Wednesday Open Line


On this date in 1785, the first city directory in the United States was published. Fittingly, it was in the young country’s place of birth — Philadelphia. The directory’s title was the unwieldy “Macpherson’s Directory, for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia, extending to Prime-Street, southward; Maiden-Street, northward; and from the River Delaware to Tenth-Street, westward.” It contained 6,250 resident names. The 1790 Census found Philadelphia’s population to be just over 28,500, making it America’s second largest urban place, behind perpetual first place New York City. Today, Philadelphia is the nation’s fifth largest city, with a population of over 1.5 million people. The 1785 Macpherson’s directory is available online in paperback. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.