Philadelphia's past, and a past president

February 7, 2008 5:47:15 AM PST
No doubt about it, the size and scope of Washington, D.C. befits one of the world's most powerful countries.But more than 200 years ago, the nation's capital was in Philadelphia. And the scale of the government center, like the republic, had yet to grow.

President Washington's house stood at 6th and Market Streets. It is long-gone (no one thought to save it!), but you can see this rare drawing of it at the Atwater Kent Museum.

The museum also owns the watch Thomas Jefferson brought Washington from Paris. Owners have also loaned the museum the desk Washington used as president, just for the exhibit.

The Atwater Kent also has a knife and fork Washington used as a soldier. There is a fragment from the coffin which held his remains until he was entombed at Mount Vernon. And a lock of hair that a note says is Washington's - but there is no way to be certain.

"Philadelphia: The Capital City" opens Saturday, February 9 at the Atwater Kent Musem. It runs through Monday, February 18th (Presidents Day).

WEB LINK: The Atwater Kent Museum