C. Mahler
December 2005

Tying Loose Threads:

a look at the form of textile-related businesses on Chestnut Street in 19th century Philadelphia

An assignment from the course,"Places in Time," this web project intends to present data relating to the structure of the textile industry in early Philadelphia. Using primary and secondary sources one may trace the space occupied by an important trade.

Above, an overall view of Philadelphia to aid in geographical orientation. Click the thumbnail for a larger view.

(map courtesy "Philadelphia County, part of PAGenWeb Project" Lani MacAniff et. al.)


Above, a map of Center City Philadelphia. Chestnut Street, the focus of this study (particularly the easternmost blocks), is highlighted in turquoise.

(map courtesy "Philadelphia County, part of PAGenWeb Project" Lani MacAniff et. al.)


Currently a major shopping corridor in Philadelphia, the commercial function of Chestnut Street extends back over a century. Chestnut Street has played a significant role in the shaping of the city as one of Philadelphia's major shopping corridors along with Walnut and Market streets. With the understanding that Chestnut Street has a continuous history of trade presence a study one of its chief businesses can further modern understanding of early architecture as it relates to its function.


Preliminary Study

Beginning with the Baxter panoramas, this page explains the commencement of research on textile-related commerce on Chestnut Street.

Secondary Study

In-depth study of Fire Insurance Maps and Surveys yields more detail regarding the physical form of textile businesses. Click here to learn more.