The year was 1927 and the future had hardly ever looked brighter for the City of Camden. Times were prosperous, business and industry were booming, and the city was full of recently constructed public buildings, civic improvements, schools, the new Delaware River bridge and its new highway to the suburbs. The stock market crash of 1929 and the Depression that followed were in the unimagined future.
It was in these times that Camden prepare for its 100th anniversary, and in this spirit of optimism that the city fathers under the direction of Mayor Winfield S. Price commissioned the booklet whose text you will find below.
The Camden Chamber of Commerce is the clearing house of civic activities. The offices are in the Hotel Walt Whitman Annex on Cooper Street near Broadway. It is supported by the business, professional and civic interests of Camden.
The Chamber of Commerce was formed in April, 1919, through a reorganization of the old Camden Board of Trade.
The Chamber has been a leader in port development movement, and had a major part in the financial and construction program of the Hotel Walt Whitman, which was a community project and has had a tremendous influence on the civic life of Camden.
The Chamber Of Commerce is an organization for service to the businessmen of the City, as well as to residents. Probably no other source in Camden is called upon more frequently for information of various kinds.
Among its many activities are those of protection to members against fraudulent solicitations, the promotion of projects for civic development, such as an airport, convention hall and necessary civic and trade organizations.
But most important at this time is the dual campaign for securing new industries for Camden, and increasing the patronage of local merchants.
The officers for the year 1928 are: Francis B. Wallen, Sr., President; Edward A. Mechling, First Vice-President; Carl R. Evered, Second Vice-President; Elias Davis, Treasurer; Orlando M. Bowen, Assistant Treasurer.
Treasurer; John B. Kates, National Councilor; Frederick L. Mead, C. P. A., Auditor; L. D. Odhner, Executive Secretary; J J. Ruster, Transportation Manager; F. M. Horner, Office Secretary and Notary; F. M. Hadtke, Manager, Information Bureau; A. H. Hill, Assistant to the Executive Secretary.
The Board of Directors is comprised of the following men: A. D. Ambruster, Clinton M. Bardo, R. M. Bickerstaff, E. G. C. Bleakly, Elias Davis, Howard J. Dudley, Carl R. Evered, John B. Kates, Theodore Kausel, J. Lynn Mahaffey, E. A. Mechling, Louis F. Paret, Harry P. Pelouze, Roswell A. Robinson, Sig Schoenagle, Watson Shallcross, H. L. Sommerer, W. Stedman, J. David Stern, and Francis B. Wallen, Sr.
The activities of the Chamber of Commerce are reported each month in a publication entitled, “Greater Camden.”
To any resident of Camden or elsewhere, the Camden Chamber of Commerce extends a sincere invitation to make use of its facilities for providing information about Camden.