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Philadelphia Saving Fund Society (PSFS)

Accession: 1993-302Identifier: 1993-302-I.


  • From the Collection: Creation: 1816-1989

Scope and Contents

Philadelphia Saving Fund Society (PSFS) is organized into ten subseries: Early buildings; PSFS building; Branches; Advertising and promotion; School Bank Program; Thrift Poster Contests; Employees; Events/social activities; Oral history; and Music.

Early buildings subseries includes images of the first six offices in Philadelphia. The photographs are mostly exteriors and void of people. There are some reproductions of historical paintings and engravings. The 7th and Walnut Streets office includes interiors and is the most well documented. The images date from the early 1800s through the 1960s.

PSFS building subseries consists of images of the area before and during construction in 1931. The construction photographs show the demolition of buildings and excavation. The completed structure is extensively photographed and includes both interior and exterior views. There are a series of photographs taken by Richard T. Dooner in 1932, however, these exist mainly as negatives with prints of select images. The original negatives were badly degraded and received conservation treatment in 2009. Copy negatives were made at this time and the negatives were digitized. These digital copies are online in Hagely’s Digital Archives with some additional images from this subseries. There are oversize matted photographic prints which are signed by Richard T. Dooner. There is also an audio tape tour of the building with architect Norman Rice which was recorded in 1983.

Branches subseries contains photographs of city and suburban branches in the greater Philadelphia area. Most of the images show bank exteriors. The photographs of the city branches primarily date from 1924, the suburban branch photographs date from the 1960s and 1970s.

Advertising and promotion subseries consists of publicity photographs, print advertisements, posters, booklets, and signs. The photographs include community projects such as blood drives and marathons, receptions, school visits, anniversaries, awards, and exhibits. There are bank giveaways such as calendars, cash wrappers, rulers, and coin savers. There are a few radio advertisements and branch informational videos.

School Bank Program subseries is largely made up of a scrapbook of group portraits of school children during their visits to the PSFS building. The photographs are arranged alphabetically by the name of the school and dates from the 1950s.. There are few images of a bank exercise taking place at various schools in 1924 and 1959.

Thrift Poster Contests subseries contains photographs of poster entries from 1950 through 1981 (not a complete run). There are also six posters that won the contest in 1952.

Employees subseries is made up of portraits of founders, officers, presidents, board of managers, and employees. There are photographs of employees at work, including security guards. There is one audio cassette tape of dictation in 1982 by Todd Clark, chairman. A few video cassettes of meetings, announcements, and training videos. The founders, officers, and presidents portraits date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The employee photographs date from 1920s through 1964.

Events/social activities subseries includes photographs of PSFS Quarter Century Club Dinners from 1954 to 1985, sports team group portraits, and various social events such as picnics and outings. There are audio cassette tapes of the 1984, 1985, and 1986 shareholders meeting. There is a video of the first annual employee meeting and a retirement party.

Oral history subseries consists of audio recordings with fifteen PSFS employees. The interviews were conducted between 1981 and 1983. The interviewees discuss career paths, relationships between tellers and managers, panics of the 1930s, mortgage experience, training employees, savings banking, mechanics of bookkeeping, senior management in 1934, the PSFS building, commercial mortgages during the depression, PSFS mission and structure, the School Bank program, and marketing. Music subseries is phonographic records of classical music owned by PSFS. There is one wax cylinder.


From the Collection: 31 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Additional Description

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

There are no viewing or listening stations for analog audio, video, or film in the reading room. To access this material, please place a digitization request for the item(s).

Negatives, slides, and film material is housed in cold storage and must reacclimate prior to viewing (Boxes 42-46 and Film Cans 1-13). Please contact staff 48 hours in advance of research visit at

Related Names


Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA