(Photo via PhillyHistory.org)
The idea was simple enough: post old photos of Philadelphia on Facebook.
Three years later, the Facebook group “Old Images of Philadelphia” has more than 48,000 fans, more than 25,000 photos (the most of any page on Facebook, according to a status update) and even a potential TV spot, according to another recent status update.
“OMG !!! TV has contacted Old Images of Philadelphia, the popularity of this page is a little bit overwhelming for me. I’m going to keep you guys posted on the details !” the page’s founder posted.
Many of the photos come from the Temple University Urban Archives and the city’s Department of Records via its popular PhillyHistory.org site.
The man behind the photos and the charming, emoticon-laden status updates is retired sheet-metal worker Carl Manley, Philadelphia Magazine reported. He credits his mother, who passed away before the site grew to such popularity, with infecting him with the history bug. She would take him to local landmarks, he told Technical.ly Philly, and “that’s how my infatuation with the city started.”
“It’s sort of like therapy,” says Carl Manley, the 48-year-old local-history buff, born-and-bred West Philadelphian and self-described “History Channel freak” who started the page. “It was never my intent to make something that would touch people emotionally and spiritually, but the feedback is remarkable and overwhelms me. My page is tying into their memory banks.”
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