|Pushcarts on Fourth Street, 1914|
|photo courtesy of the Philadelphia City Archives|
|Known in Yiddish as "Der Ferder"
(the Fourth), South Fourth Street was a bustling marketplace, a lifeline
that ran through the immigrant Jewish community, from Lombard Street to
Washington Avenue. Besides dry goods and fabric businesses, it included
dozens of kosher butcher shops, fish stores, and dairy stores, plus hundreds
of fruit and vegetable carts and stands.
"Our neighborhood includes
... Fourth Street, Philadelphia's closest approach to New York's lower
East Side, where we have the pushcarts, crowded streets and pavements,
the open air display of calico, candy, pickles and fish for sale... Ours
is an economically but not a morally depressed neighborhood."
One of the oldest fabric related businesses still on Fourth Street is Marmelstein's, a home decorating and bridal accessories shop, which began in 1919.
"Actually, [the business] started
with just a little suitcase with thread, needles, thimbles... [My parents,
Abraham and Dora Marmelstein] had a stand. They were out in all kinds
of weather. They sold notions and trimming... They lived at 769,
751, 733, then back to 751, then eventually across to here .
So all of us have spent our lives on this street."
|click arrow to previous page||click arrow to continue|