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The Philadelphia Commercial Museum promoted the economic activities of Americans overseas through lavish exhibits and extensive libraries of information about markets, commodities, and economically relevant cultural practices abroad; its educational program served generations of twentieth century Philadelphia schoolchildren.

Constructed in 1894 on land acquired from the Blockley Almshouse, the Wistar Institute has evolved to become a world leader in biomedical research focusing on vaccines, immunology, and the genetic basis of cancer. 

For its dissecting tables, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School purchased cadavers stolen from the grounds of the Blockley Almshouse.

Students of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania contribute articles about uses of land acquired from the Blockley Almshouse for scientific purposes at the turn of the twentieth century.

 

At the turn of the twentieth century, Philadelphia’s rogue abattoirs posed a major public health problem as purveyors of beef infected with bovine tuberculosis.

From 1908 the D.M. Martin operated a centralized, state-of-the-art, “all in one” slaughterhouse enterprise near 30th & Market St., catty-corner to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Philadelphia Stockyards.

The Pennsylvania Railroad built a centralized 21-acre slaughterhouse complex on the west bank of the Schuylkill that operated from approximately 1877 to 1925.

In the late nineteenth century, the epicenter of the refrigerated “dressed” beef industry was the Union Stock Yards of Chicago.

The last quarter of the nineteenth century saw the development of licensed centralized slaughterhouse operations on the west bank of the Schuylkill, both on and near the present site of Amtrak’s 30th St. Station.

Ten bridges linked West Philadelphia to the central city in the second half of the 19th century.

Looking east toward Center City, the Chestnut St. Bridge as it appeared in 2017. In 2020, at this writing, the bridge was undergoing renovations by Penn DOT. 

Transportation innovation and real estate development cumulated in the creation of a streetcar suburb in the city by the end of the 19th century. Part V highlights the diversity of architectural forms that characterized upper-middle-class houses around the University of Pennsylvania in the late-Victorian era.

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