We hope you’re enjoying the Mummers Parade today. As you may know, this Philadelphia tradition dates back to the 17th century. That’s a lot of parades and a lot of drunken revelry. Because it’s Thursday and because Mummers are insanely photogenic, Billy Penn presents a very specialof #TBT: The Mummers Edition. All photos are from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, via Temple University Libraries.
1890s: A portrayal of the typical clown suit worn by Mummers in the late 19th century.
January 1, 1925: Mummers carry three large quilts down Broad Street.
January, 3, 1933: Mummer Sam Molano stands on some real tall stilts.
1936: George German plays the “Mechanical Man” for the Lobster Club. He was supposed to be demonstrating the mechanical man of the future (we’re still waiting, though!).
December 19, 1937: Mummers prepare costumes that not surprisingly include a significant amount of feathers.
January 1, 1943: James Durning is named champion leader for the String Band division. He has symbols for the Air Force on his costume.
January 1, 1944: The crowd needs to stand atop baskets to catch that sweet Mummer strutting.
January 9, 1964: Mummers don’t actually retire. They just move to Palm Beach, Fla., and do what they do best in a warmer location.
July 6, 1973: Northeast Strutters dress up like firemen.
November 1, 1977: You can’t strut all the time. Mummer takes the escalator at The Gallery.