Cornerspotter is a Curbed Philly feature in which we show you a historical photo of the city and you tell us where the photo was taken. The prize? Your name here along with our promise to spot you for a soft pretzel. Send your guesses to our tipline: firstname.lastname@example.org
The print above, made in 1882, was titled "The Great Engine Contest on Sunday Evening July 7, 1850 at 5th and Markets Sts" and was by or in the style of Charles H. Spieler. It was published by Philadelphia's Theo Leonhardt & Sons, and prints have sold at auction for anywhere from $500 to a couple thousand dollars, depending on condition. What's significant about this image is that it shows Market Street (then High Street) with its market stalls. Even before its name was changed from High Street to Market Street officially in 1858, the street was known colloquially as Market Street. The stalls were taken down in 1859, but the name stuck.
As for the engine contest, Philadelphia has an important place in firefighting history. Ben Franklin invented the nation's first volunteer firefighting companies, and the first fire insurance company was in Philly too. (If that kind of thing makes your heart beat faster, check out the Fireman's Hall Museum in Old City. Good stuff.)
As for this week's lucky winner, it's West Philadelphia's Kimber Van Sant, who's working towards a Master's in Historic Preservation at Penn. She collects old photographs and has a turn-of-the-century stereoscope and a large collection of stereographs, so historic images are her bag. She's lived in Philly for 10 years now, and is obviously attuned to its contours. Congrats, Kimber!