A fascinating journey through 300 years of food marketing in Philadelphia.
Helen Tangires, author of Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America
Intriguing ... reveals the evolution of an important market.
Daniel Lieberman, executive director, Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, Seattle
Reading Terminal Market has been at the heart of Philadelphia’s commercial and social life from the beginning of its long and tumultuous history. Growing out of the first open-air markets of the colonial city, Reading Terminal Market—like all venerable institutions—has survived to its present vibrant form by adapting to and initiating change.
An innovator in cold storage at the end of the nineteenth century, the market established new standards for the buying and selling of food, revolutionizing the industry. Over the next century, it responded nimbly to the advent of the telephone and the automobile, and dodged threats from the Reading Railroad, the Great Depression, World War II, the rise of the supermarket and unionization. Today, responding to a renewed yearning for local products, Reading Terminal Market retains its central prominence in the life of Philadelphia.
About the Author
David K. O’Neil, former general manager of the Reading Terminal Market, directed its overall revitalization from 1981 to 1990. He is an international market consultant and an expert in managing and developing public markets and rebuilding local economies.