Can’t Go Wrong on Camden

William D Sayrs - Portrait

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.

Read more about the first 100 years of Camden and more articles from the Centennial Mirror

By Commissioner William D. Sayrs, Jr., Director Of Public Works

Streets and domestic water supply and sewage systems.

Three basic elements in the existence of a modern city.

When a community government exerts its utmost powers to provide the highest standards in water, sewage disposal and improved streets, the fundamental steps toward health and progress have been provided.

With the reports of Federal experts as our authority, Camden does not hesitate to proclaim to the world that its water supply is second to none in the country. Artesian wells furnish all of the water consumed here. Analysis shows the supply to have among the highest ratings of cities throughout the country and, as to quantity, our wells and pumping station programs are five years in advance of requirements.

While this book is on the press we are building the first unit of a $2,000,000 sewage disposal plant to augment the existing gravity units.

With relation to streets Camden had a problem confronted by but few Communities.

When the Delaware Bridge was opened in 1926, we found this new interstate highway receiving and discharging more than 1,000,000 automobiles annually into a small area. With this traffic avalanche added to the normal travel and with bus lines crowding main thoroughfares, the city faced a serious paving problem.

The manner in which the emergency was overcome is best illustrated by the fact that Camden is held up as a model to Philadelphia when that city is criticized for failure to adequately care for the situation created by the Delaware Span.

Camden’s determination is to build solidly those essentials in the municipal foundation which assure health, contentment and prosperity. We are adhering diligently to that determination.



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