Views of Old Philadelphia:
The Brightbill Postcard Collection


The following are examples of some kinds of postcards found in the collection. Each image is linked to the relevant inventory page.


01a09 [item one] Number 9 in a series featuring multiple colored sketches.
Left, Chestnut Street above Third Street; right, Arch Street west of 13th Street.


04b08 [item four] Brightbill collected several series (these series, put out by various publishers, are not to be confused with the four series into which Brightbill organized his collection) of architectural postcards; this is from Series 4, Philadelphia Suburban.
Interior detail of a pergola in a suburban garden.


04b11 [item two] This is from Series 5, Old Colonial, of the architectural postcards.
'Old Colonial' postcards were divided into subsets; one of four views of the Powell House, 244 South Third Street, built in 1762, this postcard is of the entrance hall.


05b01 [item four] Brightbill devoted multiple subject headings to the Betsy Ross House, organized by the number and size of flags depicted on the house. This is from 'Betsy Ross House -- No Flags.
Although there are two flags inset on the image, there are none on the house itself. Note the trees in the background -- The Betsy Ross House is part of a row os such houses. Various postcards treat the surroundings in a variety of ways.


11a01 [item three] There are also several subject headings devoted to various bridges. Subject 11 deals with Bridges - Delaware River (Franklin).
A modern postcard looking toward the Philadelphia anchorage at sunset.


12b01 [item two] One of many postcards depicting the Girard Avenue Bridge from Fairmount Park.
The handwritten note reads simply, "Meet me at Broad Street."


15a03 [item two] Walnut Lane Bridge over the Wissahickon Creek.
The caption states that, at the time of this postcard, this was the 'longest concrete span in the world.'


16b04 [item one] One of a number of views of North Broad Street.
This is a bird's eye view of Broad Street in North Philadelphia.


Introduction to the Collection

Brightbill's 172 Subject Headings

Explanations of Codes in Inventory

Publisher Codes & Addresses

Printer & Publisher History

Sample Images; last updated by cc july 25, 2000