Wannemacher family papers

Collection 3324

( Bulk, 1880-1934 ) 1879-1957
(1.7 Linear feet ; 1 box, 10 volumes)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Wannemacher family.
Wannemacher family papers
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1880-1934
Date [inclusive]
1.7 Linear feet ; 1 box, 10 volumes
Finding aid prepared by Cary Majewicz
This collection relates to the Wannemacher family of Philadelphia and consists of one box of papers and ten photo albums. In 1893, Edward H. Wannemacher married Mary A. Fairbairn at St. Mary's Church in Philadelphia. The couple had at least one son, Edward Hermany Wannemacher, baptised 7 July 1895. The papers in the collection briefly describe the history of the family. In the photo albums are records of the family's activies, from causual visits to local landmarks and travels throughout the Mid-Atlantic states, to their involvement with the Socialist Sunday School and the Young People's Socialist League.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents the history and social and political lives of the Wannemacher family and other young Philadelphians of the late 1800s and early 1900s. At least some of the Wannemachers were involved with the Socialist Sunday School (24th and 27th wards) and the Young People's Socialist League. Their picnics and other excursions are documented. There is a picture of Eugene V. Debs and another of the Socialist Book Store, 1326 Arch St., Philadelphia.

Edward H. Wannemacher and his wife Mary had a son Edward H., in the late 1800s; all three are frequently identified in the albums. (The son is labeled as "Ed Jr.") Among the papers pasted into the albums is a letter from George W. Wanamaker of New York, to Edward, Jr. with a document written by Edward, Sr. regarding a Christmas Day Wannemacher family reunion at the home of one Charles Wannemacher, Jr. There is also a letter of recommendation from John Wanamaker of Philadelphia, who is described as a “family friend.”

The other major aspect of this collection is the documentation of various family trips to the Jersey Shore, New York City, Niagara, Wisconsin, and New England, where the family visited the homes and graves of American writers Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and Hawthorne. They also traveled extensively around Pennsylvania, to places such as Harrisburg, Delaware Water Gap, Graterford, Wissahickon, Perkiomen, Media, and Arden.

Also of note are a handful of pictures of Philadelphia on Armistice Day. One album in particular (Volume 4) focused on the childhood of Margaret Wannemacher. Loose photographs from the albums have been removed to envelopes and placed inside Box 1.

The box of loose papers contains contains poems and writings, 1879-1880; vital records and a letter with family information; and a from John Wanamaker to the Metropolitan Soap Company dated 19 August 1904.

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Collection inventory

Box 1, folder 1: "Our marriage vow with minister's certificate" (1893)

Box 1, folder 2: poems and writings (1879, 1880, undated)

Box 1, folder 3: Writings - "Miss Practicality" (1880)

Box 1, folder 4: Wannemacher family bible record, 1881-1957 (undated)

Box 1, folder 5: Vital records and letter (1893, 1895, 1954, undated)

Box 1, folder 6: John Wanemaker to Metropolitan Soap Company (19 August 1904)

Box 1, folders 7-13: Envelopes containing photographs removed from Volumes 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10

Volume 1: Home, Philadelphia Zoo, and Fairmount Park family photographs (1907-1908)

Volume 2: “JGB” Staff, France, Young People’s Socialist League, Socialist Sunday School, “Armistice Day”. (1913-1922)

Volume 3: Family photographs and Socialist Sunday School (1913-1916)

Volume 4: Margaret Wannemacher album (1917-1922)

Volume 5: Family vacations photographs (circa 1880s - 1934), Eugene V. Debs photograph (1923)

Volume 6: Family vacation photographs and Socialist Sunday School (1920-1922)

Volumes 7-10: Family vacation photographs (1922-1934, undated)

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (2011).

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The papers in Box 1 are a gift of Dr. Lelange Kanes, 1988.

The provenance of the photo albums is unknown.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pennsylvania--Social life and customs.
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs--20th century.

Personal Name(s)

  • Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926.
  • Wanamaker, John
  • Wannemacher, Charles Jr.
  • Wannemacher, Edward H.
  • Wannemacher, Edward Hermony.
  • Wannemacher, Margaret.
  • Wannemacher, Mary Fairbairn.


  • Young People's Socialist League.

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