Philadelphia Water Department
Annual Report Indexes, 1851 and 1896-1913

One problem with doing research in old government reports is that their indexes are usually minimal to non-existent. Finding the time to review the thousands of pages of documents in the hundreds of years of annual reports of even one department of one city (for example, let's take the Philadelphia Water Department) could consume years of research. Indexes are no replacement for delving into the texts themselves, but they certainly provide a quick look at what is inside those musty old covers.

So anyone interested in the history of municipal utilities must thank PWD Archives Volunteer Christiane Metz, a librarian who has compiled these indexes to the text and, in particular, to graphs, charts, photograps and other illustrations in a number of PWD annual reports. We chose this period to index because in these years PWD designed and built the water filtration system that helped greatly improve water quality while drastically reducing the indience of typhoid fever and other waterborne diseases. Links are to PDF documents, which should download and open quickly.

1851 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908

1909 1910 1911 1912 1913

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Page last modified March 1, 2010

The History of Philadelphia's Watersheds and Sewers

Compiled by Adam Levine
Historical Consultant
Philadelphia Water Department
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