• Businesses of East Falls 80 Years Ago

    Ridge Ave Masons Manana

    Empty storefronts are a problem in many growing communities like East Falls — not just vacancies, but also finding the right businesses to ensure lively streetscapes & commerce, while preserving our historic buildings and regional charm.

    Was East Falls always so tricky for development?

    midvale up from ridg PM

    We might not have answers but in the spirit of Throwback Thursday, here’s a run-down of East Falls businesses from 80+ years ago — at least, those advertising in a 1933 program of Redeemer Lutheran Church‘s romantic comedy “Moon Shy,” performed in Palestine Hall (the Mason/OddFellows building’s 2nd floor theatre). 

    Brownworth PM collage

    The structure also once housed Brownworth photography studio, plus a church and halls for Masonic-type rituals & meetings. This corner of Ridge & Midvale still bustles with activity, but was a day not that long ago when shops and services of all kinds peppered our neighborhood streets, up and down the hills:  tailors, beauty salons, delicatessens…

    These days, “walkability” is a huge buzzword in community planning: from Baby Boomers to Millennials, home buyers are seeking community-driven spaces, with houses and parks and businesses all mixed in. Sounds a lot like East Falls was, 80 years ago.

    (click the images to enlarge, or scroll down to the transcribed text below)

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    Know an East Falls Business We Should Feature? Email editor@EastFallsLocal.com to sic us on ‘em.

    Searchable List of East Falls Businesses advertising in the 1933 playbill of Redeemer Lutheran Church’s romantic comedy, “Moon Shy,” performed in Palestine Hall at Ridge & Midvale:

    Walter A. Costello
    Diamonds – Watches – Jewelry – Sliverware
    3343 West Penn Street

    Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

    Clayton Brother’s Meats & Groceries
    35th (Conrad) and Bowman

    Welsh’s Restaurant
    4213 Ridge Avenue

    East Falls Tailor
    Nick Matregano
    Cleaning, Pressing, Repairing, Shoe Repair
    3654 Midvale Ave

    Falls Pharmacy
    Ridge & Queen Lane

    Quality Shoe Service, two locations:
    35th/Conrad and Ainslie Streets
    4131 Ridge Ave

    Heimlich’s Department Store
    4225 Ridge Ave

    McDermott & Fitzpatrick
    Breyer’s Ice Cream
    35th/Conrad & Sunnyside

    William Turner
    4170 Ridge Ave

    McLaren & Leach
    Groceries & Delicatessen
    35th/Conrad above Indian Queen Lane

    Manor Pastry Shop
    Bread – Rolls – Pies – Cakes
    Tilden Street near Vaux

    Wood’s Beauty Shop
    3638 Midvale Ave

    J. Brown’s Fresh Cut Flowers
    3720 Midvale Ave
    Greeting Cards

    Jim Homeyard
    Fruit and Produce
    Fish & Oysters in Season

    Ridgeway Shoe Repair and Tailoring
    Cleaners and Dryers
    3728 Midvale Ave

    H. Hyde
    3481 Tilden Street

    George Walker
    Quality Coal
    Bowman & Cresson Sts

    East Falls Lumber Company
    Indian Queen Lane &Wiehle St

    P.J. Kelly
    3903 Ridge Ave

    America Hall Garage
    3316 North 35th/Conrad Street

    Falls Hardware Co.
    Ridge & Midvale Aves

    Falls Barber Shop
    3780 Midvale Ave
    Leo Roberts, Prop.

    C. & C. Shires
    Hair Dressing
    4153 Ridge Ave

    James T. Fieldler
    Prescriptions Compounded
    4243 Ridge Ave

    MacFadyen and Grady
    3751 Midvale Ave

    R. Freedman
    Surgeon Dentist
    Corner of Midvale & Ridge Aves

    Althofer’s Electric Shop
    Vaux & Ainslie Streets
    Appliance repair and wiring of all descriptions

    Manor Delicatessen and Grocery
    Vaux and Sunnyside Aves

    Dr. David Shuman
    Osteopathic Physician
    3447 Queen Lane

    Manor Beauty Shop
    Marcel Waving, Facial, Manicuring,
    Shampooing. Finger Waving, Eyebrow Arching,
    Hennas, Hot Oil Treatments
    3517 Indian Queen Lane

    Wesley Foster
    Plumbing, Heating & Roofing
    4259 Ridge Ave

    Midvale Fancy Fruit & Produce
    All Kinds of Seafood in Season
    3722 Midvale Ave

    Sownden’s Market
    Fine Meats & Provisions
    3423 35th/Conrad Street &
    5237 Ridge Ave

    East Falls Jeweler
    Watch, Clock, Optical Repairs
    3506 Sunnyside Ave

    Manor Tailor Shop
    Ladies’ and Gents’
    3500 Vaux Street

    Maguire & O’Rourke
    Meats Noted for Quality
    3618 Calumet Street

    Ester’s Home Beauty Salon
    3787 Midvale Ave

    Hemstitiching, Cloth Coat Re-Lining & Repair
    4178 Ridge

    East Falls Supply Co.
    4164 Ridge Ave

    Falls Ice Co.
    Ridge Ave

    Riviera Beauty Box
    4251 Ridge Ave

    Harry R. Smith
    Real Estate, Insurance, Auto Licenses
    3733 Midvale Ave

    The Gateway Delicatessen
    3700 Midvale Ave



EFHS collects and conserves historical materials from our community's past in order to preserve that heritage for current and future generations.