Philadelphia in the early fifties. The city of Brotherly Love in the late forties, early fifties.
Featuring (wobbly footage) street trolleys, buses, the Reading Lines' Reading Train and Bus Terminal, trains, the port, RR ferry and Delaware River Bridge, a water plane landing on the river, M.S. Keystone State, the Frankford Elevated SUBWAY, PRT elevated train station with Line 14 train, various street scenes, vintage neon lights, cars, water planes moored on the river banks' seaplane ramp. Also featuring the Pennsylvania Rail Road Ferry Terminal on Market Street. During the 19th century, railroads linked the Atlantic with the Pacific coast. Trains from Philadelphia also ran north, south and east to towns and cities on the Atlantic shore. Steamships and ferries connected the city to New Jersey and Delaware. However, it was during the 1880s and 1890s that electrification of trolley cars, elevated and subway trains made rapid public transit possible in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.
The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company.
In 1889, the Reading Railroad decided to build a train depot, passenger station, and company headquarters on the corner of 12th and Market Streets. The move came eight years after the Pennsylvania Railroad opened its Broad Street Station several blocks away at 15th and Market Streets, and one year after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad opened its 24th Street Station at 24th and Chestnut Streets. The complex was fronted on Market by an eight-story headhouse that housed the passenger station and company headquarters. Reading Terminal served the railroad's inter-city and regional rail trains, many of which are still running as part of the SEPTA Regional Rail system that connects Center City with outlying neighborhoods and suburbs, especially to the north. Many of those trains would be converted to electric power in a project that began in 1928 and basically completed in 1933. Daily traffic peaked during World War II with up to 45,000 daily passengers, then declined in the 1950s with the advance of road and air travel. The Reading declared bankruptcy on November 23, 1971. The shed was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
PRR Railroad Ferry to Camden
Yet because no bridge crossed the width of the Delaware between Philadelphia and Camden until 1926, ferries provided a vital connection for rail passengers bound for New York and points north. Beginning in the 1850s many companies, including the Camden and Atlantic (C&A) Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), acquired ferries to augment their existing lines. In 1854, the C&A purchased the Cooper family’s operations and offered more frequent service between Camden and Philadelphia.
The ferries’ vehicle-carrying business was greatly reduced by the 1926 opening of the Delaware River Bridge, now called the Ben Franklin, but the boats kept steaming across the river. A major impact on ferry facilities and operations was also caused by the two railroads’ combining most of their South Jersey lines in 1933 into the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines. Trains on ex-Reading lines were rerouted to and from the Pennsylvania’s train and ferry terminal, and the Reading’s Kaighn’s Point terminal and ferry were abandoned in 1934. The last of the railroad-owned passenger and vehicle ferries which served our area, the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Philadelphia and Camden Ferry, was in itself a colorful transportation system. The boats on this line were sturdy vessels with steel hulls and upper structures and basically painted in the same Tuscan red color scheme as the passenger train cars of both the Pennsy and the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines. The name “Pennsylvania Railroad” and the boats’ individual names were emblazoned in gold letters on their sides. The names of the vessels were also lettered in gold on gold-bordered black signs on their pilot houses – one facing Camden, the other facing Philadelphia. The Pennsy’s logo, a bright red keystone in a circle with intertwined gold letters, PRR, was flamboyantly displayed on both sides of each boat’s black smokestack. The ferry service was discontinued in 1952 and, by 1957, the terminal had been torn down. PRR passenger ferries were named after Southern New Jersey towns such as Bridgeton, Ventnor and Haddonfield. Time to cross the Delaware river was less than eight minutes.
I have dated this footage ''late 40s early 50s''. Your help is welcome to date this video in a more accurate manner, my own timestamp referrals are:
-Route (or Line) number 5 (3.09min) was abandoned in 1955.
-The ferry service was discontinued in 1952 (and, by 1957, the terminal had been torn down).
With the Ferry still in service, this is 1952 at the max.
Tags: Philadelphia in the early fifties, septa, PRT, Rapid Transit, Trolley, Streetcar, motor bus, trolley bus, PA, Pennsylvania, RR Ferry, frankford elevated train, subway, sub, market street line, Philadelphia, Philly, hisoric, history, vintage, public transportation, buses, trains