Philadephia; Where And Why?

The cream cheese was invented by mistake in New Yoick in 1872. Its inventor was trying to make Neufchatel cheese …
… and put too much cream in the mix. The name was chosen to reflect the fact that Philadelphia city was renowned for its high quality dairy produce.
Now a popular product world-wide it even filled some of the sandwiches served by the fbbs at their June Fellowship meetings.

The attendees enjoyed the garlic and herrub (Mrs fbb’s pronunciation!) variant which was delish. fbb was obliged to finish up the few left-over sarnies. Tough call!

The USA city was founded by English colonist William Penn (of Pennsylvania fame) in 1682. 
Penn was a member of the “Society of Friends”, commonly called Quakers and, whilst colonialists now get a bad press, Penn was renowned for his excellent working arrangements with the indigenous peoples of the area, His Christian principles guided the city and its social conscience. 
Philly had many “firsts” for the nascent America …

library (1731)

hospital (1751)

medical school (1765

national capital (1774)

university (1779)

stock exchange (1790)

zoo (1874)

… and is the home of the famous but busted Liberty Bell!

Traditional Biblical commentators translate Penn’s chosen name for the city as Greek for “brotherly love’. In todays’ crackpot “equality” world some object to the concept. Fear not, the Greek is not a sexually orientated word and could also be translated as “sibling” love or “family” love.
This was a mutual non-sexual love reported by Peter in one of his letters in the Bible.
Now that by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves and have come to have a sincere love for other believers, love one another earnestly with all your heart.
That was Penn’s vision.
fbb also needed to check out where Philadelphia actually was. And there it is, a bit down from New Yoick.

It is America, so “a bit down” is 95 miles!

But It Was This Snippet …

… that made fbb sit up and take notice. New trams are a normality world-wide and re-eqipping a system seems not particularly newsworthy.

So why the fuss?
We need to look at the history of S E P T A.

The South Eastern Pennsylvania Public Transportation Authority was formed in 1963 at much the same time as the idea of PTEs was beginning to be formulated in the UK. Over the next 20 year S E P T A absorbed a wide range of constituent parts, paving the way for today’s extensive network.

The PTA took over buses …

… indeed from 1926 to 1946 there had been double deck buses! Originally open top …

… they did eventually gain a rudimentary roof.

They didn’t look particularly comfortable!

S E P T A took in trams …

.. which in America are called “trolleys”.

A “trolley” was a tram …

… so what do you call a trolleybus …

… whichever end you look at?

Answer: of course it is a trackless trolley as operated by S E P T A.!

That takes fbb back to his student youth. His landlady informed him that she was going to see a friend in Rotherham and would catch a “trackless” to Kimberworth.

fbb was totally baffled!

But did you spot the oddity in the tram pictures?

Look closely! Answer next week.

A further historical anomaly is that whilst most trolleys (a k a trams) were painted green, those of lines 101 and 102 were called …

… Red Arrow lines – which might explain the colour of the trams (trolleys). These lines were a bit more like light rail than urban trams.

S E P T A slowly took responsibility for suburban rail services including Philadelphia’s very own “El” – a partially elevated line.

Although some sections subsequently went underground, the “El” remains in part …

… although perhaps not as brutally “El” as this!

So there are suburban lines and local trains on former “main” lines to add to the mix.

There is one train anomaly! The line in red …

… is the PATCO line and not part of the S E P T A network.

The PATCO Speedline is a rapid transit route operated by the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO), which runs between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Camden County, New Jersey. The line runs underground in Philadelphia, crosses the Delaware River on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, runs underground in Camden, then runs above ground to the east end of the line in Lindenwold, New Jersey.The line opened between Lindenwold and Camden in 1969.

Something else to explore next week.

 Getting Better

But that marquee will definitely need new canvas! The former warehouse has been repainted and, like the prototype, is being converted into flats. Skylights are to be added to the new roof. The Working Mens Club has a new roof and the Methodist Chapel has had a repaint.


The retaining wall stone has been glued and awaits painting whilst the stone setts (often wrongly called “cobbles”) are just posed, also awaiting a splodge of paint.

But do not worry, dear readers, a strong fence of railings is to be added so that Peterville residents and visitors do not plunge to their death on the railway infrastructure below.

 Next Variety blog : Saturday 10th June 

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