Browse Exhibits (15 total)

John Calpin


When he graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1925, John Calpin (1904-1991) became a police reporter for The Philadelphia Bulletin. There, he witnessed first hand the impact of Prohibition on the city of Philadelphia and the vast power of the Republican City Machine. In the decades that followed, Calpin would go on to become a newspaper bureau chief and civic reformer.

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John Flynn (Pseudonym)

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Born in the tough Irish-American neighborhood of Grays Ferry, John Flynn learned how to fight at a young age, started to work full time at the age of 14, and soon was part of a gang that hung out in Philadelphia's infamous Tenderloin District on the north side of Center City. During the labor wars of the Great Depression, Flynn was a union organizer for Teamsters Local 107 and worked as a longshoreman, circular distributor, and in other jobs.

Johnny Mulligan

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After immigrating from Scotland to Philadelphia in 1922, Johnny Mulligan boxed professionally, danced with the Irish Merrymakers, and played striker for the Electric Storage Battery Company's industrial league soccer team.

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Max Tannenbaum

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Max Tannenbaum (b. 1905) was 7 when his father left the Ukraine in 1912 for the United States. For the next decade Tannenbaum worked to provide for his mother and younger brothers. Conscripted into the Red Army after the Bolsheviks took over the Ukraine, he fled to Poland and then the United States, arriving in Philadelphia in 1924.

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Sam Spritz

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Sam Spritz was born (circa 1898) into a Jewish family in pre-revolution Russia.  In 1913, he moved with his father and brother to Philadelphia, attracted by the promise of freedom, democracy, and easy access to education.  In the early 1920s, Spritz's mother and grandmother died of starvation in Russia during the Povolzhye famine. The rest of his family died after the Nazis invaded Russia during World War II. In Philadelphia, Spritz worked in a shirt factory while studying in night school, married and raised a family, and ran his own female undergarment factory.

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