In 1793 Jean Pierre Blanchard turned the yard of the Walnut Street Prison into the site of America’s first hot air balloon launch. J.P. Blanchard flew 15 miles with a small black dog and a letter of introduction from George Washington, in case he landed on someone’s property in New Jersey.
This program for the third annual Fairmount Park Race contains lots of goodies. You can find score cards to keep track of the contestants; learn who served on the organizing committee (hint, lots of famous Philadelphia names, from Biddles to Ingersolls); and view advertising for apartment buildings, beer, and radiators.
Image source: Automobile Reference Collection
Between 1908 and 1911, Fairmount Park Motor Races staged automobile races over an eight-mile course in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. Despite great popularity–the race drew close to a half million fans its first year–financial success, and the absence of injuries, neighborhood hostility and concerns about public safety forced Philadelphia City Council to shut the race down after four years. Car #15, the Fiat seen in this photograph, was driven by Philadelphia brewer John Fred Betz Jr., a noted racer and sportsman.
Text source: ExplorePAhistory.com, < http://explorepahistory.com/displayimage.php?imgId=1-2-1401 >
Image source and credit: Urban Archives, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia - linkt to their website: < http://library.temple.edu/collections/scrc/urban-archives >
Erwin Bergdoll, of the Fairmount beer baron Bergdoll’s, is pictured here in 1911 racing in the fourth and last annual Fairmount Park Race.
Image Source: Automobile Reference Collection
A seven-story balloon is getting ready to launch from JFK Plaza (i.e. LOVE Park) for a preview of the 1971 Great Philadelphia Balloon Race.