Pehr Kalm, Swedish naturalist, during a visit of the 13 Colonies in 1749

“Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by the famous Quaker William Penn. (…) In 1749, the town consisted of 2,076 houses. Most streets were beautiful, cut at right angles. Some were paved. (…) The homes, of stone or brick, several storeys high, were tastefully built and covered in white cedar shingles. (…) Roof gutters extended almost to the middle of the street, which was advantageous to the owners, but very inconvenient for pedestrians on rainy days. Churches are plentiful, for God is served in different ways in this country. (…) The City Hall is a beautiful building, very spacious, surpassed by a bell tower. One wing was occupied by the provincial library, founded in 1742 by Franklin, and which contains superb collections of English, French and Latin books, instruments of physics and mathematics and natural curiosities. (…) The city was not surrounded by walls. Lastly, the courthouse was located on Market Street. (…) There were two major festivals each year in Philadelphia, one in May and the other in November.”