CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
CENTENNIAL MIRROR 1828-1928
The year was 1927 and the future had hardly ever looked brighter for the City of Camden. Times were prosperous, business and industry were booming, and the city was full of recently constructed public buildings, civic improvements, schools, the new Delaware River bridge and its new highway to the suburbs. The stock market crash of 1929 and the Depression that followed were in the unimagined future.
It was in these times that Camden prepare for its 100th anniversary, and in this spirit of optimism that the city fathers under the direction of Mayor Winfield S. Price commissioned the booklet whose text you will find below.
Thanks to my friend the The Tugboat Painter, Dave Boone for making this publication available.
City of Camden,
Published in the interest of a growing City
THE City Commissioners of Camden extend their Greetings to all citizens of the City, State and Nation who may visualize the Camden of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, through this volume which is dedicated to the Cause of Civic Progress.
MAYOR WINFIELD S. PRICE
A Citizen of Camden, N.J., was in conversation recently at Washington, D.C. with a man who is a national figure in business and politics.
Of course the conversation turned on Camden.
"You have one of the finest cities in the country from the standpoint of opportunity," said the national figure.
" I know it," responded the Camden citizen, and then he continued, "You are a man who meets with the leaders of the nation. You are prominent throughout the country. Do you ever tell anybody who is not from Camden, that Camden is a city of real opportunity?"
"Well, of course you understand," replied Mr. National Figure, "It would hardly do for me to preach Camden's virtues to the people of my home city. What I say to you is in the nature of a confidence from a resident of one city to a resident of another, but you know· how I feel toward Camden when I speak of the opportunities for growth among growing cities."
That's the story.
If Camden doesn't tell the rest of the country about Camden, the other fellow isn't going to.
Camden this year completed its first hundred years as an incorporated city. A fitting and conservative celebration was conducted by the city. Thousands of Camdenites learned more about their city.
But celebrations soon cake their place on the shelf with the records of things past. Something permanent should remain. Thus this Centennial Mirror devoted chiefly to telling the things about Camden that the other fellow wouldn't tell for us.
ALBERT A. HAUGH
Grow With Us
Grow With Us
By Mayor Winfield
A CITY grows only as it is made to grow.
A CITY grows only as it is made to grow.
Camden this year marked the centennial anniversary of its incorporation as a city. One hundred years ago our population was 1143.
Today our population is approximately 140,000.
Ten years from now the population of Camden should be 300,000.
Natural advantages, coupled with boundless civic energy, is making Camden one of the fastest growing cities in these United States.
Camden as the home of mighty industries is a city whose wares are sought by the Ports of the Seven Seas.
Camden's doors are wide open, and through the eyes of business and industry may be viewed the evidences of prosperity builder upon a solid foundation.
Camden's past growth and the greater growth we are fostering have various contributing causes. The industrial and educational life; the advantage of location coupled with miles of frontage on the great Delaware River; climate; labor market and proximity to large centers of population and famed seashore resorts. These are salient factors and behind all is a civic determination to keep the collective shoulder behind the "wheel of Camden progress."
Realizing and utilizing our advantages, Camden is growing, and our message goes forth to all;
COME AND GROW WITH US.
T. Yorke Smith
A municipal financial structure must be guided with diligence and efficiency, and guarded against extravagance and unreasonable expenditure.
These are the principles practiced in the administration of the Department of Revenue and Finance for the citizens of Camden.
Individual and corporate interests have an assurance that the CIVIC dollars they pay in taxes are protected against wasteful expenditure.
Camden has entered the period of its greatest growth.
This growth can become harmful if the demands it creates are permitted to invade at will the city treasury.
It is the duty of the Revenue Department to appraise the financial needs of the municipality and then to raise necessary funds through taxation, but this must be done with strict adherence to the policy of keeping to a minimum the burden placed on the taxpayer.
This is what the City of Camden is doing for its citizens.
That is why the new industry or the new home seeker or the new business establishment may come to Camden and settle without fear of burdensome municipal taxation, and with a knowledge that the municipal growth is not influenced by boom hysteria and is progressing on lines of substantial safety.
FINANCING IS ONE OF THE EVIDENCES
Sense of Security
That Sense of Security
By Commissioner David S. Rhone
In one of his first public statements after taking office, President Coolidge gave utterance to the following
"A city may be judged by its citizens."
Judged from the standpoint of acts of commission, Camden points to its accomplishments in business, civic and home life to justify our claim to a high standard of intelligence and progressiveness.
We are able to point to a low average of law violations and an almost complete absence of serious criminal acts.
Camden is generous in its support of modern police and fire departments.
Protection of the rights of citizens and of property is the keynote in the training systems for police and firemen.
Camden is boastful of the fact that loss to citizens through acts of criminals is virtually nil, while the. Fire Department through a period of several years has held down the fire loss rate to a point which ranks as one of the lowest for any city its size in the nation,
When business interests and individuals have a realization of a strong protective arm continually and successfully guarding property and preventing crime and fire losses, they have an assurance which spreads its influence into the very hearts of the factory, store, office and home,
As a manufacturer zealously strives to make every part of his product perfect, that the completed article may be perfect, so we strive to make the protective arm of the city government a perfect part of our efforts toward a model city.
OUR SUCCESS SPELLS CITIZEN CONTENTMENT
Can't Go Wrong on Camden
Commissioner William D. Sayrs, Jr.
Streets and domestic water supply and sewage systems.
Three basic elements in the existence of a modern city.
When a community government exerts its utmost powers to provide the highest standards in water, sewage disposal and improved streets, the fundamental steps toward health and progress have been provided.
With the reports of Federal experts as our authority, Camden does not hesitate to proclaim to the world that its water supply is second to none in the country. Artesian wells furnish all of the water consumed here. Analysis shows the supply to have among the highest ratings of cities throughout the country and, as to quantity, our wells and pumping station programs are five years in advance of requirements.
While this book is on the press we are building the first unit of a $2,000,000 sewage disposal plant to augment the existing gravity units.
With relation to streets Camden had a problem confronted by but few Communities.
When the Delaware Bridge was opened in 1926, we found this new interstate highway receiving and discharging more than 1,000,000 automobiles annually into a small area. With this traffic avalanche added to the normal travel and with bus lines crowding main thoroughfares, the city faced a serious paving problem.
The manner in which the emergency was overcome is best illustrated by the fact that Camden is held up as a model to Philadelphia when that city is criticized for failure to adequately care for the situation created by the Delaware Span.
Camden's determination is to build solidly those essentials in the municipal foundation which assure health, contentment and prosperity. We are adhering diligently to that determination.
YOU CAN'T GO WRONG ON CAMDEN
Making Health with Parks
By Commissioner Clay
CAMDEN has passed the stage where the promotion of park spaces and play grounds is listed as a luxury.
The city administration realizes that without health there can be no successful effort toward a maximum of happiness and prosperity.
Camden offers to all a growing system of breathing spots, which combine the elements of beauty with means for health, exercise and recreation.
As a city grows so must its parks system if modern progress is to be maintained. In every section of the city are evidences of the determination to provide citizens with those green oasis which break the monotony of pavements and buildings.
Playgrounds for children and wading pools are important features of the Camden Parks Department program. Not all are these conducted along the most modern lines, but, the City also takes an active part in the sports programs of the schools.
The children of today are our citizens of tomorrow.
The health of these future home makers is a vital element in the progress of our communities.
The manner in which Camden provides fresh air and recreation spots for these children has much to do with the high standard of health to be found here. This also has a mighty part in the low death rate among infants.
Thus do we see our diligent efforts justified and in these results do we find the constant spur to further efforts.
AND PLAYGROUNDS PROVIDE HEALTH,
$2,000,000 BIRTHDAY PRESENT
Centennial Gift is the first unit of a
$6,000,000 marine terminal to
THE City of Camden, situated on the Del a war e River, served by two of the nation's leading railroads and set in the midst of a mighty labor market in a territory second to none in buying power, is essentially an industrial and home city.
"More industries, more homes, more business," is the ambitious slogan of civic leaders.
There has been here the customary effort on the part of various groups, to foster industrial development. And, there has been development. But, it remained for Camden citizenry to take a step unique in the history of modern municipalities.
Who ever heard of a city making itself a birthday present?
That is what Camden did on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary.
As the important centennial milestone in the life of the community was approached, there were suggestions of various plans for suitably marking the event. But extended and costly celebration programs were definitely set aside.
Camden fittingly marked its birthday with a week of interesting and instructive events. Thousands of citizens participated in the week's program and its success was unquestioned.
But, Camden also made itself a birthday present- one which will have a mighty influence in spurring the City's growth.
The birthday gift will cost $2,000,000, but that sum will return to Camden a hundredfold.
The $2,000,000 will be expended on construction of the first unit of a $6,000,000 marine terminal.
The question of appropriating funds for this public project was placed squarely before the citizens of Camden.
Shall we invest this money in Camden's development, or shall we go along taking for granted a normal growth?
That was the problem and the citizens of Camden were quick to solve it. They went to the polls and Tolled up a large majority of votes in favor of presenting themselves with this birthday gift and dedicating it to the cause of municipal development.
The action of the voters was Camden's pub lie announcement that the individual citizen as well as the real estate dealer, the railroads, city rulers, and etc., had an active interest in fostering civic growth by increasing the number and size of industries through expansion of port facilities.
Recently there was before a Congressional Committee, the question of appropriating a considerable amount of Federal funds for deepening the channel of the Delaware along the Camden side of the river.
The first question asked was:
"Well, what is Camden doing for itself to justify the Government in undertaking this channel improvement?"
The U. S. Board of Engineers answered the query with a recommendation that the Delaware channel be deepened because Camden had committed itself by referendum, to a comprehensive program of port development.
THERE ARE MANY GOOD REASONS WHY CAMDEN
THERE ARE MANY GOOD REASONS WHY CAMDEN KEEPS GROWING
Location, Transportation, Climate,
Markets, Homes, Industries,
CAMDEN with an area of 8.56 square miles is on the East bank of the Delaware, fifty-five miles from Delaware Bay and about one hundred miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Directly across the river and joined to Camden by the world's largest suspension bridge, is the City of Philadelphia.
Camden's population as estimated January 1, 1928, is 140,000, giving us the fourth largest city in New Jersey. The U. S. Census of 1920 gave the population as 116,309. The city's growth is steady and substantial with the increase representing a desirable class, three-fourths of the population being native whites.
Camden is flanked on all but the river side with beautiful suburbs devoted largely to homes ranging from the modest little bungalow to the mansion. If the annexation policy so much the vogue with many cities were followed here, the city population might easily reach the 200,000 mark.
Industries are largely responsible for the birth and growth of the numerous small towns within a few minutes ride of the city. This feature has an important part in the industrial picture of the section. Availability of homes makes residents of industrial working transients.
The labor market in the Camden territory has few parallels. In addition to the population of the City proper and hundreds of suburban towns, there is the immense population of Philadelphia to draw on.
There never is a period when sufficient help is not obtainable. At the same time the rate of unemployment in times of depression is invariably below the average because of the diversity of activities.
The State of New Jersey produces more fruits and vegetables than does the State of Florida and three-fourths of this amount is raised in the County of Camden and three adjoining counties.
in season there is a heavy demand for farm help.
The building trades also find almost continual activity in view of the tremendous growth in suburban districts. Hundreds of homes are in process of building at all times and the weather is such that all-year construction is the rule rather than the exception.
Coupled with the fertile field for farm and building trades help, is the mighty demand of the 360 industries which turn out their products within the limits of the City of Camden. All of these demands are amply met by the great manpower supply immediately available.
But jobs alone are not sufficient to hold population, especially when there is general prosperity throughout the nation. The average American workman will move his family to another city or town before he will submit to living conditions below a given standard.
The location of Camden, in the midst of a great producing territory makes fresh foods easily available and holds the items of daily expense.
Living costs in Camden are below the average for the entire country, Federal reports disclose. Not only the proximity of the Jersey farmer, but also the vast buying power of the Philadelphia market have an effect on retail food prices here. Food staples of every variety may be had conveniently and economically. That is one reason why Camden holds its population at a growing pace.
Among other important staples of every day demand, clothing and furniture may be had here in any range at almost any price far we exist in a territory where they are produced an large scales.
The City educational system is conducted along the mast approved modern lines. Forty-one public schools take care of the youth of the City and in addition there are the parochial and private institutions.
The children in Camden are a healthy lot.
This is shown by health records. Disease is below the average for this size community and the low death rate among infants is in itself sufficient testimony to the manner in which health is guarded by the municipality and the individual.
But we have a healthy climate here. The winter season of '27-'28 may be taken as an example. While we were reading about blizzards and zero weather in other so-called temperate sections, this part of Southern New Jersey was enjoying an approach to June in January. One healthy snow storm per Winter is about the average and never does the white blanket survive the sun's rays far a week. Green grass is more common than is white snow in this territory. Extreme cold IS rare and the domestic coal dealer is one of the most dissatisfied among businessmen. The U. S. Weather Bureau describes our climate as "ideal" with an average yearly temperature of 55 degrees.
The combination of employment and climate keeps the district growing.
are moderate and homes may be purchased at prices to suit most any income.
Hundreds of building and loan associations prove a boon to the home
builder and mortgage money is ever plentiful to help along the buyer.
Camden lays no claim to being the "Wonder City," but it does contend that all of the essential elements to health and success are to be found here and are more easily obtained than in most sections.
Analysis shows that Federal surveys place Camden at the top of the list in many important respects.
Far instance, there is the question of domestic water supply.
The U. S. Geological Survey Bureau tells us that Camden's drinking water contains .01 parts per 1000 of iron and that it is tasty and soft. The technical reports go on at great length and finally lapse into understandable English, disclosing that in the opinion of the Federal experts Camden's domestic water supply ranks among the very best to be had in any city. The water is obtained from a series of artesian wells, almost two hundred of them.
Here is another instance of where an important group places Camden up top in one of the most important elements of city life.
The National Board of Fire Underwriters doesn't miss anything when it compiles figures setting forth fire losses for cities, towns, villages, etc.
Traveling among the masses of figures supplied, we find that the City of Camden, New Jersey, has for several years shown the lowest fire loss rate of any city its size in the country.
In the above connection it is appropriate to state here that the progressive administration of civic affairs has had much to do with this enviable civic record as Camden was the first city in the United States to have a completely motorized fire department. When other departments were answering alarms by horse drawn means, Camden was speeding along with motor-driven apparatus.
Intensive instruction in fire fighting methods and modern apparatus keep the Camden department on the high rung of efficiency which enables it to hold the city fire loss to its low mark.
That other branch of the protective arm of a city's government, the police department, gives further evidence of providing security for citizens.
crimes are almost absent from the records of the City. The petty criminals
we have ever with us. The bootleggers bootleg and the brewers brew until
the police step in, just as in most localities, their activities being
held to a minimum. But the bank robbers don't rob banks and safe blowers
stay their distance from this City.
There never has been a bank robbery here and payroll robberies are something we read about having happened elsewhere.
Modern methods of training with wide-awake personnel make for efficient police administration. One of the means having much to do with the tendency of professional criminals to give Camden a wide berth is a signal system whereby the touch of a button at headquarters illuminates a red light on every police signal box on the streets. By this system each patrolman on duty is apprised at short notice to be on the lookout for certain suspects.
The proximity of Camden to the larger city, Philadelphia and the easy access across the Delaware Bridge, provide a serious problem for the Camden police, but despite danger from the neighboring criminal element serious crime waves are entirely absent.
There are many more answers to the question;
City taxes are held down to a point where they are the lowest for any city of its size in the State and are lower than most smaller communities.
There are almost two hundred acres of parks and playgrounds to provide recreation and health spots for residents and transients and in addition swimming and wading pools are maintained by the City Parks Department.
The City system of paved streets is linked with the Camden County and State of New Jersey systems of highways. No better roads are to be found anywhere than those leading from Camden in every direction. The famed White Horse Pike has its beginning in Camden and .its ending in Atlantic City.
All of the seashore resorts are within easy reach of the City and delightful vacationing may be had just over our municipal borders.
New York City and the North Jersey resorts are on direct highways from the Delaware Bridge Plaza in Camden and of course the highways of Eastern Pennsylvania connect with the Philadelphia end of the big span.
With its hundreds of trains, boats and buses leaving almost every minute of the day and its connection with the best of highways, Camden offers residents unlimited facilities for travel. These same facilities make it easy for the civic pull-back and the chronic grumbler (if such should happen along) to take a little trip to some other permanent destination.
hen local transportation is considered, Camden is either so far behind the
times or so far in advance, that we have the nickel trolley and bus fare.
The gasoline and rail systems are coordinated with 50 trolley cars and 100
buses operating to and through every section of the City. One corporation
provides this coordinated service and this is augmented by many
individually owned bus routes.
The religious life of the community is well served with churches of all leading denominations. More than one hundred edifices are devoted to church activities and as a group the clergy displays active interest in affairs of the municipality.
Camden also has its Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Exchange Club, A. B. C. Club and other civil organizations in addition to the various fraternal groups.
There are twenty-two communities in the United States bearing the name "Camden." They are scattered over twenty-two states, but Camden, N. J., is the largest and a fine place in which to live and do business and progress and be happy.
SECTION OF DELAWARE RIVER BRIDGEThis picture shows the massive masonry of the span anchorages
and the suspension cables throwing the bridge weight on the towers.
Marine Terminal on the Delaware
CAMDEN'S GOOD GREY POET
A STRANGER ARRIVES
Along in the springtime of 1873 there appeared in the streets of Camden a strange, tall, limping man, clad in a somber grey. His general appearance was enhanced by the picturesqueness of his flawing white beard his large white collar loosened at the throat and the manner in which he carried his head proudly, but without disdain.
Passers-by could not restrain the temptation to take a second look at the striking figure, hut few knew him as a man who had startled the intelligentsia of the world with five editions of "Leaves of Grass," recording the life and thoughts of the typical American of the day, in a manner quite apart from the Old World style then in vague.
It was Walt Whitman. He was an a pilgrimage to the sick bed of his mother at the house of a brother, Lieutenant Colonel George Whitman, at 322 Stevens Street. And here it was that Walt suffered the greatest grief of his life, for his dearly beloved mother died three days after his arrival in Camden.
During the years that followed he lived with his brother’s family, moving with them to 431 Stevens Street.
In 1883 the colonel and his wife moved to a farm at Burlington.
They invited Walt to accompany them but he decided to stay in Camden. He rented a room far a while and seems to have had a hard time. On March 26, 1884, with the aid of George W. Childs, of Philadelphia, he made the first payment on a house at 330 Mickle Street. Here he stayed until the time of his death exactly eight years after.
In this house, while an invalid, Walt Whitman wrote some of his noblest verses; and, at the last, with the assistance of the nearest friend of his last days, Horace Traubel, poet and magazine editor, prepared the tenth and "death-bed edition" of "Leaves of Grass" including in it the "Sands at Seventy" group of poems and "Backward Glances O'er Traveled Roads." And it was here that Mr. Traubel faithfully compiled his three volumes "With Walt Whitman in Camden."
Walt Whitman died on March 26, 1892, and was buried in Harleigh Cemetery, March 30. The funeral rites were held in a large tent and many famous persons attended. Colonel Robert Ingersoll making the principal oration.
Four years ago the City of Camden purchased the Whitman home and now maintains it as a literary shrine. It was restored to look as it did when the poet occupied it. Here is to be found the greatest collection of Whitmaniana in the world.
CAMDEN'S OUTSTANDING HOSPITALS
Cooper Hospital one of the institutions which serve their own field and an additional wide territory. The Camden hospitals handle thousands of cases yearly, which come from the area outside the city. Most of these are the results of auto accidents on the White Horse Pike and other much traveled highways.
West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital is another institution which administers to numerous cases resulting from popularity of the auto on South Jersey level roads. The two wings recently completed were the gift of S. Canning Childs of Collingswood, N. J.
INDUSTRIES QUICK TO APPRECIATE CAMDEN'S
A seer once stated that Camden allegedly was a city of possibilities.
And then industries started to crop up within the boundaries of the City.
The first industry to enter our boundaries came into being when the Browning Brothers established a plant for the manufacture of dye-stuffs and at about the same time the American Nickel Works was started.
The next important venture in the industrial line was the founding of the Camden Iron Works by Jesse W. Starr, in 1845. Following closely upon that was the starting of the Esterbrook Pen plant, the first of its kind in America, devoted to the manufacture of steel writing pen points.
In 1883 the R. D. Wood Co. entered Camden and bought the site of the Camden Iron Works, operating it until 1922. The site and building some years later became what is now known as the Camden Civic Center. From 1883 on, this firm occupied a nationally important part in this particular line of business. Its industries gave employment to many residents of Camden and proved to be more or less a forerunner of the entrance of numerous business concerns in the Camden territory.
It was not so long after this that Camden became a center for yacht and shipbuilding enterprises and also for leather producing. Recently Camden became a center for the manufacture of airplanes. It already had been a producer of, as the Chamber of Commerce so aptly stated in its slogan, "Everything from Pens to Battleships".
Thus, do we more or less boast of our ability to manufacture almost anything.
The first manufacturer in America to turn out pen points was the Esterbrook Pen Co., which maintains its plant in Camden. The pen point is a very small product but we also turn out super-dreadnaught battleships, at the American Brown Boveri Electric Corporation [New York Shipbuilding shipyard- PMC].
In Camden will be found the largest manufacturer of talking machines, soups, the greatest wool-scouring plant, the plant which produces the dies making colors on the $1.00 or $20.00 bill you have in your pocket, the flag staffs in virtually any government reservation, the private yachts owned by our wealthiest personages, the leather in the shoes worn by Mr. Smith and Mr. Wonder-Bilt, the laces worn by Milady and numerous other more or less staple commodities.
reason why Camden is a center for these diversified industries rests largely
with the fact already stated - climate, our labor market; our own industrial
SECTION OF DELAWARE RIVER BRIDGE
A view of the towers gives a concept of the strength and durability of the bridge
SECTION OF DELAWARE RIVER BRIDGE
View of the network of structural steel which
helps to convey
CAMDEN COUNTY COURT HOUSE
LEAP YEAR POPULATION SHOWS
Estimated Number of Residents is
140,000, an Increase Rate of
INTERESTING and important features are disclosed in an analysis of population for the City of Camden.
Following are some of the outstanding facts together with comparative figures from other communities 111 New Jersey.
The estimated population for 1928 is 140,000. This represents an increase of 20 per cent over the Federal Census figures of 1920, which were 116,309.
figure also gives Camden fourth place among the cities of New Jersey, the
estimate being 1,196 higher than the estimate for Trenton. In
1920, Trenton's population was 119,269- nearly 3,000 greater than Camden's.
Recently, an estimate was issued by the United States Census Bureau, which gave Camden a population of 133,100 and Trenton a figure of 136,700. The census bureau's figure, however, is based upon the presumption of the normal increase in population during the 1910-1920 decade and fails to take into consideration the unusual growth of Camden during the past eight years.
The new estimate is based on all essential factors of growth since 1920 and is the most authentic possible without an actual census. The survey is based on statistics from local sources, which show the following factors essential to the growth of population:
Excess of births over deaths in the city since the 1920 census, numbering 11,020.
Increase of 17 per cent since 1920 in the number of qualified voters in the city.
Increase of 20 per cent since 1920 in the number of youth of school age.
Increase of 9 per cent since 1920 in the number of active domestic water services.
No annexations of territory by the city since the 1920 census.
In 1920 there were 59,212 members of the so-called stronger sex in the city and 57,097 members of the opposite gender. The percentage of population increase in the past eight years is about the same for the two sexes.
CAMDEN'S RETAIL STORES
HURDLED OBSTACLES TO GAIN FIRST RANK
In no branch of business activity has the past ten years of growth and progress been more pronounced than in the Camden retail merchandising field. And by the same token, in no branch was there greater need for revolutionary changes.
proximity of Camden to Philadelphia had for many years drawn a large proportion
of South Jersey retail buyers over the Delaware to the "Big" city.
Habit once formed is hard to break, and that was the case with residents of
Camden and its suburbs in the matter of purchasing. Thousands labored under the
thought it was necessary for them to travel to Philadelphia to properly make
their purchases. In many instances the impression was without warrant.
It was a costly, patient-trying work. The educational process when applied to the public requires time. But determination, initiative and group cooperation in the end prevailed to puncture the home trade barriers.
Camden merchants today can boast of retail service which is successfully holding the goodwill of the South Jersey buyers after the educational campaign has brought them to the local stores.
The chief retailing streets of Camden are Broadway, Kaighn Avenue, Market Street, Federal Street, and Haddon Avenue. Along these thoroughfares will be found retail shops ranging from the big modern department store to the little specialist in some particular line. Many other streets have their stores for the convenience of the public, but, they deal largely in the trade of convenience- the dispensing of wares which the householder will buy "around the corner" irrespective of the nearness of larger establishments.
Camden merchants faced a double task. First, it was necessary for them to modernize their establishments and secondly- educate the buying public to its opportunities.
The "Buy in Camden" campaign was aimed at keeping in Camden, the great flow of business which goes "shopping." While this class of buyer may not have found in the Camden stores of ten years ago the great variety of goods which satisfies the varying wants of necessity and luxury, that condition has changed.
Camden retail stores of the present offer variety and range of price with all the usual special inducements, that are to be found in the nation's leading retail marts.
One of the concrete evidences of the possibilities for retail merchandising in Camden may be found in the arrival of various chain store branches and the opening of a big Sears and Roebuck retail store.
When the chain cigar or grocery or shoe or drug corporation enters a field, they have satisfied themselves that a ready market exists. And the same applied to the mighty Sears and Roebuck organization. All of these have settled here.
Not only have Camden merchants made their stores and stocks modern in the last degree, but their numbers have been augmented by the corporate interests. The two changes combine in making the local retailing facilities complete.
The largest of the local department stores is "Stecker's", located at the city's main business corner, Broadway and Federal Street. This store offers another example of outside interests recognizing Camden as a City of Opportunity.
The Stecker Company has a large store in Philadelphia. Logically it might be supposed that a Philadelphia store would make its drive to bring Camden buyers to its doors. But, the "Buy in Camden" campaign cut deeply into the revenues derived from South Jersey by the merchants of the City of Brotherly Love.
Stecker's came to Camden and bought the store of Munger and Long, for many years the leading general retailers of the city. Then was begun a policy of enlargement and modernization. Several hundred thousand dollars were expended in alterations and improvements until the place looked like a different establishment. The thousands of square feet of selling space blossomed forth with the latest products of the world's greatest marts. Prices were set to meet the Philadelphia range. where intense competition and enormous buying powers make possible the smaller profits essential to attractive bargain schedules.
The result of the arrival of "Stecker's" was that Camden and its suburban residents came to realize that here in their midst they had a great retail store which could supply their wants in hundreds of lines, at an advantage over many places to which they were wont to travel across the Delaware.
The object of this reference to Stecker's is not aimed at praising the store or its management (although this is highly merited) but to present one of many concrete instances in which the judgment of merchants as applied to Camden as a business center was justified by results.
In the case of the Stecker Company, the amount of business not only justified the expenditure of a quarter million dollars in improvements, but it presented so many possibilities for further increasing the business volume and class that the former manager, Robert Stecker, son of the founder of the Philadelphia organization, has after two years of intimate experience in Camden prevailed upon his father to sell him the store and business.
The Stecker experience stands forth as one of the most recent monuments to the advantages of Camden as a retail shopping center.
The Sears and Roebuck Company with its mighty organization, studied closely in the Camden territory before it decided to build a million dollar store.
This new merchandising structure is located at what is known as the new Civic Center, off the beaten path of pedestrian travel but on the direct new approach to the Delaware River Bridge.
After the store had been in operation for one year, business was one year in advance of the schedule set by executives.
Here was another justification of the decision to take advantage of the merchandising opportunities offered in the Camden field.
Advent of Sears and Roebuck into any field usually causes concern on the part of some established merchants.
Camden's experience has been that the big Chicago store has proven an added attraction to buyers who formerly did business in Philadelphia. More suburban residents are brought into the city and thus into contact with the other retail shops.
The Hurley Store is an example of faith in Camden which has few equals. Founded years ago by William Hurley, the establishment has grown from a tiny store to a great modern establishment which will furnish a home and supply almost everything needed by its occupants.
The Hurley organization extends its operations into Pennsylvania and Delaware and from its humble beginning has become one of the great retailing factors of this section.
Still another product of the Camden forward movement is the big house and personal furnishings store recently erected by Harry Pinsky. Here may be found hundreds of articles which Camdenites formerly journeyed to Philadelphia to obtain. It is another strong link in the system of stores which is helping attract and hold Jersey buyers in Jersey.
Pioneers among Camden retailers, this firm has enlarged and modernized until today it invites comparison with similar establishments which formerly lured the Camdenite on to a Philadelphia ferry boat.
Others of Camden's stores might be mentioned as having joined in the modernization movement. They have added to the range of stocks and improved in quality. They have benefited by the better business which has enabled them to 'buy in larger quantities and thus offer their patrons the benefits of lower prices.
Thousands of South Jersey buyers have come to make Camden their shopping district as a result of the general trend of merchants to cultivate their home field. And, the surface has been merely skimmed.
Wide verdant harvests remain to be gathered. Hundreds of families have yet to assimilate the "Buy in Camden" gospel, but, they are rapidly learning, with the result that business of merchants is consistently growing.
Retail merchandising in Camden is profitable when the merchant is modern and progressive.
Kresge, Woolworth, Schulte, Grant, The Horn and Hardardt Baking Co., Hanover Shoe Co., Thorn McAnn Shoes, Liggett Drug Stores, United Drug Co., in addition to the chain grocery stores, have entered the Camden field.
And they have remained.
RIVER SPAN CARRIES
million motor vehicles that is the caravan which crosses the World's Largest
Suspension Bridge connecting Camden and Philadelphia, In twelve months.
the first year of operation, starting July 2, 1926, about 7,000,000 vehicles
rolled over the big broad driveway. Two million more will have crossed in the
twelve months ending July, 1928. And, the yearly increase is expected to jump at
a higher rate each period.
vehicles crossing the bridge pay toll. The rates are twenty-five cents for
private machines and higher fares for buses and trucks. The interstate bus
business between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, brings thousands of dollars per
year into the treasury of the Bridge Commission.
The average income per machine over the period of a year is twenty-eight cents. The average number of cars crossing daily for the twelve-month period is approximately 25,000, giving a toll income of $7000 per day and $2,555,000 per year.
The Delaware Bridge cost approximately $40,000,000. The expense of building was evenly divided between the States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia. The City of Camden spent large sums providing necessary approaches but does not participate in the construction cost.
All toll monies go toward paying off the bonds which enabled financing of the huge structure. It is estimated that the entire cost will have been met from tolls by 1941. This is four years ahead of the schedule of the engineers who built the structure.
The costs of administration of the bridge are met from toll receipts. These ,include repairs, maintenance of a police department, highway department, office force and other expenses. The toll income meets all of these charges, also the carrying costs of the bonds, and then are expected to meet the bond principle payments in 1941.
All tolls are collected on the Camden end of the span. Booths are erected on the traffic lanes and collectors stand out at the elevated islands and reach to the driver for the toll. The almost total lack of delay in the collection of the tolls has been one of the surprises in the operation of the bridge.
When the span first was started, there was considerable controversy over the question of whether tolls should be collected or passage should be free. Proponents of the free span policy declared the usefulness of the span in facilitating easy passage for cars over the Delaware, would be seriously discounted through delays necessitated by the toll collection. When it is stated that as high as 60,000 autos have crossed the bridge on one day, it is easily understandable that this feature of span operation does not hold up the traffic lines to any appreciable extent.
The affairs of the bridge are conducted by a manager acting for the Delaware Bridge Commission. This group is composed of members from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The New Jersey members also have control of operation of the Hudson Tunnel connecting Jersey City and New York City.
The Delaware River Bridge was built under the supervision of Ralph Modjeski, famed engineer and son of the celebrated Madame Modjeski, grand opera singer of some years ago.
President Calvin Coolidge officiated at formal opening exercises for the span on July 5, 1926. These were conducted on the Camden Plaza and attended by many thousands of persons from near and far. Work was started on the bridge, January 6, 1922.
Following are some outstanding facts about the bridge:
Length of span and plazas, 9,750 feet. Length of structure proper, 8,536 feet. Length of main span, 1,750 feet. Clearance above high tide, 135 feet. Cables-Diameter, 29-7/8 inches .
Each cable contains 18,666 galvanized
Wires. Diameter of each wire, 0.2 inches.
Length of each cable, 3534 feet.
Total weight of cables, 13,500,000 lbs. Length of wire, 22,100 miles.
Quantity of steel, 50,000 tons.
Vehicular capacity of bridge, 8000 automobiles per hour.
Right of way for four (4) trolley lines, two (2) 10-foot walks for pedestrians.
All exposed masonry is granite.
Width of roadway between curbs is 57 feet. Quantity of masonry for anchorage, 99,700 cubic feet.
Floor weight capacity, thirty tons per cubic foot.
Total weight capacity of bridge, 6,000 tons. Bridge high enough for all United States war vessels to pass under it.
Width of piers, 60 feet.
Cables connected at anchorage to 122 eyebars.
All bridge activities conducted from Administration Building erected for the purpose on the Camden Plaza.
Delaware Bridge from an Airplane
Dirigible Los Angeles Over River
The picture gives a splendid idea of the graceful lines of the world's largest suspension span linking Camden and Philadelphia, showing the Camden waterfront on the Delaware with the Victor Talking Machine Company plant showing next to the Pennsylvania Railroad terminal.
TALKING MACHINE HISTORY
TALKING MACHINE HISTORY
ELDRIDGE R. JOHNSON
No CITY in the United States is better known for
its manufactured products than Camden. The great industries which
have played leading parts in its development and growth have also
carried its fame into the remote corners of the world. Of these none
has played a larger part than the Victor Talking Machine Company,
whose trademark, "His Master's Voice," is known from
Baffinland to Tierra del Fuego, from New York to Shanghai. Wherever
music is played, the name of Camden has gone.
No CITY in the United States is better known for its manufactured products than Camden. The great industries which have played leading parts in its development and growth have also carried its fame into the remote corners of the world. Of these none has played a larger part than the Victor Talking Machine Company, whose trademark, "His Master's Voice," is known from Baffinland to Tierra del Fuego, from New York to Shanghai. Wherever music is played, the name of Camden has gone.
Of greater material importance to the community itself, however, is the part the Victor Company, has played in the development of Camden as an industrial center. From its meager beginning in a tiny machine shop, a little more than a quarter of a century ago, the plant of the Victor Company has expanded until today it consists of thirty-one large modern buildings of fireproof and brick construction with floor space of 2,534,000 square feet, the equivalent of ten city blocks or fifty-eight acres, where, at the time this article is written, 9,016 persons find employment.
These figures are all the more startling when one looks back over the years to the little 10 by 20 brick building near the banks of the Delaware where Eldridge R. Johnson, founder and first president of the Victor Company, found the inspiration from which grew the instrument which has given the world so much happiness.
Mr. Johnson was a machinist with an imagination, which is another way of saying that he was a practical inventor. Everything that passed through his hands intrigued his imagination. Therefore, when a man walked into his shop to have some minor repairs made on one of the first crude talking machines, forces were set in motion which a few years later were to exert a powerful influence upon the musical and social life of the entire world.
The sensitive ear of the inventor was offended by the rather grotesque sounds that came from the curious toy, but he immediately visioned its potentialities. With the inventor's enthusiasm for perfection, he set about making a machine that would really 'talk and sing, and reproduce instrumental music. He saw scientific, educational, commercial possibilities; merely awaiting the development of something more nearly approaching a convincing sound quality. That, briefly, is how one of the world's great industrial enterprises had its birth.
With the logical procedure that was later to permeate the company which he founded, Mr. Johnson attacked the problem of recording. He saw that the first step was to put realistic sounds upon a record. His meager funds, and his time and inventive genius, were devoted to the task, and finally he produced a record that sang like a real, human voice.
When he heard the first clear notes of "Telegraph My Baby", a popular song of the day, coming from the throat of the machine, he realized that he had completed the first lap of a long journey. It was a scientific and a business victory. "Victor" became the name of the new product.
That was in 1896. But for the fact that Mr. Johnson was that unusual combination, an inventive genius and a keen businessman, the story of Victor might have ended there. Restless to proceed toward his goal of greater perfection, he diverted a part of his energies to the problem of organization, and in 1901 the Victor Talking Machine Company was incorporated.
Production of machine and records was begun with the same enthusiasm that had been poured into the invention itself. In addition to the improved record, Mr. Johnson had invented a spring motor which ran evenly, and could be manufactured at a reasonable price, so that the new company was starting out with superior products, which enabled it to meet any competition that developed.
Over in England, Francis Barraud, an artist, had one of the earliest talking machines. Another of his treasured possessions was a little black and white fox terrier named Nipper.
As Nipper sat before the horn of the instrument,
exhibiting interest and bewilderment in every line of his tense little
body and pricked up ears, the artist had an inspiration. Setting up a
fresh canvas, he began to paint. When he had finished an exact replica
of the scene before him, he appended a title which was as happy an
inspiration as the picture itself "His Master's Voice." It
was the same picture that today appears on products of the Victor
Talking Machine Company and its associated companies and that has become
one of the best-known trade symbols in the world.
As Nipper sat before the horn of the instrument, exhibiting interest and bewilderment in every line of his tense little body and pricked up ears, the artist had an inspiration. Setting up a fresh canvas, he began to paint. When he had finished an exact replica of the scene before him, he appended a title which was as happy an inspiration as the picture itself "His Master's Voice." It was the same picture that today appears on products of the Victor Talking Machine Company and its associated companies and that has become one of the best-known trade symbols in the world.
With a machine which gave a creditable reproduction of the music of the human voice, and a trade mark which not only identified its instrument and records but actually told a convincing story as well, the new company and its tireless founder began enthusiastically the task of giving music to the world. A dealer, here and there, at first took on Victor products, and as the number grew, production began to mount up and up. In the devotion to his blossoming ideal the founder lost sight of the inevitable flood of money that was to pour into the company. To some of his old comrades at the bench, who had stood with him through the lean and heart-breaking days, the founder handed out substantial allotments of stock which were later to represent millions of dollars.
Hand in hand with the building of a dealer organization went that other essential of sales- advertising. In fact, the company and its advertising can be said to have started and grown together. It is true that the original advertising appropriation would hardly be a decent postage item in the present-day Victor advertising program. A total of $1500 was all that could be squeezed for that first education effort. But it was a start for one of the greatest continual advertising campaigns the world has ever seen, a campaign in which, in the last 25 years has been invested considerably more than $40,000,000.
A good machine, a good record, a national business were not the only stepping-stones to Mr. Johnson's success. The moment he could divert a portion of his energies from the perfection of the machine and the launching of the new company, he began to work on a phase of the industry that gave it incalculable prestige and added greatly to its financial success, nothing short of the exclusive right to record the voices and music of the world's greatest artists of concert and opera would satisfy him.
The difficulties in the way of this ambition were considerable, but they were pushed aside with the same sureness and determination that had eliminated mechanical and organization problems. The coveted artists were the ideal of the public. They knew how their voices or instrumental renditions sounded amid the favorable settings of the theatre or the concert hall. But in the sounds that came from the record of that day where were lacking the accustomed volume, some of the musical detail, and the charm of the artists' personality.
But Victor held up the picture of a worldwide audience, instead of a few thousand people in a darkened auditorium. There was the vision of singing to lonely pioneers, travelers in the far places, music lovers huddling around the fire in snow-bound farmhouses, music lovers of the countless homes of the great cities. And there was that still greater lure, the assurance that the actual music of the artists would be preserved for all time.
The arguments of the Victor Company prevailed. They fell in line, these immortals of music; one or two, timidly, at first, and then a procession that gradually swelled until a Victor contract was as sure a badge of success as any triumphal world tour - and a much surer success from a financial stand-point. Royalties from records made recording artists wealthy beyond their fondest hopes.
One idea that was firmly implanted throughout this organization by Mr. Johnson was that nothing was ever quite good enough for complete satisfaction. The old horn-type machine was good, but not good enough. The Cabinet Victrola was the next step, and finally, in 1925, in the midst of a period when radio was occupying the center of the stage, the Orthophonic Victrola and the Electrola were introduced.
From time to time, as the business developed, the research laboratories were enlarged. It was realized, however, that there were other great scientific and industrial organizations that were spending far more money in 'acoustical research than the Victor Company could afford to invest in such work. Therefore, when it was learned that the Bell Telephone Laboratories of the Western Electric Company and the American Telephone and Telegraph Company had developed both a new method of recording and a new talking machine which far exceeded in range and quality the old recording and reproducing methods, the Victor Company eagerly investigated. Independent research in the Victor Laboratories had proceeded sufficiently far toward improved reproducing methods to enable officials of the company to appreciate the full significance of what had been developed in the Bell Laboratories.
Right to use the new electrical recording process of the Western Electric Company, and the exclusive right to manufacture and sell the new reproducing instrument, which is now known as the Orthophonic Victrola, were immediately acquired by Victor. Incidentally, this action resulted in making commercially available, through the co-operation of two great industries, the by-product of telephone research.
Therein lies another romance of science.
The principle of matched impedance, which governs the design of the Orthophonic Talking Machine, is a mechanical application of the electrical principle which made possible long distance telephone communication.
The new electrical records and the orthophonic reproducing instrument were made, commercially available by the Victor Company as soon as old stocks could be disposed of, and the factory converted to production of the new developments. Introduction of these new products came at a time when radio was holding the limelight. Improvement of the talking machine and recording had lagged. The orthophonic principle was therefore a tremendous musical, industrial and scientific surprise.
In November, 1925, the new instruments were demonstrated simultaneously throughout the United States. In a single day two million people heard them. In two weeks orders had been placed for a total of $20,000,000 worth of orthophonic instruments, at factory prices. An industry had been completely revolutionized, almost over night.
Following introduction of the orthophonic instrument, the Victor Company placed on the market combination instruments containing both orthophonic reproduction from records, and radio receiving sets manufactured by the Radio Corporation of America. Next came an electrical amplifying talking machine, developed by the General Electric Company, and having extraordinary volume capacity. This electrical instrument is marketed as the Electrola. In some of the larger Victor models, Radiola receiving equipment, orthophonic reproduction from records and electrical production from records are combined in a single cabinet, thus affording the latest acoustical developments for providing music in the home. A later development is the Automatic Victrola which changes its own records.
The recent sale by Mr. Johnson of his majority holdings in the Victor Company to a group of bankers has concentrated public attention upon the magnitude of the business built up by this inventor and businessman in twenty-five years. Today the company has a capitalization of $49,070,000. It has branches or affiliations at strategic points throughout the world. It produces records in about thirty-five languages and dialects.
Following the sale of his holdings, Mr. Johnson withdrew from active participation in the affairs of the company and Edward E. Shumaker was elected president of Victor. Coming to the company in 1904 as office boy, Mr. Shumaker has risen steadily. Elected to the board of directors in 1920, he is the official who conducted the negotiations with the Western Electric Company and the Bell Telephone Laboratories which resulted in the perfection of the Orthophonic Talking Machine, and its production by the Victor Company. He also negotiated with the Radio Corporation of America for the electrical amplifying talking machine being produced by the Victor Company, and the radio equipment being built into the combination Victor instruments. In 1926 he was elected a vice-president of the company, and, as vice-president in charge of sales, is credited with having played an important part in development of the heavy volume of business of the company in that year.
Other officers of the company are: Belford G. Royal, chairman of the Board of Directors; E. R. Fenimore Johnson, vice-president; Alfred Weihnd, vice-president; Elmer C. Grimley, treasurer, and Edward K. MacEwan, secretary. Mr. Royal was one of the early associates of Eldridge R. Johnson and has been a member of the board since 1910. Fenimore Johnson is the son of the founder of the company and has been vice-president since 1925.
The members of the Board of Directors of the Victor Company are: Edward E. Shumaker, Walter J. Staats, Fenimore Johnson, A. W. Atkinson, Galvin G. Child, George E. Cullinan, John C. Jay, Dewitt Millhauser, Belford G. Royal, Levi L. Rue, Albert Strauss and Alfred Clark.
BROWN-BOVERI TURNS OUT SHIPS
Camden for many years has been a center for the building of ships. There are yards which construct costly yachts and little fishing dories and others which build scows and tugs and everything up to the mightiest battleships.
The most noted of the Camden firms devoted to ship building, is the American Brown-Boveri Electric Corporation, which took over the big plant of the better known New York Shipbuilding Corporation.
This plant is one of the most modern in existence. When it is running at capacity about 12,000 men are employed and the works operate twenty-four hours a day.
Some of the ships turned out here have played an important part in making possible some of the most thrilling chapters of American naval history.
Today the American Brown-Boveri Corporation stands as the author of a daring plan for giving to the American merchant marine the supremacy of the seas some time ago relinquished.
Under the suggested policy, the Camden plant would build some of the largest passenger and freight steamships afloat. These would develop a speed which would cut down the time in crossing the Atlantic to four days and provision also is made for carrying planes which would handle mail and passengers from the ships as they neared their ports of destination on each side of the Atlantic. In this way the time of passage for travelers in a hurry could be reduced to as low as two days.
Looking backward we find that the first iron steamship was built here in 1871. The craft, then considered a new wonder, was turned out by the old Dialogue yards at Kaighn's Point, in South Camden. This craft, the Colfax, was the successor to scores of staunch wooden ships which had slid into the Delaware from the ways of Camden plants.
Many of the old shipyards have gone the way of their early craft, but, the modern yards more than make up in tonnage production, what has passed into the realm of things gone by.
In 1912 the New York Shipbuilding Corporation ranked fourth among the yards of the world for tonnage produced.
It was during the days of the World War that the Camden yards set a record which enabled the Shipping Board to obtain greater construction speed in all the yards of the country.
In an effort to do its part in carrying to a successful point, the program of "Ships, Ships and More Ships," the New York Shipbuilding plant built and delivered for operation in thirty-seven days, the 333-foot collier Tuckahoe. Camden received official praise from executives of the Nation for that achievement.
The story of the tanker Gulflight provided another interesting chapter of wartime activities. The ship was built at the New York Shipyard and proved its sturdy construction when both halves floated after an enemy torpedo had cut the craft in two.
The New York Shipbuilding Corporation started its plant in Camden in 1899. That was the first big modern yard to establish here. Since then this plant has turned out 324 craft, 51 of them warships of 337,738 total tonnage and 273 merchant ships of 828,662 tons gross.
One of the most unusual sights ever to appear on the Delaware River was when two huge caissons were towed from the shipyard to the points where the main foundations of the Delaware River Bridge were to be placed in the bed of the stream. The great, towering wooden boxes loomed higher than the big steamships traveling the river. They were a little out of the usual line of construction for the shipyard, but they were just another evidence of the elasticity in men and machinery at the plant.
Today this big shipyard can turn out the massive structural iron units used in construction of skyscrapers and bridges and also handle all kinds of electrical construction. Electric locomotives and other mighty powers in the modern streak of progress are other products of this industrial plant.
When the plant first was started, the usual methods used in construction of watercraft were revolutionized. Here was given the first example of covered ways capable of housing the largest of battleships. Because of this innovation, work could proceed on the ships in any kind of weather.
This in itself had much to do with the future success of the yard as it enabled the firm to complete war craft within contract time, and that was something our efficient naval authorities had been unsuccessful in accomplishing up to when the first ship was delivered to the U. S. Navy from the Camden yards.
From a Skiff to a Battleship
Installation of a system whereby raw materials entered the yards and traveled a given course until they became part of the completed ship, was another new thought to be applied to this form of work. This was really a forerunner of the system used in auto factories where assembly methods have reached the highest point of efficiency.
Overhead, traveling cranes, reaching their powerful steel arms into any desired section of the large works, were installed when the plant was started and this also was something in advance of the usual means employed.
It was this initial introduction of the most modern methods which enabled the New York Shipbuilding Corporation to steer a course of success.
During the war the Government found it necessary to create new villages and build hundreds of homes to house the thousands of men who formed the army of shipyard workers.
It was four years after the yard was started that the first opportunity came to bid for the construction of naval craft. Two armored cruisers, the Washington and Tennessee, were to be built. Of course the older yards bid for the work, but the infant plant at Camden was successful in getting the Washington contract.
Then followed the usual predictions of failure that accompany so gigantic an undertaking by a new firm. But the New York Ship plant was more than equal to its task and delivered the cruiser Washington at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on July 30,1906, ten days before the limit provided in the contract.
That record assured the plant the confidence of the naval authorities and from that beginning there has come from the yard, a mighty fleet of battlecraft, not only for our own Government, but also for foreign nations.
The Washington was followed by the Kansas, then the New Hampshire and the Michigan, all ships of the first line in their day. Such excellent progress was made in this department of effort, that the plant turned out the battleship Utah, delivered to the Navy August 30, 1911, just 330 months after the signing of the contract. Then on top of that, another speed mark for construction was set when the battleship Arkansas was delivered in 35 months. These two records stand to this day for ships of their size. The U. S. S. Oklahoma and the Idaho were the next in line to add to the laurels of this South Jersey plant. The latter was delivered in 1919 and she became the Queen of the Pacific Fleet.
After the World War the Navy Department gave the
contracts for the super-
These were the largest and most powerful ships built in which were embodied the important lessons gained in the World War. On the heels of these great construction jobs, successfully completed, came the new experience with the airplane carrier Saratoga. Originally laid down to become the world's mightiest fighting craft, the Arms Conference caused a change in the plans. It was decided to make the craft an airplane carrier instead of the powerful fighting unit at first intended. Although the change necessitated a tremendous amount of work and engineering initiative, the manner in which these obstacles were overcome is best attested by the successful trip of the Saratoga through the Panama Canal, early this year.
Some of America's finest merchant ships have been built at the Brown-Boveri plant. Some of these craft built in times of peace were able to render yeoman service during the war. On the other hand, ships built in time of war, have been able to take their place with the best in the succeeding times of peace.
Outstanding in the former respect were the Mongolian and Manchuria, which after fourteen years of service, were readily converted into troop and supply ships.
Twenty steel ships were turned out during the war to meet the emergency demand for hulls to rush supplies and men to Europe. In addition a mine planter was completed during those hectic days.
Battleships are not the only war craft built in Camden. Many destroyers which had an active part in the patrol system of the Navy had been constructed at the New York Ship Yard and so satisfactorily did they perform that after the war the Navy Department awarded contracts for ten of this class of fighter. These were delivered and then carne another order for twenty more.
On October 19, 1925, upon change of ownership of a majority of the stock of the company in connection with a plan to develop the manufacture of electrical apparatus, the name of the company was changed to The American Brown-Boveri Electric Company. In addition to operating today one of the largest self-sustained shipbuilding plants in the world, where specialists in 146 trades co-operate in the intricate tasks in perfecting its organization for the design and manufacture of complete utility, railway and industrial electrification equipment, with the distinct purpose of enlarging the American market and making readily available here those practices and devices which abroad have demonstrated their economic utility and satisfactory operation. The group of modern shop buildings at the south end of the company's property, comprising what is known as the "South Yard", have been extended and equipped for this electrical work at the expenditure of approximately $1,500,000. In these buildings, having a total manufacturing floor space of 500,000 square feet, have been installed some of the most efficient tools and apparatus for the manufacture of electric equipment that are available in either the American or European markets.
HERE'S A WIDE RANGE
THE WORLD WRITES WITH OUR
Camden has almost 400 industrial establishments. This total in itself is substantial testimony to the desirability of the city as a location.
But, diversification is an important element to be considered by the manufacturer searching for the admirable territory in which to place a plant.
As has been said in these pages, Camden has a slogan which tells the story of the diverse products turned out in its factories "EVERYTHING FROM A PEN TO A BATTLESHIP."
Most industrial cities boast of some business which is a pioneer in its particular line.
Camden prides itself in having among its industries, the firm which was first to manufacture steel writing pens in America. For many years this form of product has been made in foreign countries. It remained for Richard Esterbrook and a band of expert workmen to establish the first pen factory to start operations in America. They started in a tiny shop in Camden and from that first day to the present, Esterbrook pens have found their way from this original font to the marts of the civilized world.
Today the big, modern Esterbrook factory on Cooper Street, in Camden, N.J., employs 350 persons and the product of which they are proud finds its way into the castles of royalty, the mightiest business houses of the world and the humblest home.
"Esterbrook Pens go on forever," is a saying people use around Camden.
Esterbrook pens have been used on documents which have had a part in making the world's history.
It is legend among the trade and especially the army of
employees who have worked in the Esterbrook factory, that quality comes first.
It was the determination of this pioneer pen maker that quality should never be
sacrificed for quantity or profits. So closely has this determination been
adhered to, both by the originator of Esterbrook pens and his successors, that
today these steel writing points are recognized in foreign countries as well as
in America, as the standard pen product.
It is legend among the trade and especially the army of employees who have worked in the Esterbrook factory, that quality comes first. It was the determination of this pioneer pen maker that quality should never be sacrificed for quantity or profits. So closely has this determination been adhered to, both by the originator of Esterbrook pens and his successors, that today these steel writing points are recognized in foreign countries as well as in America, as the standard pen product.
The Esterbrook works in Camden is the largest and most modern of its kind in existence. It turns out more pen points per year than all other plants in America.
Camden also has another pen factory which has created an enviable record in this line of manufacture. This is the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company, which enjoys an extensive market for its wares. The Hunt Pen factory gives employment to 125 persons and combines with Esterbrook's in making Camden the real steel pen point center of America.
There are a dozen plants devoted to the various processes through which light leather finds its way, in Camden. This business is another to the list of products in which the city leads.
Camden is recognized as the light leather center of the United States.
This distinction is another evidence of the undoubted desirability of Camden for industries, as these light leather industries are far removed from the centers in which the product is made into shoes.
Patent leather, glazed kid, colored kid and other forms of light leather form the products of the tanneries and factories which employ 2500 persons in this work. These leathers are used mostly in the manufacture of shoe uppers. They go from Camden to the leading shoe factories of the country.
The Keystone Leather Company is one of the leaders in this line with a great modern plant employing more than 500 persons.
The Keystone Leather Company was
organized in 1895 for
the manufacture of black glazed kid for use in high grade shoes. Later the company
began to specialize in the tanning of Russian colt skins and India goat skins
for patent colt and kid. Recently a new product, "Perlustre" was added
to the line. This is a washable kid in all colors.
Today the normal production of the Keystone Company is 20,000,000 square feet of leather annually, and this amount can be increased with the existing plant capacity.
Originally the Keystone works occupied a small space at Sixteenth and Mickle Streets. Today the plant occupies three solid blocks bounded by Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Federal Streets, and the Cooper River. The site covers about ten acres and the buildings have 468,464 square feet of floor space.
This location is another of those so ideal in Camden, the plant having both railroad sidings and its own wharfage on Cooper River.
The Keystone Company has another plant at Bristol, Pa., devoted to the manufacture of patent leather.
Another great leather works in Camden is the plant of the John R. Evans Company at Second and Erie Streets. Here thousands of goatskins from India, Venezuela, China, Spain, Argentine and Russia, are tanned on every working day. The number of these skins runs to about 17,000 a day. They are glazed and tanned for shoe uppers and then find their way to the shoe factories of the country.
Here will be found in process of operation the "chrome" method which was invented in 1884 by Robert Foerderer. The name "Foerderer" has been associated with the leather industry almost since its inception in America.
Only those persons intimate with the business can imagine a leather tannery not prominently associated with stench and odors.
But, modern methods have done away with the repugnant feature in this big Camden tannery. The revolting feelings which overcome the ordinary citizen are absent when one makes a trip through the Evans plant.
An idea of the enormity of the business done is provided when it becomes known that 1,000,000 goatskins are in storage at all times awaiting their turn to start on the tanning and glazing trip which occupies about sixty days for each skin.
When the skins come out of storage they are softened in vats, cleaned, and tanned, then they go through the glazing or other finishing processes. All machinery in the plant is electrically operated, each process unit having its individual motor.
One of the interesting features of the plant is an oven, open at both ends and many yards long. It really is a heated tunnel, through which the skins, hung upon rods that are carried by endless chains, move very slowly, taking three hours to traverse the length of the oven and emerging at the far end completely dried.
Contrasting with the oven, is the cold room for storing the patent leather. Ventilation of the room, which is refrigerated by electric machinery, makes it possible to disregard the well-known tendency of patent leather to stick together in hot weather.
The Evans Company is said to have the largest individually owned plant of its kind in the world.
Worlds Longest Suspension Span
Lines of Delaware Bridge
PORT POSSIBILITIES OF CAMDEN PRESENTED TO CONGRESS
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The City of Camden and the South Jersey Port Commission, early in 1928, presented to the House Committee on Naval Affairs a brief setting forth reasons why the Camden channel of the Delaware should he widened. Because it ably sets forth Camden’s aims and substantial reasons why it expected Federal support, We quote from the brief as fol1owss:]
CAMDEN ranks fifth among the cities of New Jersey in the value of manufactured products. The city has developed substantially in the past few years, commercially and industrially. The value of the manufactured products of Camden is $300,000,000, and the number of persons employed is 40,906, with an annual payroll of $85,000,000. As an indication of the diversified industrial growth of the city there are 360 manufacturing plants, among them being two of the world's largest steel pen plants, the world's largest soup milking concern, the world's largest licorice plant, and the world's largest talking machine company. A large part of the products of these plants is exported and a number of them import raw material.
There are 14 banking institutions in Camden with resources of $99,024,780.42, thus assuring ad e qua t e financing of commerce handled through the port of Camden.
For the calendar year of 1926, the total water-borne commerce of Camden was 977,154 short tons, valued at $15,008,655. Of this amount of tonnage 254,589 tons, with a value of $4,607,422, was coast-wise commerce.
Of the total water-borne traffic of Camden for the year 1926, amounting to 977,154 tons, a considerable portion, amounting to 254,589 tons, was coast-wise traffic, of which a majority is trucked from and to Philadelphia. Of the remaining tonnage, 123,979 was foreign commerce. A considerable portion of this traffic is likewise trucked from Philadelphia.
The cost of trucking from and to Philadelphia and Camden is well established, the cost ranging from $1.20 to $2.00 per ton. It is estimated, by representative shippers, that the cost of trucking from plants in Camden to the present municipal pier is 60 cents per ton. Upon these facts we feel fully justified in estimating the saving that will accrue to Camden commercial interests with the extension of the 30-foot channel, to be not less than $90,000 yearly.
Camden's Port Possibilities
Camden is committed to an immediate expenditure or two million dollars on its new marine terminal. This provides for the purchase or 53 acres or centrally located waterfront property and the construction or the first unit or its development. The property adjoins the Municipal Pier and will provide altogether a frontage or 2370 feet for terminal use. It has a belt-line railroad service connecting with the Pennsylvania and the Reading systems.
The amount to be expended by the Commission for dredging alone, $385,000, exceeds the U. S. District Engineer's estimate for expenditure by the Government for dredging the 30-root channel from Kaighn Point to Berkley Street, while the City or Camden has already authorized a total expenditure for the new terminal or more than six times the estimated cost or dredging the channel and its maintenance for the next twelve years.
The channel extension as recommended by the Army
Engineers, will allow access by ocean carriers to the entire frontage or the
new Marine Terminal.
The channel extension as recommended by the Army Engineers, will allow access by ocean carriers to the entire frontage or the new Marine Terminal.
The City of Camden is in full accord with the plans herein set forth. It is prepared to do all within its power to develop the port facilities of Camden.
This means much to the City or Camden and South Jersey. It will greatly develop and improve this section or the State of New Jersey.
This Terminal will be open to public use on equal terms to all.
THE PORT COMMISSION
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The South Jersey Port Commission was created by the New Jersey Legislature in 1926 for the purpose of promoting the interests of the Delaware River front in South Jersey. We give excerpts from the report of the Port Commission, made to the Legislature of 1928. These are chosen because of their references to the manner in which the City of Camden has thrown itself behind the effort to work in cooperation with Federal and State agencies toward the improvement of port facilities. And the City is not unmindful of the manner in which the State Commission is working for the interest of the Port of Camden.
In a former report your Commission emphasized its conviction that the section of the Port District suffering the most acutely from the lack of adequate port facilities was Camden. Because this situation called most urgently for relief, and in consideration of the general benefits to the district to be had from the erection of modern and adequate terminal facilities at this central location, the Commission has in the past year largely concentrated its activities in this section.
Previous comprehensive survey and intensive studies of
the Camden situation have borne fruit. Plans are now well under way for the
construction and operation of a great industrial and shipping terminal.
Previous comprehensive survey and intensive studies of the Camden situation have borne fruit. Plans are now well under way for the construction and operation of a great industrial and shipping terminal.
The Commission in making its selection of a terminal site was mindful of the legislative admonition in the Port District Act that "In the preparation of its comprehensive plan of port development provided for in this act and in any other work which it undertakes pursuant hereto, the Commission shall, so far as practicable, incorporate existing facilities as integral parts thereof."
The selected site concentrates the new proposed terminal with the Municipal Pier already owned and partly developed by the City of Camden. This concentration will tend to operate for economy not only in construction but in the operating, maintenance and terminal charges.
The Commission's consulting engineer had been instructed to prepare a tentative layout for the proposed terminal together with detailed estimates of the cost of construction.
In a communication to the City Commission, dated August 9, the Port Commission submitted its choice of a location for the proposed terminal, stated that the property could be purchased at a reasonable price and presented tentative plans for the new terminal as prepared by its engineer. This statement was made:
"We believe that Camden in acquiring this centrally-located property, now undeveloped but the most valuable site for port and industrial development on the entire water front, will take a long step ahead in the building up of the city as a shipping center, with provision for its industrial growth in the future.
"If the property is acquired, it is the aim of this Commission to plan to have it serve the entire industrial life of the city. The policy covering the control of the water front should be one which will insure to the business interests of the entire city free access to the water front whenever their business requires or demands it."
The Camden Municipal Pier, at the foot of Spruce Street, and the adjoining river frontage acquired some years ago by the city, represents an original investment of about $600,000. It is much mare valuable now. This pier was leased, for a period of ninety-nine years, to a private corporation by a former city administration but the present City Commission has regained control of the property. Its operation either by the city directly or, together with the new terminal, by the Port Commission is under consideration and is deemed advisable, if Camden is to reap the full benefits of a progressive port development policy.
It is gratifying to the Commission to have had assurances from officials of both the Pennsylvania and the Reading Railroad systems of their good wishes for the success of the Camden Terminal and promises of hearty cooperation. These officials realize that the growth and development of Camden port facilities will enlarge the movement of goods by rail as well as by water. Whatever stimulates the industrial life of a community and increases population has its reaction in new business for all carriers.
Construction and use of the Delaware River Bridge between Camden and Philadelphia and the movement of population to the suburban areas are working changes in Camden. The district adjacent to the riverfront in particular is being transformed from a residential to a business and industrial section. This change calls for water front development adequately to serve the growing requirements of commerce and industry. Thus the need of extending the thirty-foot channel up to Cooper Point is presented, together with railroad belt line service along the entire riverfront and extending on the northeast to connect with the Pennsylvania Railroads Pavonia freight yard.
CAMDEN'S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Chamber of Commerce was formed in April, 1919, through a reorganization of the old Camden Board of Trade.
The Chamber has been a leader in port development movement, and had a major part in the financial and construction program of the Hotel Walt Whitman, which was a community project and has had a tremendous influence on the civic life of Camden.
The Chamber Of Commerce is an organization for service to the businessmen of the City, as well as to residents. Probably no other source in Camden is called upon more frequently for information of various kinds.
Among its many activities are those of protection to members against fraudulent solicitations, the promotion of projects for civic development, such as an airport, convention hall and necessary civic and trade organizations.
But most important at this time is the dual campaign for securing new industries for Camden, and increasing the patronage of local merchants.
The officers for the year 1928 are: Francis B. Wallen, Sr., President; Edward A. Mechling, First Vice-President; Carl R. Evered, Second Vice-President; Elias Davis, Treasurer; Orlando M. Bowen, Assistant Treasurer.
Treasurer; John B. Kates, National Councilor; Frederick
L. Mead, C. P. A., Auditor; L. D. Odhner, Executive Secretary; J J. Ruster,
Transportation Manager; F. M. Horner, Office Secretary and Notary; F. M. Hadtke,
Manager, Information Bureau; A. H. Hill, Assistant to the Executive Secretary.
Treasurer; John B. Kates, National Councilor; Frederick L. Mead, C. P. A., Auditor; L. D. Odhner, Executive Secretary; J J. Ruster, Transportation Manager; F. M. Horner, Office Secretary and Notary; F. M. Hadtke, Manager, Information Bureau; A. H. Hill, Assistant to the Executive Secretary.
The Board of Directors is comprised of the following men: A. D. Ambruster, Clinton M. Bardo, R. M. Bickerstaff, E. G. C. Bleakly, Elias Davis, Howard J. Dudley, Carl R. Evered, John B. Kates, Theodore Kausel, J. Lynn Mahaffey, E. A. Mechling, Louis F. Paret, Harry P. Pelouze, Roswell A. Robinson, Sig Schoenagle, Watson Shallcross, H. L. Sommerer, W. Stedman, J. David Stern, and Francis B. Wallen, Sr.
The activities of the Chamber of Commerce are reported each month in a publication entitled, "Greater Camden."
To any resident of Camden or elsewhere, the Camden Chamber of Commerce extends a sincere invitation to make use of its facilities for providing information about Camden.
The Camden County Real Estate Board is an organization composed or Realtors operating in and around Camden County.
Organized March 8, 1916, it was incorporated May 10, 1916, with eight charter members. Its growth has been rapid and continuing until today it numbers 100 active members, 3 junior members and 70 associates.
In its short existence, the Board has many accomplishments to its credit. In 1917, it was instrumental in organizing the New Jersey State Association of Real Estate Boards, which has played a great part in procuring beneficial legislation.
In April, 1918, the Board endorsed and incorporated as a part of its By-Laws, the Code of Ethics of the National Association. This Code has lifted the plan of the business to that or a profession and differentiates between a Realtor and a Real Estate Operator.
The Camden Real Estate Board was particularly active in procuring the passage of a Real Estate License Law, with its amendment requiring compulsory examination, thus eliminating the irresponsible brokers and compelling individuals desiring to engage in the business to at least befit themselves with the main requirements.
It has adopted many features which permit of the rendition of real service to the community, chief among which are the Multiple Listing and Appraisal Divisions.
In March, 1923, the first "Own Y our Home" Exposition was held in Camden and was a huge success. It was followed in 1924, by a second Exposition which enjoyed even a greater success than the first. It brought home forcibly the benefits of aiming a home and played no small part in the rapid expansion of ensuing years.
The Educational Committee, in the spring of 1924, conducted two successful courses of night study in conjunction with the Y. M. C. A. and have since followed with a series of lecture courses of instructive interest.
An annual practice is to give a Christmas Party to a group of poor children. In the past few years, newsboys, children from the Camden Home, the Detention Home and others, have been entertained and presented with gifts.
In the past year, the Board has been unusually active in civic and municipal affairs, taking a leading part in the campaign for the Constitutional Amendment on Zoning; being the only Service Club to actively back the referendum on "Port Development"; conducting an effective drive for the repeal of the Mercantile Tax and giving careful study to reduction in taxation and economy in Government.
This year a campaign to improve our business districts is already well under way. Various surveys are to be undertaken to furnish the facts necessary in an analysis of the determining factors for the future growth of Camden.
The Board numbers among its membership many men actively engaged in civic and municipal affairs such as Joseph H. Forsyth, New Jersey State Senator; T. Yorke Smith, Commissioner of Revenue and Finance; Frank G. Hitchner, Former City Commissioner; Leon E. Todd, President New Jersey Association of Real Estate Boards; Carl R. Evered, Vice-President Chamber or Commerce; George N. Wimer, Mayor of Palmyra, and Horace B. Beideman, Camden, Superintendent of Transportation.
Camden Real Estate Board officers are: G. Carr Jessup, President; Arthur N. Cutler, Vice-President; Philip Zinman, Secretary; Louis B. Humphreys, Jr., Treasurer; Wilbert H. Mick, Governor, State Association.
BOAT BUILDERS-SHIPS AND YACHTS
BOOKS AND BOOKBINDERS
BRASS CASTINGS, ETC.
BRICK SEWER PIPES
BROOMS, WHISK, ETC.
CARBON BLACK, ETC.
COFFEE, RICE, TEA
DRESSES, CLOAKS, SUITS
DYEING AND BLEACHING
DYE WORSTED TOPS
FLOUR, FEED & GRAIN
GAS AND ELEC. FIXTURES
GASOLINE & OIL
HANDKERCHIEFS, LACE, ETC.
HARDWOOD FLOORS AND MILLWORK
IRON FOUNDRIES, ETC.
MARBLE AND GRANITE
NOVELTY SHIPS, ETC.
OIL REFINERIES, ETC.
PANELS & DRAPE
PAPER MILL SUPPLIES
PAPER TUBE BOXES
PARIS WHITE, ETC.
PLATE METAL CONSTRUCTION
PLUMBING SHEET METAL
PRESSED METAL GOODS
RADIO CABINETS, ETC.
STEEL LOCKERS, ETC.
STEEL BARS, ETC.
STEEL FIREPROOF PRODUCTS
STRUCTURAL STEEL WORK
TANKS AND SEATS
TYPEWRITER RIBBONS, ETC.
WIRE BASKETS ETC.
WIRE STITCHING MACHINERY
WOOD PATTERN MAKER
TOTAL INDUSTRIES 349
CAMDEN CITY'S MUNICIPAL PIER
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
THE year 1928 witnessed the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of Camden as a city.
But, the early history of the community dates back to 1631. Camden ante-dates her big neighbor across the Delaware, Philadelphia, when early historic lore is considered.
It was in 1631 that the Dutch Commenader, De Vries, while sailing up the "De La Warr" River, discovered a verdant island at the spot where Camden now stands. This he named Jacques Eylandt, and the river afterward was named after Lord De La Warr, its discoverer, the Delaware.
Jacques Eylandt is described by early Dutch and Swedish historians as having been bounded on the West and North by the De La Warr, on the East by the Asorches (Indian name), also known to the Dutch as the Timmerkill and the Swedish as the Hiorte-Kilen, and on the South by Quinquorenning, as the Indians called it. This stream was named Graef Ernest by the Dutch. Today the Asorches is the Cooper River winding around the North and Easterly sections of Camden, and the Graef Ernest is Newton River on the Southerly limits of the city.
Jacques Eylandt was inhabited by the Maeroahkong Tribe of the Delaware Indians. These natives were left unmolested by the Swedish and Dutch explorers and it was not until 1681 that the first white settlers came to occupy that part of the island which to this day is called Cooper's Point.
William Cooper, descendants of whose family take an active part in the affairs of the modern Camden, is generally accepted as having been the first of the whites to establish a settlement at Camden.
Reference is made in some historical
Richard Arnold, but little is known definitely as to the exact date of his
William Cooper was an Englishman who came to the
"New World" in 1679, making his home at what is now Burlington, a
few miles above Camden. He soon moved to Jacques Eylandt where he settled at
the point of land where the De La Warr and the Asorches met. This promontary
he called Pyne Poynte because of the clump of pine trees which abutted out
into the waters. "Many deer running about and sassafras trees and peach
trees," are mentioned in letters of the first Cooper written after he
had settled in his new home.
William Cooper was an Englishman who came to the "New World" in 1679, making his home at what is now Burlington, a few miles above Camden. He soon moved to Jacques Eylandt where he settled at the point of land where the De La Warr and the Asorches met. This promontary he called Pyne Poynte because of the clump of pine trees which abutted out into the waters. "Many deer running about and sassafras trees and peach trees," are mentioned in letters of the first Cooper written after he had settled in his new home.
Although the name Pyne Poynte had been given the land by Cooper, his prominence as the settlement grew and prospered, was such that his awn name soon attached itself to the place and the river emptying into the Delaware at the point. Today the name remains as the official designation of the stream and that parcel of land to this day is commonly called Pyne Poynt and Cooper’s Point.
Cooper was a Quaker who had fled to this country from the persecutions to which his sect was being subjected in England. Soon others fallowed and settled with Cooper, until the Friend's Meeting at Burlington, in the early eighties, ordered that "Friends of Pyne Poynte have a meeting an every fourth day, to begin at the second hour, at the home of Richard Arnold."
Thomas Sharp, early historian of the Friends, prepared a map of the Camden section in 1700 and this shows the home of Arnold to have been located just above the paint where Newton Creek enters the Delaware.
The meetings held at the Arnold home were the third to be organized in New Jersey. The first having been at Burlington and the second at Salem. These Camden meetings are continued to this day.
In 1682 an Irish group of Friends arrived at Newton Creek and this brought about a change in the place of meeting far the Friends. The change was recorded by the Historian Sharp as follows:
"Immediately there was a meeting sett up and kept at the house of Mark Newbie and in a short time it grew and increased, unto which William Cooper and family which live at the Poynte, resorted, and sometime the meeting was kept at his house, who had been settled there sometime before."
The section of what now is Southern New Jersey carried great appeal to persons of other parts seeking new settlements, for early documents record the growth of various sections until the original Gloucester County was farmed in 1686. Included in the boundaries were Pennsauken, Red Bank, Woodbury, Arwames (now Gloucester City), Newton and Pyne Poynte.
The inhabitants of the territory drew up the boundaries of their county at a meeting in Arwames and framed a county government structure written in ten brief paragraphs.
These boundaries were recognized by the inhabitants of adjoining settlements and government carried on accordingly although it was not until 1694 that the New Jersey Legislature established the old Gloucester County by an Act. The boundaries as set by the people themselves were recognized in the legislation.
It was in 1689 that the first "gaole or logge house" was ordered built by the county court. Six years later this pioneer structure was ordered enlarged to became a prison sixteen by twenty feet with "a Court House over ye same of convenient heighth and largeness."
Old records preserved from these early days show that forms of cruelty from which the early settlers had fled, were placed in effect by them when "sinners" were to be punished.
One of these old records tells of a man who had been found guilty of perjury and sentenced by a jury to pay twenty pounds fine or "stand in ye pillory for one hour."
"To which ye bench assents and the prisoner choosing to' stand in ye pillory they award and order the same to' be in Gloucester an ye 12th day of April next between ye hours of ten in ye morning and four in ye afternoon."
Records of later date show an order for the erecting of another means of cruelty.
"It is agreed by this meeting that a payer of substantial stacks be erected near the prison with a post at each end, well fixed, and fastened with a hand cuff iron att, one of them for a whipping past."
In 1687 the first regular ferry between Camden and Philadelphia was requested of the court, as recorded in the following extract from the official minutes:
"It is proposed
to ye Bench that a ferry is very
needfull and much wanted from Jersey to Philadelphia, and yet William
Royden's house is looked upon as a place convenient, and the said William
Royden, a person suitable far that employ, and therefore an order desired
from ye Bench that a ferry may be there fixed, and to which ye Bench
assents and refer to ye grand jury to methodize ye same and fix ye rates
This was not acted upon until a year later, when a license was issued to' William Royden (for whom the present Royden Street was named), setting forth that "a common passage or ferry for man and beast be provided, fixed and settled in some convenient and proper place between ye mouths of Cooper's Creek and Newton Creek," within which limits "all other persons are desired and requested to keep no other common or public passage or ferry."
The ferry charges as fixed by law at that time were 6d. for each person, and 12d. for man and horse or other beast, the only exceptions being swine, sheep and calves, which were charged for at 6d. each.
This original ferry line was purchased by William Cooper a few years later, and for more than a century afterwards Camden was known everywhere as Cooper's Ferry.
Along about this time it was becoming apparent that the little ten-paragraph governmental structure drawn when Gloucester County first was formed, was not detailed enough to care for the intimate affairs of the growing settlements, with the result that in 1695, the grand jury, the courts and the General Assembly assented to formation of the Township of Newton. Under the Act of Assembly the new township was to extend from the "lowermost branch of Cooper's Creek, to ye southerly branch of Newton Creek bounding Gloucester." The easterly boundary of the township was not mentioned.
Meanwhile most of the settlers of Pyne Poynt continued to be relatives and friends of the Coopers. Sometimes new settlers, unrelated, came to make their homes with the small colony but became attracted to the larger settlement of Philadelphia across the Delaware and moved away.
John Kaighn and Archibald Mickle, who came from Ireland and who claimed the Isle of Man as his home, had arrived in Philadelphia to make their homes, but in 1696 they came to the Camden Settlement. Kaighn bought a tract of 455 acres in what now is South Camden and to this day the river front at the foot of Kaighn Avenue, one of Camden's principal business streets, bears the name of Kaighn’s Point. Mickle also bought large acreage and like Kaighn and the Coopers built the connection with the affairs of the community which was to last until the present and probably will continue for all time.
This condition continued from the beginning of the eighteenth century until along about 1770.
In 1773, Jacob Cooper, a Philadelphia merchant and descendant of William Cooper, proved himself one of the first to see the possibilities for building a town to rank in importance with the growing settlement of Philadelphia. He employed a surveyor named Thompson and had him layout forty acres in what now is the center of the City of Camden.
It was Jacob Cooper who first bestowed the name on Camden, taking it after the popular Lord Camden of England, who had endeared himself to many by the fearless manner to which he stood for the rights of the people in the days of religious persecution.
In the original town thus created, only six north and south streets were plotted-King, Queen, Whitehall, Cherry, Cedar and Pine, with but three intersecting thoroughfares-Cooper, Market and Plum, the latter changed to Arch Street many years afterward. The north and south streets also were renamed in 1832, and since have been known as Front, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth.
At this time an event which was to develop the world's greatest Republic halted the growth of the struggling little settlement of Camden.
Hatred of British rule was spreading and soon the War of the Revolution was in effect. Camden, like Philadelphia, was seized by the British and the business of war became the consuming business of the colonists.
General Abercrombie, the British commander, maintained headquarters along the riverfront in Camden and most of the town territory was enclosed in redoubts while Hessian and Scotch troops were quartered at various spots.
Over a period of two years Camden was a military stamping ground, harassed and overrun by the military. In 1777 a force of 2500 Hessians marched through the town on their way to the Battle of Red Bank, down the Delaware below Gloucester, and then they returned through Camden after they had suffered defeat at the hands of loyal colonists. These troops were in command of Captain Donop, who had crossed the Delaware from Philadelphia and landed at Cooper's Point.
General "Mad" Anthony Wayne and Pulaski figured in two minor engagements which took place on Camden soil, and General George Washington on several occasions crossed the river to the Camden side. Benjamin Franklin, historians record, made a trip to the town and remained over night.
Then came the end of hostilities and Camden, like the rest of the ravaged country, went about its serious task of returning to the peaceful pursuits of business and self-government.
Jacob Cooper devoted himself to the task of building the town of Camden and to this end sought to attract home seekers.
He boomed the location in the advertising columns of the "Pennsylvania Chronicle" as having a "soil fitted for gardening and the raising of earlier fruits than Pennsylvania affords" and as having the advantage of being "near the city of Philadelphia for distilleries, breweries, lumber yards, stores and other offices." Attention was also directed to the facilities it offered for "the diversion of fishing and fowling" and "the added pleasure of sailing on the water in summer."
A later advertisement presented possibilities of profit in purchase of the plat, predicting that in a few years it might be "disposed of in lots to great advantage, in erecting a town, as it will suit many persons to reside there and carryon different occupations, as in Philadelphia."
Two mayors of Philadelphia, Samuel Powel and Samuel Miles, and a score of other notables of the day were listed among the first purchasers. Probably most of them bought the lots as an investment and had no intention of residing in Camden, or, if they had, hesitated to build with the onset of the Revolution.
At any rate, Jacob Cooper lost interest in the town and in 1781, having disposed of 123 of the 167 lots, he sold the remainder to his nephew, William Cooper, son of his brother, Daniel.
The year 1803 saw the establishment of the first post office and the first regular school. Kaighn's Point ferry started operating in 1809 and in 1812 the National State Bank started business.
The next addition to the town site came in 1803, when Joshua Cooper, another son of Daniel, laid out in lots the adjoining land to the south, extending to the north side of Federal street, between Front and Fifth streets, sometimes called Cooper's Villa.
Further expansion came in 1820, when Edward Sharp, who had purchased a large tract from Joshua Cooper, subdivided that portion of it lying west of Fifth Street and between the south side of Federal street and an alley 150 feet south of Brideg Avenue, the latter now occupied by the Pennsylvania viaduct.
First purchasers in this section, known as Camden Village," included Samuel Laning, the first Mayor; Reuben Ludlam, the first city treasurer, and John D. Wessel, owner of the Federal Street Ferry.
In the meantime, about 1812, there had been some land subdivided at Kaighn's Point, and in 1825 Richard Fetters placed on the market lots in a tract running from Line to Cherry Street, between Front and Fourth, which became popularly known as "Fettersville."
All this development was to the south of the original town plat. North of Cooper Street all was farmland, save in the immediate vicinity of the Cooper's Point Ferry.
Meanwhile the affairs of Newton Township were not progressing to suit the Camdenites. It seems that the seat of government was divided between Haddonfield and Camden and for a time this arrangement was satisfactory to both. But, Haddonfield had the numerical strength and soon became conscious of the fact. Camden felt slighted at its meager representation in the township governmental affairs. There also was a tendency to ignore Camden's wants.
Probably it would have been content to remain a portion of the township for some years longer, had it not been for a special problem which constituted a growing nuisance.
Like the Gloucester of later years, the region about the ferries was given over to several popular beer gardens, a point of attraction for lawless elements which streamed across the river on Sundays seeking freedom from the restraints of the Philadelphia Sabbath.' Township authorities being unwilling to provide better police protection, agitation for home rule began.
At a meeting in the hotel of Ebenezer Toole on November 13, 1826, a tentative charter was drawn up for presentation at Trenton. Ignored by the Legislature of 1827, the petition was renewed in the following year, with the result that the city was created, its bounds running from the Delaware along Little Newton Creek, or Line Ditch, to Broadway, to Newton Avenue, to Federal street, to Cooper's Creek, and thence to the Delaware.
This charter, and an amendment passed fifteen days later, provided for the popular election of five Councilmen, one of whom was to represent "the village commonly called William Cooper's Ferry (Cooper's Point) and one shall always be a representative of Kaighnton (Kaighn's Point)." Five aldermen were appointed by the Legislature, and while the Mayor was elected by Council, its choice was restricted to one among the aldermen.
Possibly this restricted form of self government accounted for lack of public interest, for at the first election, held on March 10, there were less than fifty votes cast. The successful Councilmanic candidates were: James Duer, Cooper's Ferry; John Lawrence, Ebenezer Toole and Richard Fetters, Camden, and Joseph Kaighn, Kaighn's Point.
Lack of interest among the voters was duplicated in the attitude of their elected representatives. Duer, the village shoemaker, refused to serve; Joseph Kaighn never put in an appearance, and according to tradition it took Fetters and Lawrence the greater part of the night preceding the first scheduled meeting of Council to induce Toole to attend, although he had been one of the petitioners for the charter.
With a quorum thus obtained, Council met on March 13th at the hotel kept by John M. Johnson on the site of the old Vauxhall Gardens, west side of Fourth Street, below Market, and elected Samuel Laning as the first Mayor.
The second meeting of the City Council, on March 20th, was held in a second story room of a frame house owned by Richard Fetters on the east side of Third Street, below Market, which was subsequently rented for Twelve Dollars a year.
At this meeting Reuben Ludlam was elected City Treasurer, his salary being fixed at two and a half per cent of monies received from taxes and loans and five per cent of the Ordinary receipts. His compensation for the first year reached $87.50, due to a private loan of $2,500 for the construction of the first City Hall, which was considered entirely too much and the percentage was thereupon cut to one per cent. Under this scale, his successor, Isaac Smith, received $6.75 for a year's work.
During the first twelve years of its existence as a city, Camden trebled its population, the Census of 1840 recording 3,371 inhabitants.
The next decade witnessed almost like growth, the figures reaching 9,479, due largely to the successful fight for the creation of Camden County and the subsequent maneuvers by which Camden became the county seat.
An idea of the built-up section of the city in 1850 may be gained by a glance at the "Lamp or Watch District" which the City Council established at that time. Beginning at the foot of Cooper Street, it ran easterly to Sixth Street, to Federal, to Broadway, to Kaighn Avenue, to Front, to Mechanic, to the Delaware River.
A check to this phenomenally rapid pace in the next decade is partly attributable to the tragic burning of the ferryboat "New Jersey," with a loss of sixty lives, on March 15, 1856. Still a gain of 5,000 was registered, which was duplicated between 1860 and 1870, despite the dampening effect of the Civil War.
In 1871 the city bounds were extended north and west to Newton Creek, and its North Branch, Mount Ephraim turnpike, Ferry Avenue and an extension of the same to Cooper's Creek. Despite the fact that this outlying territory was then but sparsely settled, the population doubled in the ten years preceding 1880, when it reached a mark of 41,659.
Seventeen thousand were added in the next ten years, and the 1900 Census showed like increase, though a part of the latter gain was due to the annexation, 111 1899, of the Town of Stockton, comprising the present Eleventh and Twelfth Wards, north of Cooper's Creek, and including the sections known as Pavonia, Cramer Hill, Dudley and Rosedale.
The Twentieth Century opened what may be called the
modern industrial epoch of Camden, with the rapid growth of such giant
as Victor, Campbell, the New York Shipyard, now the Brown-Boveri
Corporation, and a host of other manufacturing plants that dot the skyline of
the Delaware margin.
The first quarter of the new century added 50,000 to Camden's population and brought within its limits war-born Yorkship Village. With the impetus imparted by the opening of the Delaware River Bridge and the growing appreciation of the benefits of scientific planning, Camden is building bigger and always better, its citizens ever mindful of the debt they owe to the Coopers, Kaighns, Mickles, and other pioneers who laid the foundations of the Camden of which Camdenites are proud.
THE GOOD ROADS DEMAND CREATED BY AUTOMOBILES
Automobiles brought about the modern highways of today and no section of the country has responded to the demand for good roads more completely than has South Jersey.
The long level stretches of smooth surface roads have made Southern New Jersey a Mecca for autoists. Camden is the neck of a traffic bottle through which pass more automobiles than will be found most anywhere.
Daily passage of thousands of motors over the same stretches of highway necessitate substantial construction. It is this feature which has much to do with the fame merited by South Jersey among motorists.
Communities pay for new roads but these do not always stand up under the weight of traffic.
Perhaps no road builder has had more to do with the manner in which Camden and other South Jersey roads have withstood the test of traffic, than has the Union Paving Company of Philadelphia.
There is much glory to be distributed for the excellence of our highways and a considerable share must go to this firm which now has an annual road building program of from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000.
"We consider specifications as something on which to build, not as something under which to skimp."
An official of Union Paving in this manner explains the secret of success for his firm. Union Paving laid the asphalt and block paving on the Delaware Bridge. More than nine million autos pass over this stretch annually and this includes the largest of heavily loaded trucks and big double-deck buses. This roadway, now in use about two years, shows not the slightest effect of the tremendous amount of traffic its surface has smoothly shed.
Another new roadway on which Union did $1,000,000 worth of work is the Crescent Boulevard, a connecting stretch between the Camden Plaza of the Delaware Bridge and the famed White Horse Pike which carries a few million machines to seashore resorts annually. Then there is the magnificent boulevard running out of Atlantic City to Absecon across a great stretch of meadows. Here is an outstanding monument to substantial road construction which is destined to bring additional fame to its builders. It is an example of asphalt surface on concrete foundation and has demonstrated that this type of road way will stand up under heavy traffic in comparison with the all-concrete type.
Almost 90 per cent of the roads in Burlington County have been built by Union. They include the River Road between Camden and Burlington and main highways from Burlington to Mt. Holly and Camden to Mt. Holly, Pemberton and Brown's Mills. Almost every community in South Jersey bears testimony to the confidence Union Paving firm has established.
Many of Camden's streets have been built and surfaced by the firm and many more are now under way. Union has an asphalt plant on the Cooper River in Camden and docks at Gloucester on the Delaware. Its two Philadelphia plants turn out more material than any in the United States. The firm does much work in Florida and Pennsylvania in addition to other states.
Officers of Union are: B. F. Richardson, President; J P. Mack, 2d, Vice-President; Joseph Larkin, Jr., Secretary and Treasurer. These executives are keeping abreast of the times and have up-to-date street and road building equipment on hand for the completion of any size contract.
CAMDEN KIWANIS CLUB ALERT
The Camden Kiwanis Club is a Civic organization with activities centering about certain objectives, some of which are the underprivileged children, the promotion of an intelligent citizenship, the practice of the Golden Rule in business, the fostering of better relations between the employer and the employee, and between the farmer and the city resident.
The Camden Kiwanis Club has eighty-four members and the spiritual growth has more than kept pace with this numerical growth.
To become a member of this Club, a man must be an outstanding professional man or the manager or owner of a reputable business.
The motto of all Kiwanis International Clubs is "We Build."
The ideals of Kiwanis are the advancing of all lines of business and professional service. Kiwanians should seek to be men with a lively consciousness of what is right and wrong, men of a fine sense of honor, men who prize individual integrity more than individual gain.
Business should supply useful goods in an orderly manner for human needs at the lowest cost. The production of material values is indispensable. The formation of human values should be equally compelling. To survive, business must gain a fair profit for commensurate service. To succeed, business should give added service for community enrichment.
The various professions afford opportunity to strengthen honorable and helpful human relationships, and all members of the profession should strive by example and influence to preserve the high standard of ethical conduct against the attacks of all mercenary and commercialized interests.
Following are the Camden Kiwanis Club Officers: Wilbur Reed, President, Pennsylvania Rail Road; Hon. Fred. L. Holman, Vice-President, Mayor of Merchantville; Theodore Thompson, Treasurer, First National State Bank; John Eby, District Trustee, Druggist; William H. Bottger, Secretary, New Jersey Bell Telephone Company.
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