design gas works for other localities. His assistants are listed as Dr. Charles
M. Cresson, R. H. Gratz, and William E. Hitchcock. Nice PGW letterhead, with engraving
of the works at the top. January 1, 1854
How Philadelphia is Governed.
the reputation of the city as a "den of murderers and prize-fighters."
The policemen, it seems, are too busy working for the renomination of Mr. Vaux
(Mayor) and "Molly McGuire's pets" to enforce any of the city's ordinances.
Samuel Ogden is named as one of Vaux's "harpies and plunderers." Also
a good, if exaggerated, resume of crimes of the day: "Vice and wickedness
flourish within the vestibule of every hotel, and on the gangway plank of every
steamboat, men and boys peddle obscene books and prints that would be loathsome
amid the foul malaria of Liverpool or Marseilles. Our local reporter can furnish
Mr. Vaux with the location of eighty-three lottery policy shops, within two squares
of the Mayor's Office. It is well known that notorious thieves and pickpockets
infest our streets, markets, and places of public resort. It is equally notorious
that, in certain neighborhoods, the public streets are given up after nightfall
to the shameless commerce of lust and licentiousness, and that abandoned creatures
converse with policemen while virtuous passers-by are jostled and insulted, so
much so that many families are obliged to extend the routes to and from their
homes to avoid disgusting exhibitions. We need only mention the vicinity of Washington
Square, or Ninth and Spruce streets, as instances
." Times, September
[25? 21?], 1857
The Know Nothings. Abstract of the Oaths
and Principles of the Mysterious Order of Know Nothings. More Light on a Dark
Subject. A Flood of Light. (From the Richmond Examiner, Aug. 8) Long article in
a local Philadelphia paper about this new political group. 
Our New Opera House. Article about the Academy of
Music, then under construction.
Our Water Works. Short note about
damage to various works, from winter and from spring freshets, and about the repairs
Trouble in the Wigwam. Democrats asking
for newly appointed city officers to resign. "It is safely surmised that
the officers will decline to the request of their Democratic friends."
(same as 107:7)
Fairmount Park.Letter from Frederick Graff to Theodore Cuyler,
encouraging control of the Schuylkill shores for the sake of the purity of the
water supply. Retaining Sedgeley park considered of "utmost consequence."
Letter dated October 12, 1857. Public Ledger, Oct. 20, 1857
Report on the explosion of the steam fire engine
"Joe Ross" by a committee of the City Council of Cincinnati, read at
City Council January 2, 1856. February 21, 1856
The Water Works
of this City. Same report as in 102:4. 1854
The Kensington Water.
Fairhill Reservoir to be cleaned because of complaints about bad water, and in
the meantime the area to be supplied from other works of the city.
West Point During Encampment. Description of the Parades. Instruction of the Cadets
in Field Fortification. Hops. "Stag Dances," &c.
104, PAGE 105, PAGE
Rowing and Sculling. Article
about the techniques of rowing and sculling.
City Matters. Laying
Water Pipe.On 19th, from Green to Thompson, to supply sufficient water to various
neighborhoods, especially that part of the 15th Ward known as Bush Hill. Daily
Brief article noting regret at the removal of Chief
Engineer Frederick Graff. Pennsylvania Inquirer
104:7 (Same as 98:7)
The following rates have been fixed by the Watering
Committee. Rates of water rents in the city and districts
. Four-page folded
sheet with various annual charges. Date: January 3, 1853.
Public Parks.Editorial asserting that the park lands
around Fairmount are already sufficient, and the controversy over the purchase
of Sedgeley Park "to keep the Schuylkill water pure, that is all moonshine.
The Schuylkill water is as pure as any water in the world, and the scheme for
keeping it pure by preventing any other improvements upon its banks than public
parks, would involve the purchase of both sides of the river up to Manayunk."
Advertisement for bid proposals for Washington Aqueduct. March 8, 1858
Kensington Water Works.A letter from "Observer," who asserts that "the
Delaware water is as pure as any water that flows," and that hydrants should
be opened every few days to allow water in Kensington basins to be changed and
not become stagnant. "An idea having obtained in Kensington that the basin
was full of skins and entrails of catfish, (a ridiculous story,) the people resorted
to the pump-water, and in this way allowed the water in the basin to become stagnant
Repairs of Fairmount Dam.Work now commenced.
(Same as 102:6)
Entered Bail. Samuel Ogden allowed one of his
Water Department employees, George Esher, to resign his position to serve as an
election officer, and once the election was over, Esher was immediately reappointed
to his post by Ogden.
Fairmount Dam. Outline of planned repairs.
August 15, 1856
The Delaware Water Works. Letter from correspondent in Trenton reporting how that
city got rid of the fishy smell and taste in its water supply. Editorial comment
that same can be accomplished at the Kensington works. Letter dated: July 30,
Boston Theatre to be Sold. At public auction. Table listing
The Buzzards on Flour Barrels. Editorial about
the "Board of Buzzards," possible the Board of City Property? Recounts
some votes about purchases of flour barrels, and "the Steward's" insistence
that he not be required to provide a statement of money paid for barrels. "To
understand all this, let it be recollected that old materials, such as barrels,
iron, tallow, brass, &c., make a very considerable portion of the property
at the disposal of the board of Buzzards. When sold to advantage, they realize
considerable sums of money. It is well known what a handsome thing Chief Engineer
Ogden has made of the old materials in his department. From him, or from the late
Portage Railroad, or from their own selves, the Buzzards have gotten a new idea,
and accordingly strike upon a new vein of plunder. The Steward has evidently been
bagging the proceeds of old materials. President Brown [of the Board] tries to
run him down and smoke him out. But the Buzzards instinctively interpose. They
reason thus; "it won't do to throw light upon this matter; firstly, because
come of us may have pocketed some of the old material, and secondly, because there
will probably be chances for pocketing more, and the less light the better the
The Rulers of the World for 1858. (See
44:5 for similar for 1856). Legislatures of the States. Times and Places of Meeting.
Governors of the States and Territories for 1858. (See 49:1-2 for similar for
Fire Yesterday Morning. A Word about the Water Department. Narrow Escape of Three
Human Beings. Fire Plugs Frozen.
The article concludes: "Just such developments
as the above make people feel insecure when retiring to bed at night, not knowing
whether fire plugs are frozen or not. Firemen themselves may hasten to scenes
of conflagration, risk their lives, &c., and perhaps, after all, have to stand
idle and see the property of their fellow citizens fall a prey to flames, because
of the neglect of the Chief Engineer of the Water Department."
Anthracite Coal Trade. Table showing quantity of coal sent to market annually
from various Pennsylvania mines, 1854-1857.
Pennsylvania Inquirer 1858
1857. City Improvements.Table showing monthly breakdown of building permits issued.
1857. Fires. Table showing breakdown of the 336 fires in the city in 1857. Arson
was cite din 159 fires. Table gives fires per district, with amount of loss and
Steamboat Accidents in 1857. In the entire United States.
For 1856 and 1857. With killed and wounded.
during the Year 1857. For United States. 1856 and 1857. Table also lists killed
The Boston Theatre. Before and Behind the
Scenes. (From the Boston Bee, Nov. 9) Article about the financial troubles of
the theatre, with table showing a breakdown of expenses for the threatre's first
three seasons, 1854-55, 1855-56, 1856-57; and receipts vs. expenses.
1857. The Weather and the Rain. Compiled by B. J. Leedom. Monthly statistics for
1856 and 1857. Annual rainfall for 1840-1857.
The Coal Trade of Pennsylvania for 1857. The Coal
Trade of the United Kingdom. Statistics taken from the Miner's Journal.
Comparative mortality of the largest cities in the Union.
for Lambert's Patent Water Waste Preventer and Self-Regulating Valve-Cock, especially
adapted for water-closets.
Patented by Thomas Lambert and Son, Short-Street,
List and Table (same information from two different newspapers) showing the 30
operas performed at the Academy of Music, and the number of performances for each,
between the hall's opening on February 25, 1857 until April 14, 1858.
Promises of Before. How They Have Been Kept. Number 6. Letter to editor from "Populi,"
regarding the charges against Water Department Chief Engineer Samuel Ogden. Mentions
that the majority and minority reports of the committee, along with testimony,
can be found in "The Appendix to the Journal of Common Council from May 11
to November 13, 1857." Mentions Loco Foco and Democratic reformers. Says
the writer of Democratic reformers: "This immaculate party, which makes such
boasts of the reforms which it has effected, reformed Frederick Graff out, in
order to reform such a person as Samuel Ogden in. Had Mr. Graff retained possession
of the office whish his father and himself had held for so many years, and had
discharged its duties in a manner so economical and so satisfactory to the community,
members of the Water Committee perhaps would not have had their relatives provided
Description of the new Covent Garden, being rebuilt. April 28, 1858
Advertisement from H. Messchert denying his connection as a director with the
Bank of Pennsylvania. Letter dated November 1, 1857
[Description of one of the world's largest pumping stations, being erected for
the Brooklyn Water Works by the Brooklyn Water Department.
The Leviathan Afloat. (From the London Post Feb.
1) Large steamship built in London finished. Long description.
The Opera in Great Cities. Interesting Statistics. Paris, London, New York, Milan,
Vienna and Berlin.
Editorial including the reasons of
Common Councilman Andrew Miller for voting against Sedgeley Park interest payment.
Long letter with various justifications. Letter mentions Fairmount park, Graff,
etc. Letter dated October 15, 1857.
Strangers Guide in Philadelphia. Traveller's
Guide. For the benefit of strangers and others who may desire to visit any of
our public institutions, we publish the annexed list. Includes railroad lines
and steamboat lines.
Summer Festivals at Rome. Correspondence of the
New York Tribune. Rome, July 2, 1857. Long description of fireworks, architecture,
Water Pipe at West Philadelphia.Engraving and descriptive article on the stand-pipe
constructed for the West Philadelphia (Twenty-fourth Ward) Water Works, designed
by H. Howson of Camden, New Jersey. Scientific American
117, PAGE 118
The Great Work of the Age.Telegraphic Union of the Old and New Worlds. Long article
with various illustrations about describing the work involved in laying the transatlantic
Herculaneum and Pompeii. Long descriptive article about these two cities.
120:1-2 (same as 53:1-2, same as 84:4-5)
Peter's Church.Descriptive article about this Philadelphia church. Evening Bulletin
June 17, 1856
Railways for the Colonies and New Countries.With illustrations of various rail
Eastern Counties. Season Tickets. List of fairs for various British localities
in 1856 and 1857, and article about a meeting of season ticket holders.
Metropolitan Water and its Inhabitants.Detailed illustrations of various micro-organisms
that live in the Thames and other waters supplied to London. "We have seen
a report on microscopical examinations of the Thames and other waters supplied
to the metropolis, which might alone induce all mankind to boil their water before
using, or to form an anti-water-drinking association
.Here is a portrait
of one of those beings of the deep for which the public pay. This is the Stentor
Mulleri, somewhat larger than life-magnified, indeed, by 150 diameters, but an
ugly affair under any circumstances, and a horrid Nimrod among the animacules.
We place beside M. Mulleri the Vibro fluvialis, magnified in the same proportion,
because it was found very general among all the London waters
etc., in this same vein.
Railway Accidents.To the Editor of
the [London] Times
Instrument for measuring the velocity of ships,
currents, etc. Built by James R. Napier, of Glasgow. Illustrations and descriptive
London General Omnibus Company. Report of the company
for the year 1856, when it was founded. "600 omnibuses, having 5,879 horses
to work them, formed now the working stock. They embraced the best routes comprising
Things in New York.October 1, 1858. Cunard
steamer "Asia" left for Liverpool, with 104 passengers, including "Frederick
Graff, of Philadelphia." "Specie on board, $950,695.35."
Advertisement from Andrew Miller responding to advertisement in the Sunday Transcript
"yesterday" claiming that Miller has a "bitter animosity"
against his neighbor, Joshua M. Raybold. "Prior to his first appointment
in the Water department, I was consulted, and my reply was, that I had no objections
to his appointment to a clerkship-that he would do as a clerk if he could be kept
at work. I did oppose his appointment as Register of Water Rents, because, knowing
him well, I believe that the peculiar qualities he possesses are not adapted to
the position of a collector of the public revenues
Excerpt from Councils minutes about report from Chief Engineer of the Water Department
for new reservoir at Schuylkill Works.
Gas and Gas meters. Letter to Editor, from John
C. Cresson, Engineer PGW, dated March 13, 1858, discussing the many complaints
of irregularity in gas bills, and the reasons for the irregularities.
Breaking Ground for the New Grand Reservoir. The first spadeful of earth turned
by Myndert Van Schaick. Addresses by Hon. Luther R. Marsh, Myndert Van Schaick,
Mayor Tiemann and others. Eighty-sixth Street reservoir in New York City, for
Croton Aqueduct Company.
Hydrant. Notice of invention
of new hydrant, by John Parham of Philadelphia and S. P. Parham of Trenton, that
will not freeze.
Excerpt from Councils minutes accepting proposals
for various materials for the water works, with prices given for pipes, pig lead,
fittings, stop cocks, fire plugs, brass castings.
Race & Matthews Improved Oscillating Pump [and]
Hydrant. Engravings and descriptive article of the invention of Washington Race
and S. R. C. Matthews, of Seneca Falls, N.Y. Probably Scientific American.
Andrews' Centrifugal Pump. Engraving and descriptive
article of this pump, invented by W. D. Andrews of New York City.
Purifying and Filtering Water. "As the period
is now approaching when greater necessity exists for the filtration of water than
during the winter season, anything new on the subject deserves attention
A. P. Mailard, of Paris, recently secured a patent for using wool-shearings as
a filter material. Article also gives method of rendering hard water soft.
Illustration of "Furnace Chimney, Manchester, Mr. Worthington, Architect."
Graff's handwritten index.
Doings of City Councils. Highly interesting debate
on the Moyamensing Hose Company. Consideration of the ordinance making an appropriation
to the School Controllers.A long talk--Fun in the Select chamber. Excerpt that
features letter from Graff reporting on the settlement of Fairmount Dam, and the
need to enlarge the works supplying Spring Garden, Northern Liberties and Penn.
Evening Bulletin July 11, 1856.
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