Philadelphia Mummery

Last year at this time, I posted  some interesting history on the Philadelphia Mummers.  This year, I scoured the Internet for old pictures and archival film footage.   I’m sure a lot of the photographs and movies came  from basements and attics that were cleaned out when their owners passed on.  Here are the most interesting pictures I found

Mummers from Old Europe

1888 Mummers on Chestnut St.

Illustration from 1888

Men have traditionally dressed as women  in the Mummers Parade, most notably in the Comic divisions.   Since women were not allowed to be Mummers until the 1970’s,  men had to take their parts.   This is not unusual.  Women were forbidden to act in Elizabethan England.  The first Juliet was probably played by a young man.    In Japanese Noh drama,  men traditionally play  female roles.

1904 Champion Women

Newspaper Clipping 1904

1925 Lovely Woman As She Isn't

Newspaper Clipping 1925

1907 Female impersonator

Newspaper Clipping 1907

1919 Some Fancy Costumes

1919 Newspaper Clipping

1933 The Drag

1933 Newspaper Clipping

Here are some more old pictures of the parade.  I have tried to pinpoint the location of each picture.  Not all of the buildings depicted (like the Arcade Building) are still standing.  Others, like City Hall, the Masonic Temple and the Arch Street Methodist Church are still here.

But wait, there’s more!!!!

Click here for a whole page of links to some fascinating old video clips.