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William H. Sliker glass plate negatives


Held at: Philadelphia History Museum [Contact Us]15 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia History Museum. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

William H. Sliker (1872-1951) was a German immigrant who settled in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, Sliker opened a photography studio near his home in the Bridesburg neighborhood. Sliker and his son, Charles L. Sliker (1892-1968), traveled periodically throughout various Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods photographing scenery, events, buildings, people, and other subjects. Afterwards, they would return to the studio and develop the negatives into prints or real photo postcards, selling them to the people or businesses featured in the photographs or others interested in purchasing the images on their next trip through the neighborhood.

This collection consists of over three hundred glass plate negatives. Almost every glass plate negative has a corresponding modern paper print. Most of the negatives are half-sized plates, although there are some full-sized plates. The images primarily depict the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods of Bridesburg, Bustleton, Fox Chase, Frankford, Somerton, Tacony, Torresdale, and Wissinoming, but other locations outside of Northeast Philadelphia such as Southwark and locations in Montgomery County are also shown. Subjects documented include buildings, such as local businesses or homes; people; events; scenery, such as Pennypack Creek, roadsides, and landscapes; and other subjects. Many photographs in this collection were taken by the Slikers as commissioned works for businesses and people, but some of the images were taken by Charles Sliker as he and his father traveled throughout Northeast Philadelphia. The images provide a glimpse at a time when the areas depicted were transitioning from rural and farming communities to more residential and commercial areas.

Gift of Harry Silcox, 2002 (accession 02.8)

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Philadelphia History Museum directly for more information.

Philadelphia History Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

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