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Quakertown Historical Society photograph collection


Held at: Quakertown Historical Society [Contact Us]Upper Bucks County Visitor Center, 21 N Main Street, Quakertown, Pennsylvania

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Quakertown Historical Society. 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

"Quakertown, Pennsylvania is a town of approximately 9000 residents in the Northeast portion of Upper Bucks County, about 50 miles north of Philadelphia. The Borough encompasses approximately two square miles and has over 21 miles of roads.

"The settlement of the "Great Swamp" as members of the Society of Friends originally knew it, began in the early years of the eighteenth century. Great Swamp, also referred to as Richland Centre, was in the middle of Richland Township and at the juncture of roads leading to Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, Pottstown, and Newtown. During our country's fight for independence, the Liberty Bell was concealed here, behind what is now known as Liberty Hall, on its way to be hidden in Allentown.

"In 1801, the settlement officially became known as Quakertown and the first post office bearing its name was established in 1803.

"As a crossroad village with a tavern, it soon became a stopover for stagecoaches and commercial traffic between Allentown and Philadelphia. Although it was the core of an extensive community of Welsh and German farmers, the village center remained quite small until the mid-nineteenth century. In 1820, Quakertown contained approximately twelve dwellings.

"Although the Borough of Quakertown was not "affirmed" until February of 1855, the first Burgess, (elected official) was elected in 1854. At that time, the village contained only sixty-two dwellings. The construction of the North Pennsylvania Railroad in 1855 gave a great impetus to growth in the area. By 1880, the population of Quakertown was nearly 1,800.

"The combination of the railroad and national economic expansion following the Civil War changed Quakertown from a tiny village to a bustling commercial center. Local industry included the manufacture of cigars, boots, shoes, tools, harnesses, wheel spokes, and stoves.

"Quakertown generated its own electrical power until 1969. Although the power plant was abandoned, Quakertown kept control of the distribution lines within the Borough and began to buy power at a bulk rate and resell it. In addition to maintaining the electric system, Quakertown operates [its] own water and sewer systems. This tradition of enterprise and hard work has been carried on down through the years to present-day Quakertown."


Quoted text from: Quakertown, Pa. "History." Accessed May 24, 2013.

This collection consists primarily of framed photographs, including panoramas. There are also a few photograph albums (one of which features several tintypes) and a sizeable amount of loose photographs. The images depict the people and places of Quakertown. There is a large proportion of group photographs, especially Quakertown High School class and sports team photographs.

The Quakertown Historical Society also has a digital collection of about 500 photographs scanned for potential use in Arcadia's Images of America series: Quakertown (Charleston, SC : Arcadia Pub., 2002).

Photographs collected at various times by the Quakertown Historical Society.

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 Quakertown Historical Society directly for more information.

Quakertown Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton 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

Contact Quakertown Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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