Something Old, Something New

Local wedding announcements from the early 1900’s offer a peek at fashion and customs here a hundred years ago.

Edwardian wedding gown, 1902

June is historically a month for weddings — not this year, though, thanks to COVID. To celebrate the season of love in 2020, we transcribed a trove of turn-of-the-century wedding announcements from local periodicals like the Suburban Press and the East Falls Herald, which served the area in the early 1900’s.

Each one reveals intimate details: flowers, dresses, honeymoons, relationships. All the better if you recognize some names and addresses! (Originally published Oct 4, 2018)

Fun Facts About the 1910’s:

The American flag had 46 stars.
The population of Las Vegas was 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea had not been invented yet.
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Only 14% of all homes had a bathtub. Just 8% had a phone.
More than 90% of all births took place at home.
Women typically went a month between hair washings.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
Pneumonia/influenza was the leading cause of death.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all perfectly legal over-the-counter medications
18% of households had at least one full-time domestic servant

New developments in business & industry began to change daily life in the US, drawing younger populations from rural areas to factory work in the big cities. The rise of national magazines helped spread interest in fashions and trends, which got flashier and more accessible across the classes. Buildings got zazzier too – Beaux Arts was all the rage.

For most of the decade, women did not have the right to vote but the era is known for Suffragist marches and advocacy. The respectable lady expected to see her name in the papers but three times in her life: at birth, marriage, and death. The common age for marriage among middle class women was 22 years old.

Accompanying images are from a 2016 exhibit by Philadelphia University’s Fashion department that showcased the evolution of the wedding dress and featured a reproduction of Grace Kelly’s world-famous gown.  Additional credits: EF photographer Caity MacLeod 

The wedding of Miss Emily Lincoln Acker to Lieutenant Brown O’Donnel Richmond was solemnized yesterday afternoon at half-past four o’clock in the Tioga Methodist Episcopal Church Eighteenth and Tioga streets. The bride’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. A. Lincoln Acker of 1848 Venango street. Lieutenant Richmond is a graduate of Annapolis.

The maid of honor was Miss Alice Tabram and the best man Lieutenant George F. Parrett. The ushers were Frank S. Foche, Norman Fort, John W. Elstweiler and Chester Graham. There were no bridesmaids.

A quiet but pretty wedding took place Wednesday afternoon, September 20 at 5 o’clock, when Miss Mae Byrne of Calumet Street and Frances J. Golden of Crescent Street were united in marriage by the Rev. Father Leahy at St. Bridget’s Church.

The bridesmaid was Miss Elizabeth J. Golden, sister of the groom. The best man was Hugh Byrne, brother of the bride.

After the wedding ceremony a reception was held at the home of the groom’s mother Mrs. Mary Golden shortly after which the young couple left for an extended honeymoon trip to Washington, D.C. where they will visit the groom’s uncle.  Upon their return Mr. and Mrs. Francis J. Golden will reside at 3117 North Taylor street Philadelphia.

Pretty Wedding at M.E. Church
Miss Chappell Weds Albert Bailey

A beautiful post-Easter wedding took place when Miss Martha Chappell of 3553 Queen lane, and Albert Bailey, from the Panama Canal Zone, were united in marriage Saturday evening at 7 o’clock by the Rev A. Percival Hodgson in Falls Methodist Episcopal Church. The bride was given away by her father, Stephen H. Chappell. She was attended by her sister, Miss Ethel Chappell, and Norman Woolley of Twenty-seventh street and Lehigh avenue, was best man.

The bride was attired in a handsome gown of white crepe de chine with a court train, trimmed with exquisite and incandescent lace. She wore a veil caught up with orange blossoms and carried a bouquet of white roses and maiden-hair ferns. The bridesmaid’s dress was of blue crepe meteor and chiffon, and bouquet consisted of pink roses.

Miss Mariam Wilson of 3553 Queen lane, was flower girl. She was attired in white silk and carried a basket of pink sweet peas. The ushers were Messrs Norman Ward of the Falls, and Frank Lyons, of Germantown.

After the ceremonies a luncheon was served to immediate relatives and friends after which the newly-weds left for New York, where they will remain a week. In this city they will be entertained by fellow employees of the groom at a theatre box party. The couple will make an extended tour of the West and also visit relatives in that section of the country. Before leaving for the Panama Canal Zone the couple will stop over the Falls for 10 days.

Mr. Baily has been in the Panama Canal Zone for the last six years at present being in the municipal engineering division of the zone government.

c. 1866 and 1892

A very pretty wedding took place at St. Bridget’s Church on Wednesday April 28 at 5 o’clock, when Miss Mary A. Di Reso, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N. Dei Reso of 3655 Stanton Street, and Francis Joseph Edeli were united in marriage by the Rev. David Kelly, assistant at the church. The bride wore a beautiful gown of white charmeuse with a court train embroidered in daisies and carried a shower bouquet of bride’s roses and lilies of the valley.

The bridesmaid was Miss Elizabeth Di Reso, a sister of the bride, and the best man was James Alexander, friend of the groom. The bridesmaid wore yellow charmeuse and a Leghorn hat and carried yellow roses. After a wedding supper at the home of the bride’s parents, the young couple left for their honeymoon at Middleport. Upon their return, Mr. and Mrs. Edeli will reside at Wissahickon.

Miss Mary Dougherty, of 3501 Allegheny avenue, and Charles Mahon of 107 Scott’s lane were married June 6 in the afternoon by the Rev. Bernard Gallagher, rector of St. Bridget’s Church. The witnesses to the wedding were Mr. and Mrs. King of Tioga. The newly-weds will reside at New York City.

Miss Mae Kathryn Gordon of 3512 New Queen street and William R. Paul of 136 East Allegheny avenue, Kensington were united in marriage last Wednesday afternoon by the Rev. David Leahy in St. Bridget’s rectory. The bride was attended by her sister Geraldine and her brother Vincent acted as best man.

After the wedding ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. K. Gordon, on New Queen street.  The honeymoon was spent at Atlantic City.  

The bride’s costume consisted of a Burgundy cloth suit and a silver lace hat. The bouquet was made up of orchids and lilies of the valley. The bridesmaid wore a coat suit of mid-night blue and her hat was of corn color and the bouquet was of gardenias.

The young bride was the central figure a few weeks ago when she received numerous gifts for her household.

At 6.25 P. M. Saturday, August 8 in the Church of St. James the Less. Miss Elsie R. Grindrod and Thomas Talbert were united in the bonds of matrimony. The pastor Rev. Edward R Ritchie officiated.

Miss Elizabeth Grindrod was bridesmaid and Charles P. McDermott was best man. After the ceremony a reception was held at the bride’s home 2081 East Chelten avenue after which the happy couple left for Newport News, Va.

The bride formerly resided in East Falls. Mr. Talbert is a construction officer in the U.S. Navy and expects to sail shortly overseas.

Thos. J. Hohenadel Is Quietly Wed
Bride Is Daughter of Jacob Moosbrugger

Miss Matilda Moosbrugger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Moosbruger, of 3506 Queen lane and Thomas J. Hohenadel, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hohenadel, of 3617 Queen lane, were quietly married Saturday afternoon by the Rev. P. S. Baringer, pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.

The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Sophia Moosbrugger and the best man was Harry Harbach of Seymour street, Germantown, uncle of the groom.

The bridge was attired in a white broadcloth suit and wore a Leghorn hat trimmed in pink and blue. Her bouquet consisted of gardenias and white sweet peas. The bridesmaid’s dress was of gray crepe de chine. The hat was black with pink trimmings. The corsage bouquet consisted of pink sweet peas.

After the wedding ceremony a luncheon was served at the home of the bride’s parents on Queen lane, only the immediate relatives being present. The young couple are spending their honeymoon at Atlantic City and upon their return will reside at 5407 Laurens street, Germantown.

Thomas J. Hohenadel is associated with his father in the brewing business.

Thomas E. James of Queen Lane and Miss Lillian E. Williams of Olney, were married last Wednesday at the home of the bride’s parents by the pastor of the Olney Methodist Church. The bride was given away by her father and the matron of honor was Mrs. Fred Grundy formerly of the Falls, a friend of the bride. Fred Grundy was best man.

The bride wore a gown of white satin and tulle and had a shower bouquet of white roses and lilies of the valley. The dress of the matron of honor was of pale blue taffeta and she carried pink roses. The little flower girls who served the bride were in white sheer dresses with pale blue ribbons and they had baskets of flowers.

The young couple are at home near twenty-seventh and Cambria streets after a honeymoon trip which included New York City and principal points in the South. Mr. James is connected with the Germantown office of the Bureau of Highways in the City.

A quiet but happy wedding took place in the Falls Presbyterian Church, at 4 P.M. Wednesday, when Anna O. Lane of 4223 Ridge avenue was united in marriage with Louis D. Morrow, of 3692 Calumet street.

Miss Mary McCarty attended the bride, while John Morrow, a brother of the bridegroom, acted as best man. Miss Lane was born in Glasgow Scotland, and came to this country in November, 1923, and settled in the Falls.

With Miss Lane, on her journey from her native land, were her mother and Miss Lane’s sister, Mary, who was also married in the Falls Presbyterian Church, to Thomas Lindsay. The latter had left his boyhood sweetheart, to come to America. Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay and Mrs. Morrow’s mother are now residents of Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr. Morrow was born and has lived all of his life in the same house in the Falls and is engaged in the plumbing business.

circa 1920’s

The marriage of Miss Mary R. Lawlor and John A. Buchheit was solemnized Wednesday afternoon, February 6 by the Rev. Everling of St. Bridget’s Church.  Attending the bride was the sister of the groom, Miss Mary Buchheit and Joseph Lawlor, brother the bride was best man.

The bride’s dress was of Georgette cloth and white satin and her bouquet consisted of pale pink roses, while the bridesmaid’s floral bouquet was of red roses.

A reception followed the ceremony at the home the bride’s parents, 3436 Sunnyside avenue. The honeymoon was spent at Tuscarora, Penna., former home town of the bride. The newlyweds will reside at 3436 Sunnyside avenue.

John M. Maloney, of 163 Arnold street, recently appointed Fairmount street Park guard, and Miss Reba Lipsett of 6020 Norwood street, Germantown were married yesterday afternoon at four o’clock in the Immaculate Conception Church, Germantown, by the Rev. Father Higgins. The bride was attended by Miss Marie Brennan of 5625 Nelson street, Germantown, a friend, and the best man was the groom’s brother, Joseph Maloney.

The bride wore a handsome gown of white bridal satin and a veil surmounted by small flowers, and carried a shower bouquet of white roses and lilies-of-the-valley. The bridesmaid’s dress was of white crepe de Chine with pink trimming, and her bouquet consisted of pink roses.

A reception followed the wedding ceremony, after which the young couple left for parts unknown. They will be at home at 2006 Church lane, East Germantown. Many relatives and friends from the Falls were present at the wedding ceremony and reception.

Miss Bessie G. Marley daughter of William E. Marley of Ridge avenue will be married today at one thirty o’clock to William Ferguson of Sunnyside Avenue, by Rev. Henry F. Hale at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. The bridesmaid will be Miss Jenny Ferguson, sister of the groom and William Marley, brother of the bride will be best man. The father of the bride, William E. Marley will give her away. A reception from two to five o’clock at the home of the bride’s parents will follow. Afterwards they couple will take a honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls and Canada.

The bride will be attired in a handsome gown of white duchess satin trimmed with lace, and in her hand will bear a large bouquet of white roses. The bridesmaid will wear a dress of crepe de chine and carry a bouquet of pink roses

Miss Elizabeth Murphy 3451 Sunnyside avenue and William Long 869 Bucknell street, Philadelphia, were quietly married in St. James R. C. Church, West Philadelphia in on June 7.  The bride was attended by her sister Miss Mary Murphy, of New Haven Conn., and the best man was Daniel Burns, of West Philadelphia. The young couple live at 889 North Forty-ninth street West Philadelphia

Miss Annie E. Parker, of 177 Haywood street, and William E. Yarnall, of 2842 West Albert street, Philadelphia, were quietly married last Wednesday afternoon at 3 o’clock by the Rev. P.C. Cox in the parsonage of the Devereux Memorial Church. The young couple then left for a short honeymoon trip, and are now living at 3133 Pennock street, Philadelphia.

Detailing on 1850’s dress

The marriage of Miss Mary C. Reiley, daughter of Mrs. Rose Timperley Reiley, of 175 Dupont street and Mr. Michael Joseph Ennis, Jr., son of Mr. and Mr. Michael J. Ennis, of Chestnut Hill, took place on Saturday, September 14th at 10 o’clock in the Holy Family Church. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. William Grace who was also the celebrant of the nuptial mass. The bride was attended by her sister, Miss. Josephine M. Reiley, as maid of honor and the bridesmaids were Miss Francis M. Reiley, another sister of the bride and Miss Irene Rowland Mr. Joseph D. Reiley, brother of the bride, was best man.

The ushers were Mr. Francis J. Hecker and Mr. George E, Smith, Jr. Several solo selections were rendered by Miss Ann Hardwick. A wedding breakfast immediately followed the ceremony and in the evening a reception was held at the Ridgeway Club.

Miss Laura Linn Scott, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Scott of 3563 Queen lane and William Jones of 3567 Queen lane, were married Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Parsonage of the Falls Baptist Church by the Rev. Dr. Charles L. Seasholes. Attending the bride was Miss Marion Oldham of Queen lane; the best man was Harry Binkin of Queen lane.

The bride’s gown was of white embroidered net and her shower bouquet consisted of white roses and white asters. The bridesmaid’s dress was of lemon taffeta and her corsage was made up of lavender asters.

Following the wedding ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents of Queen lane. The newlyweds then left on their honeymoon trip for Cincinnati, Ohio, where they will remain for several weeks.

Upon their return Mr. and Mrs. William Jones will reside 3307 Queen lane. Mr. Jones is employed as mechanic with the firm of Butterworth Brothers in Kensington.

Taylor Spink, nephew of William Spink who is a Manayunk manufacturer and a director of the Bank of East Falls and Miss Jessie Molyneux, daughter of Mrs. Thomas S. Molyneux, of 3445 Queen Lane, were united in marriage at a pretty church wedding in St. James the Less on Wednesday afternoon, December 11 at 1 o’clock by the rector, the Rev. Edward Ritchie.

The bride who wore a handsome gown of white georgette embroidered with silver and carried a shower bouquet of lavender orchids and white roses, was given away by her brother, William Moyneux.

The maid of honor was Miss Minnie Reif of Tioga, friend of the bride, who wore pink georgette. The bridesmaid, Miss Ethel Kennedy of Olney was attired in a lavender dress. The young ladies each carried a bouquet of yellow tea roses tied with turquoise blue ribbon.

The flower girl was the niece of the bride, little Miss Helen L. Molyneux, who carried a large basket full of sweetheart roses. Her dress was of white net over pink and her hat of pink georgette.

The best man was Bert Yeabsley, friend of the groom. The ushers in attendance were the Messrs. Earl Brewer, Lees Farrand, Raymond Stout, Lester Blankin, and William D. Grindrod.

The young couple, whose residence is at 3421 Queen Lane, have been very reticent as to where they spent their honeymoon, not letting a shred of evidence be found against them.

Miss Mary Sumner Weds Arnold West: Bride is Daughter of 21st Ward Republican Leader.

Miss Mary Sumner, daughter of Joseph Sumner, Republican leader in the Twenty-first ward, and Arnold West, of Bowman street, were united in marriage by the Rev. Alfred Stork in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Terrace and Seville streets, Wissahickon, on Wednesday evening, June 7.

The bride, attired in a handsome gown of white Duchess satin and wearing a veil draped with orange blossoms entered the church on the arm of her father. She carried a shower bouquet of white sweet peas.

The flower girl, dressed in white and pink, was Miss Lulu Shronk, of Roxborough, and she carried a basket of pink sweet peas. The bridesmaid was her cousin, Miss Edna Rothwell, of Logan, who wore a dress of turquoise blue chiffon silk and carried a shower bouquet of pink sweet peas.

The best man was Joseph Sumner, Jr. brother of the bride. The ushers at the ceremony were Edward Roelof, nephew of the Stetson’s, hat manufacturer, of Broad and Montgomery avenue, Philadelphia; Robert Bailey, of Midvale avenue, and Charles Beckett, of Germantown.

After the wedding a reception took place at the home of the bride’s parents, 4138 Terrace street, Wissahickon. About 10 o’clock in the evening the newly-wed couple left on their honeymoon trip.

The young folks were the recipients of many handsome gifts, the list being so large that no enumeration could be made. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold West will reside at 1156 Wagner avenue, Logan.
Mr. West is a constructional draughtsman at the Pencoyd plant of the American Bridge Company. He is a graduate of Central High School, Drexel Institute and is now taking a course of studies at Temple College.

Miss Tasker Weds Norristown Man

The marriage of Miss Sarah A Tasker, daughter of Mr. Clifton Tasker of 3515 North 35th Street to Mr. John F. Daily, of Norristown PA took place Saturday October 27 at 4 o’clock at the Church of St. James the Less at Thirty-third and Clearfield streets.

The bride, who was given away b her father, wore a gown of white satin crepe trimmed with pearls and white satin slippers trimmed with lace and orange blossoms. Her veil was cap-shaped of white tulle with real lace and orange blossoms. She carried a shower bouquet of white roses and lilies of the valley.

The bride’s sister, Mrs. Bedford Eastwood, who was matron of honor, wore a dress of yellow crepe satin with satin slippers to match and a brown velvet hat. She carried yellow chrysanthemums and autumn leaves.

The bridesmaid, Mrs. Joseph Bader, wore a dress of orchid satin crepe and rhinestones with silver slippers. Her hat was of purple velvet. She carried orchid chrysanthemums and autumn leaves.

Mr. Albert Daily, brother of the groom, was the best man. The ushers were Mr. Frank Roy and Mr. Joseph Bader.

At Dawning” and “Oh Promise Me,” were sung by Mrs. Frank Foy. The happy couple are spending their honeymoon at Atlantic City. After their return they will reside at 3515 North Thirty-fifth street, East Falls.

Miss Helen Tyrrell of 3329 Krail street and James E. Durkin of 3127 North Thirteenth street, were united in marriage by the Rev. David Leahy at a Nuptial Mass held in St. Bridget’s Church, Tuesday morning. The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Hattie Tyrell, and the best man was Benjamin Lees of Kensington, friend of the groom.

The dress of the bride was of white crêpe de chine trimmed with Duchess lace and she wore a white picture hat and carried a bouquet of white roses and maiden hair fern. The bridesmaid’s dress was of white crepe de chine and she wore a Leghorn hat trimmed with red roses and carried a bouquet of red roses.

After a short reception the young couple left for a tour of South including a visit to the nation’s capital.  They will reside at 3127 North Thirteenth street, Philadelphia.

Brides in All Eras Reflect Their Own Personal Styles…

1932, ivory satin
c. 1966
Grace Kelly’s wedding to Prince Albert of Monaco (1956)
Reproduction of Grace Kelly’s gown (on display at Gutman Library 2016)
Detailing on Grace Kelly’s gown

BONUS: Captured by Caity’s “Best of the Best” Philly Wedding Vendors 2018

Florals: Papertini (Old City), Vault + Vine (East Falls)
Caterers: Feast Your Eyes (Fishtown), Balboa (Fishtown)
Venues: FAME (North Kensington), Terrain (Glen Mills), Center for Architecture (Center City)
Hair: Mack Stylist (East Falls)
Hair & Makeup: Lather Studio (N. Philly), OLNO Beauty (Mt. Airy), aka
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