An extraordinary collections that reflect Philadelphia’s rich history
The Philadelphia History Museum engages Philadelphians and regional visitors with its extraordinary collections that reflect Philadelphia’s rich history and the diversity of its people and their neighborhoods through exhibitions, educational programs and technology which explore the past to better understand the present.
The museum was established through the efforts of Philadelphia Mayor S. Davis Wilson, Frances Wistar, president of the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, and A. Atwater Kent, radio pioneer and inventor.
Today, the Museum houses more than 80,000 objects related to Philadelphia and regional history, including an estimated 10,000 17th- to 20th-century artifacts from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania art and artifact collection, 1700 Quaker-related items from Friends Historical Association Collection, and collections reflecting Philadelphia manufacturing, the 1876 Centennial Exposition, toys and miniatures, and radio broadcasting. It also houses a collection of 321 The Saturday Evening Post covers illustrated by Norman Rockwell and published in Philadelphia by the Curtis Publishing Company. The museum's main gallery features the world's largest map of Philadelphia.
Highlights from the permanent exhibitions include the boxing gloves of Joe Frazier, the desk of George Washington, a drinking glass owned by Benjamin Franklin, and a wampum belt allegedly given to William Penn by the Lenape.
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