Everyday Livin’ At The Library Company


John Wanamaker will tell you what he thinks of your request for a refund. | Image: Library Company of Philadelphia

John Wanamaker will tell you what he thinks of your request for a refund. | Image: Library Company of Philadelphia

Calling all collectors and hoarders: your time is now. Tomorrow, actually. With Remnants of Everyday Life: Historical Ephemera in the Workplace, Street, and Home, the Library Company of Philadelphia examines otherwise throwaway items from military recruiting posters and department store handouts to playbills and World’s Fair souvenirs dating from the late 18th century through the mid-20th.

On back order with Hasbro: early 20th century flash card game challenging you to learn Philadelphia architecture | Image: Library Company of Philadelphia

On back order with Hasbro| Image: Library Company of Philadelphia

Curated by Visual Culture Program co-Directors Rachel D’Agostino and Erika Piola, Remnants of Everyday Life draws from the Library Company’s extensive collection of ephemera to visualize the evolution of graphic design, from the workplace, from the street, and from home. Tomorrow’s opening features a talk at 5:45PM on scrapbooking by Dr. Ellen Gruber Garvey, author of Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance.

While the exhibition is not limited to Philadelphiana per se, plenty of Philly objects are on display. Founded here in 1731 by Silence Dogood, the Library Company has maintained an ephemera collection since 1785, when it pooled its resources to preserve Revolutionary War era pamphlets and broadsides. More recently—like, a century ago—this ‘Game of Philadelphia Buildings’ used flash cards to challenge its players to learn Philadelphia architecture.

Remnants of Everyday Life is on display at the Library Company, 1314 Locust Street, and runs through Friday, December 13, 2013. For more info, click HERE.

About the author

Bradley Maule is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and the creator of Philly Skyline. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and he's hung his hat in Shippensburg, Germantown, G-Ho, Fishtown, Portland OR, Brewerytown, and now Mt. Airy. He just can't get into Twitter, but he's way into Instagram @mauleofamerica.


  1. I have this “Game of Philadelphia Buildings.” It is a pretty sedate game, but what is intersting is the number of Philadelphia buildings pictured on the cards that still exist!

  2. @Harry – very jealous. I’ve been looking to add this to my collection.

    Here is a link from the Library Company with all 53 places listed.


Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Neighborhood Libraries Step Into The 21st Century

Neighborhood Libraries Step Into The 21st Century

August 22, 2017  |  Vantage

One of the city's most important assets is our sprawling system of neighborhood libraries. These indispensable, community hubs, 52 in all, are beginning to receive desperately needed TLC after years of financial and structural neglect. Contributor Grace Diliberto gives us the details on two citywide initiatives to revive and reboot libraries for contemporary uses, followed by an extensive survey of some of the city's most architecturally distinct book lenders > more

Monument Lab Artist Stands Up For The City's Lost Stoops

Monument Lab Artist Stands Up For The City’s Lost Stoops

August 17, 2017  |  Vantage

Artist Kaitlin Pomerantz is on a mission to save Philadelphia's castaway stoops. Her project for this year's Monument Lab will memorialize the city's proverbial outdoor living room with a collection of salvaged stoops inside Washington Square Park. Contributor Star Herr-Cardillo has the story > more

In The Aftermath Of Charlottesville, Counting On The Catto Memorial

In The Aftermath Of Charlottesville, Counting On The Catto Memorial

August 15, 2017  |  Soapbox

As Southern cities erupt in protest and race-fueled violence over the removal of Confederate memorials, historian Amy Cohen looks at Philadelphia's lack of diversity in public monuments > more


In “Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture,” The City Is A Muse

August 11, 2017  |  Buzz

Groundbreaking exhibit of the work of Louis Kahn brings his ideas to life, says Nathaniel Popkin > more

Convention Center Survivor A Symbol Of Philly's Faded Industries

Convention Center Survivor A Symbol Of Philly’s Faded Industries

August 10, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow takes us for a spin to the corner of Race and Camac Streets where the city's commercial sectors have shifted gears for over a century > more

A Sneak Peek At <em>Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies</em>

A Sneak Peek At Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies

August 8, 2017  |  Buzz

Michael Bixler has this behind-the scenes look at Cai Guo-Qiang's interactive dreamscape, "Fireflies." The Chinese artist will debut his mobile art project on September 14 in celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway's centennial > more