Nominate A Topic

What would you like to know about Philadelphia and its history? Nominate a topic and tell us why you’d like to see it in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. To submit your ideas to the editors, simply scroll to the bottom of this page.

240 thoughts on “Nominate A Topic

  1. I’d love to see more discussion of religion in Philadelphia, especially lesser known or distinctive groups, like theosophists, Spiritualists, and New Age religion. Material on the Jewish Quarter and Mormons in Philadelphia might be worthwhile, too.

  2. I would like to nominate a topic about George Duffield. I know someone who can provide the necessary information for him. As a confidant to George Washington and a prestigous minister during the Revolutionary War, there is very little information written about him.

  3. Philadelphia was the birthplace of the American steel pen industry. (what we call nibs for dip pens, the major form of writing instrument from the 1870’s to the 1930’s and a huge industry)

    Richard Esterbrook, founder of the first and largest steel pen manufacturer in the US had his first factory in Philadelphia before moving across the river to Camden.

    Philadelphia was also home to many others including the large firms like Turner & Harrison, and the small like the Keystone Pen Co. There were several prominent Jewish-owned pen companies like Leon Isaacs & Co. where Leon Isaacs and his partner Michael Voorsanger created the Glucinum pen, and De Haan was very popular with state and federal governments, and Koshland was lesser known until they merged with De Haan.

    The hey-day was between 1880 and 1920 with much innovation, intrigue, mergers and tragedy. But so much basic information is lost. When did Leon Isaacs & Co. get bought by Turner & Harrison (who continued to make their pens until at least 1942)? When did Esterbrook buy up De Haan & Koshland? Who was Samuel Isaacs and what happened to his “Isaacs & Co.”? How long did Turner & Harrison last?

    I’ve done a fair amount of what research can be done from a distance, but so much needs local sources just not available on the internet. This was a major part of Philadelphia’s commercial history. It would be a shame if it all disappeared.

  4. Hello. Maybe one of the authors can write an article about the Philadelphia Zoo, one of Philadelphia’s attractions.

  5. i would like to know more about the Helen Fleisher Vocational School. My mother was a graduate, and zi have her graduation program, but that is all. Mom studied patternmaking and dressmaking and sewing arts of all kinds but she threw her sample books away during one of mom and dad’s moves, at his suggestion. (Why do you want that old stuff? While he still had his WWII flight jacket and silk scarf and navy wings…)

  6. LOVE this website!


    HORSES! in 18th Century Philly!

    Where did ordinary people stable them in the 18th Century? I assume the wealthy maintained their own stables, but what about more working class people who needed horses more for transportation than leisure activities?

    Where did Assemblymen from out of town stable their horses? and other out-of-town travelers?

    Likewise, in the Early National period, when Congress & the new Federal gov. came to town . . .

    Horse care had to contribute hugely to the economy: farriers & blacksmiths; saddle & tack makers; boot-makers & tailors who made riding clothes; groomers, stable cleaners; farmers who sold hay, oats, etc.; wagon/cart/carriage-makers, & wheelwrights; and the boarding stables . . . there had to be 100’s of them.

    Was there a horse market/auction in Philly . . . similar perhaps to London’s Tattersalls?

    And finally, all those people lost employment as the motors took over . . .

    All that would be absolutely fascinating! we don’t often think about how essential horses were back then – as essential to us now as are garages & gas stations.



  7. I’m surprised not to see anything on crime fiction. David Goodis, one of the major noir writers, was born in Philadelphia. Lisa Scottoline is a Philadelphia native who sets her novels in Philadelphia; she also writes for the Inquirer.

    Elizabeth Foxwell
    Managing Editor, _Clues: A Journal of Detection_ (the only US scholarly journal on mystery and detective fiction)

  8. I nominate entries on:
    The Library Company of Philadelphia
    Kenneth Gamble (musical icon and Philly native)
    The Molefi Kete Asante Institute
    Temple University

  9. There is an impression–perhaps a myth–that there was a large emigrant Cuban, Mexican and other Latin American population in early nineteenth century Philadelphia. The city had strong trade ties to Cuba, and we know it was a center of Spanish language publishing. But for the life of me, I can find virtually nothing written about this other than the work of Luis Leal and Linda Salvucci. The first empress of Mexico, Ana Huarte and her son are buried at St John the Evangelist. The daughter of a very wealthy Mexican merchant is buried at Old St Mary’s. Tantalizing, but not much

  10. Youth Suffrage: Student empowerment….Lets work together to change the voting age to 16 in Philadelphia(local and municipal elections), than in Pennsylvania and than the rest of the country. It is time to give our students a say in their education, a right of taxation with representation, and give them a voice and way to be heard.

  11. I see newspapers are a planned topic. I would suggest that, in addition to large publications like the Inquirer and the former Bulletin, there also be attention paid to the thriving student newspapers around Philadelphia. Near-professional newspapers like Drexel’s The Triangle and UPenn’s The Daily Pennsylvanian reflect Philadelphia as a city of universities, just as foreign-language publications show it to be a city of immigrants.

  12. Would like to see articles on orphanages. There were many in Phila in the early -mid 20th century, but are now a thing of the past. Catholic orphanages in particular.

  13. Mushroom industry of Chester County, PA

    Chester County, PA’s “horse country”

    Horse racetracks (Belmont, Suffolk, Point Breeze, Parx, Harrah’s Chester)

    Motorsports (Fairmount Park road races, Langhorne Speedway, Atco Raceway)

    Quarrying, mining, and/or brickyards (Garnet Valley mines, Brinton’s Quarry, Corson’s Quarry, limestone, and marl pits)

  14. With respect to Philadelphia art and artists, perhaps you should consider seeking entries on Max and Louis Rosenthal, brothers who helped to pioneer lithography as a commercial and aesthetic medium in Philadelphia before the Civil War. They also produced important (in many cases, unique) images of Civil War subjects. A selection of US Army regimental campsite lithographs is featured online at the University of Delaware Library website.

  15. I’d like to see something about the textile mills of Philadelphia, especially about the Arrott family of Arrott’s Mill, recently featured on a Hexamer Redux project. My ancestors come from the Arrott family yet, it’s stunning to find so little about them. There is a lot more about the mill and William Arrott in the trade magazines of industry when one googles his name, but nothing about the family and their first generation Irish roots. Their are family headstones in the Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philly though. Seems incredible there’s no more than that considering the mills of Philly were a major force at one time.

  16. The Merchants Fund is almost 160 years old and was founded by the men of commerce of Philadelphia. We have had two missions: pensioning indigent merchants and now we make small grants to small business in Philadelphia. We have a portfolio of over 200 companies we have supported.

  17. Philadelphia’s important role in American mapmaking and map publishing through the 19th century (at least). And short biographical entries of the most important important figures in this industry, for example, John Hills.

  18. Suggestions:
    Barbary Wars: Including Decatur, Somers, Bainbridge, ship Philadelphia etc
    Philadelphia Daily News: very colorful history
    Street Games: Half ball, buck-buck etc
    “Klondike” scandal Holmesburg Prison
    Arsenic Ring of 1930s
    Abscam: many Philly officials jailed
    Connection of Lewis & Clark Expedition to Phila. (much material still here)

  19. Philadelphia has contributed so much to the world of modern architecture, but there are no links on this site or essays on this topic. Architects of note: Venturi & Scott-Brown, and Louis Kahn. Buildings/installations of note: the lighting of Boathouse Row, Kimmell Center, the Barnes, Cira Center, Comcast Center, Erdy MCHenry dorm at Drexel. Planning agendas of note: Greenworks, Stormwater management plans. Sustainable buildings of note: LEED Platinum for Friends Center, Kensington school LEED Platinum, Curtis music school addition.

  20. As our firm works to gain more attendees for the marvelous annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Fairmount Park, I researched the city archives and found great photos (I tweeted our album to you) of the significant presence of the Japanese cultural and commerce missions in the city at that time for their wonderful exhibits in South Philly at the Sesquicentennial. But there are no photos of the important other thing that was accomplished across town… the planting of 1600 ornamental cherry trees at Horticultural Hall, near where the nation of Japan had their first exhibit at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. If you have anything specifically about that planting, the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia would be very pleased to know more. Here’s a link to those 1926 photos in South Philly. What is gorgeous to us now in full color is equally gorgeous in faded sepia images. Thank you!

  21. The first women to be committee women and ward leaders in Philadelphil till present day. Philadelphia born women who are leaders in business, medicine and churches for last 150 years till present

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connecting the Past with the Present, Building Community, Creating a Legacy