A New Year’s Potpourri

bright-new-yearNo, not the smell-good mixture of flower petals and spices here.

More like your mélange, pastiche, hodgepodge, mishmash, or miscellaneous assortment of stuff in the form of scans of images the Historical Society has acquired lately.

As 2013 wound down, several eBay auctions escaped our grasp and I was reduced to copying the images from the eBay auction pages. Since half a loaf is better than none, I post here those images as consolation for the actual items that I was not able to secure. Resolution does not allow for enlargement, but these unique and rare images may not come our way again.

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That one with the post office on the left is an exceptional shot showing shops along Main Street lined with the oil lamps that predated the Welsbach gas lamps.

No sense me whining about it since we scored some nice treats for you, nonetheless.

In the ‘win’ column are some postcards and other items that either I bought, or friends bought and sent me scans.

I bought the Welsbach letter opener as a reminder of the time Jeff Cole and I worked on a presentation about the Welsbach gaslamps that line the streets of Riverton. If a Google search for that subject led you here, just go to our search box at the top  of the screen, type in “Welsbach,” and you will find all that we have to offer. We do not sell parts.

Cinnaminson 1876 map
Cinnaminson 1876 map

I have had this Cinnaminson map since the summer – sorry to have been holding out on you. This one original page (p.36) from J.D. Scott’s Combination Atlas Map of Burlington County New Jersey published in 1876 was over $40.

Awful, I know.

But as I commiserate with my collector friends when we have made similar purchases, “It’s not like they are gonna print any more of them.”

But, c’mon. You have to admit that seeing this magnificent hundred and thirty-eight year old foxed and stained rag-pulp paper depiction of Cinnaminson is worth the price of admission.

It’s the same deal when we pay through the nose for that one more “must have” view of the Yacht Club, Knight’s Park, or Moorestown, or Stone Harbor.

The collector wants what the collector wants.

Wish we could work out some signals sometimes because I know we have run up the prices against each other.  In fact, you guys can have the next few because I spent all my Christmas money.

Biddle Mansion 207 Bank Avenue, 1968 photo by Karl Livingston, photo donated by Keith Betten
Biddle Mansion 207 Bank Avenue, 1968 photo by Karl Livingston, photo donated by Keith Betten


Sometimes the Universe listens.

We recently received some photos of the Biddle Mansion taken before the fire (was it 1978?) that claimed the tower that once graced the Bank Avenue landmark.


Biddle Mansion by M. Robinson
Biddle Mansion, M. Robinson
Biddle Mansion by M. Robinson
Biddle Mansion, M. Robinson



One color Instamatic print, above, from Keith Betten and three other prints from Librarian, Michael Robinson, at right, add to our catalogue of Things That Aren’t There Anymore.

We sincerely thank these HSR members for their contributions to this growing archive of information about our favorite borough.

Biddle Mansion by M. RobinsonBiddle Mansion, M. Robinson
Biddle Mansion by M. Robinson
Biddle Mansion, M. Robinson

As individual pieces they may seem trivial, but in filling in a few more missing puzzle pieces of Riverton history, they may have greater importance as part of a larger investigation.


Sometimes the puzzle pieces work for us, and sometimes they benefit a person or organization from far afield who is looking for just the piece of minutiae that we have.

Greetings from Camden, NJ c1907
Greetings from Camden, NJ c1907

Here’s a few from my friend, Harlan Radford, across the miles who sends us scans regularly of his choice auction finds.

Every picture comes with a complimentary lesson, courtesy of Mr. Radford.

The unusual German-produced butterfly card shows two Camden landmarks on  each wing. On your left,  Carnegie Library and Camden County Court House; on the right, Cooper Hospital and City Hall.

Another, out of the ordinary postcard is this image of a strange vehicle that looks like a cross between a bus and a train.

Stone Harbor, NJ postcard 1921
Stone Harbor, NJ postcard 1921

The 1921 postmarked card bears the following penciled message:

“Was in bathing this A.M.  Quite a sensation for one who has never been in the ocean before.  This is a picture of the trolley car here, they run by gas.  I may go to N. Wildwood next week, not sure.  Hope you are well.”

Last one tonight, kids.

Pennsylvania R.R. Terminal & Ferry, Camden, NJ  1906
Pennsylvania R.R. Terminal & Ferry, Camden, NJ 1906

Postmarked SEP 7, 1906, this undivided back early postcard depicts a front view of the Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal and Ferry building at Camden, N.J. circa the
beginning of the 1900s.  Several trolley
routes terminated here and close inspection of this image shows commerce 1906 style with several  horse-drawn wagons and electric trolley cars.  This terminal provided not only important ferry boat service to and from Philadelphia on the other side of the Delaware River but a vital rail link to various locations in New Jersey including some of the Jersey seashore resorts.

Another post soon will wrap up several more of Mr. Radford’s donated scans to the Society.

When you give the Society a scan of your collectibles, souvenirs, photos, and printed matter, for us it is the next best thing to having the real thing. Plus, you can know that you are sharing your treasure with a large community that might not otherwise have access to it. Please contact us if you have something to donate or need help with scanning or photographing.

Happy New Year! – John McCormick




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John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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