Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Liberty Pole - Weathervane - Chief Tammany - Old York Road and Wood Street - 1862 - 1894 - 1924

Inquirer 5 July 1862

Inquirer 29 June 1894

Some bits and pieces on the long lost Liberty Pole with a Wooden Indian figure of St. Tammany that once graced the traffic triangle around Old York Road and Wood Street. 

I have reprinted the image form the Library of Congress of a 1938 WPA poster that fits the description of Philly icon and some newspaper bits from 1894 that says the "weather vane" was pointing, from 1862 that puts its address at OYR and Wood St. and a reprint of a Phila. Bulletin Article in a New York Newspaper from Jan 1924. 

Over all, I have used a measure to compare the 9-1/2 H X 9 foot W of the Harry Kyriakodis Hidden City Article. Have you seen the Indian Pole?

A lot of speculation here but thinking about it, let me say this. 

Was it a Weathervane or decoration? Weathervane of Chief Tammany of the size and weights mentioned make me think that as a weather vane it was would a high maintenance item needing grease up top to lubricate a turning figure to the wind. 

I am reminded that the original Diana weathervane on the original Madison Square Garden in 1892 was too big and too heavy to do the job of weathervane and was farmed out to the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago 1893 only to be eventually destroyed or damaged when that exhibit building burnt down after the closing of the fair. That it is was the second smaller lighter copper Diana weathervane stood above that MSG until 1925 and eventually making it to the Philly Museum of Art. 

That the repairs suggested in the 1894 article was paint and copper trim around the edge to retard further rot on the wood when the paint had faded. 

Speaking of paint, I would think that the primary benefactor of the Liberty Pole and weathervane would be done by the French Paint company that probably contributed paint to maintaining brightness of a local object of interest. 

The 1924 article on wooden Indians indicate that the whole thing was still standing as of January 1924. That is also the year of Howard B French's, one of the local merchants so enthusiastic about saving the old monument, death.

That without paint and maintenance, the top likely fell off in pieces is a good thunderstorm one day. It is taken down, put in storage and or tossed by post 1924 merchants who do not want the expense of something the city probably would not maintain. 

The image on the WPA poster of a wooden Indian weathervane might be a true likeness. 

I would like to think that this old relic in semi-original condition in bits, pieces or a glued together whole is in some private collection somewhere in some upstate New York mansion of old money that has yet to catalog or dispose of old art work in storage etc. 

Geneseo NY Livingston Democrat 2 Jan 1924

Inquirer 4 May 1894



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Frankford Yellow Jackets vs. New York Giants at Polo Grounds - October 18, 1925

1925 New York Giants Season


Football, today and tomorrow, by William W. (Bill) Roper 1927


Frankford Yellow Jackets vs. All-Philadelphia - October 1, 1921 - Brown's Field Frankford

Public Ledger 3 Oct 1921

Public Ledger 1 Oct 1921

There is some Yellowjacket literature that puts the game between that team and the All-Phillies on Oct 8, 1921 with a 54-0 win for the Yellowjackets. A second game? The literature also notes a two game gap in records. 


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saint George's Hall / House - 1877/1903 - 1903/1923 - 13th, 19th and Arch Streets - St. George's Statue

Saint George's Hall - 13th and Arch Streets - 1895

Saint George's Hall - 13th and Arch Streets - 1900

Saint George's Statue -
MLK Drive Fairmount Park Phila.
 - Designed and cast by Elkington & Company of Birmingham England, 1877
(image source: Wikipedia Commons - Unrestricted Usage)

Source: A History of the Society of the Sons of Saint George established at Philadelphia by Theodore Knauff, 1923


Frank Rizzo Statue - Location - Location - Location

I have to fully concede that Frank Rizzo's statue in front of the Municipal Services Building across from City Hall is there for another 25 years til the last of us Boomers goes to our eternal reward. As we all know premature plans to send the statue south to Marconi Plaza in South Philly is Fake News.

One of Philly's greatest patron's and French immigrants (from the French Revolution period) Stephen Girard 1850-1831 - His statue has migrated over the centuries 19th, 20th and 21st centuries from City Hall to Reyburn Plaza to out behind the Museum in the Park, as his fame and memory from Philly's consciousness fades. Or did they send old Stevey, has he finally made it to Manayunk? LOL

In any case, Frank's statue is safe for the moment. Examination of a sampling of news data, lots and lots it btw, suggests to me that Frank might have been a narcissist if he were born rich. But more likely he recognized the importance of publicity all through his police career. That or he had John Travolta's publicist out of college to help him along. Or a couple of news reporters always in need of filler on a back page in return for other favors etc. later on etc. Wink. Nod.

The earliest clip suggests an early connection to State Rep James H. J. Tate's home neighborhood around W Hunting Park Ave near Simon Gratz High which I bet got good police response and protection with Frank as a foot soldier in that station house. And Frank's rise seems to parallel old Jimmy Tate's blessings from the fates etc.

Nothing Frank in his day didn't do that the old Irish Micks like my great great grandad did on the old Police force in its day, did not do or would not do in terms of serving and stabilizing the community. 

Grandfathered into the fabric of 20th century history is old hiz honor Mayor Frank Rizzo.

Inquirer 5 Nov 1945

Inquirer 5 June 1945

Inquirer 17 Jan 1952
Inquirer 17 Jan 1952

Inquirer 4 Nov 1952

Inquirer 26 Feb 1953

Inquirer 19 July 1953

Inquirer 1 Nov 1953

Inquirer 26 Aug 1955

Inquirer 26 Aug 1955

Inquirer 30 Apr 1958


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Isaac Paschall Morris House - 826 Pine Street

Isaac Paschall Morris House - 826 Pine Street

826 Pine Street - 1958

1867 McElroy Philadelphia City Directory

The previous 1860 McElroy City Directory mentioned before, says 824 Pine for home address of Isaac P. Morris. 

On the 1875 PhilaGeoHistory map, there are four empty lots on the that block. Meaning to me that the house did not change for I. P. Morris but the address was a typo or a convenience / inaccuracy by the Post Office at the time.

In other documents, 826 Pine St. the address of his youngest surviving son on that address up until the turn of the 20th Century.

1910 Bromley Phila. City Map

Also with the Colonial / Federalist style of the house, I would have to say the Morris house was probably in that family for some generations. 

Which leaves me with the thought with this building still standing, if its interior is still Federalist etc.. And that photos with those original interiors and the priceless furniture in the Cedar Grove / Art Museum collection and some computerized photo-shopping would make for some interesting photos of some of the furniture - in situ - in those original rooms of the Isaac Paschall Morris House at 826 Pine Street. 

Those old pieces of course from 1841 onward when Isaac had inherited Cedar Grove and the style in furniture would have been changing to other than Colonial / Federal periods in favor of Empire, early and late Victorian. Just a thought. 


Commercial Museum - 1921