When ships first docked in Philadelphia, their captains were delighted to note that the fresh waters of the Delaware River ensured their ships were free of barnacles and other creatures that damaged their hulls. It is no wonder that Philadelphia became a favorite port of early American traders. Today, organizations such as the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation are building parks and trails to bring Philadelphians back to the water’s edge. These images from the Free Library’s collections remind us that the Rivers have always been with us.