According to allcitycodes, Philadelphia is one of the most important industrial and commercial centers in the United States. The 1920 census gave as many as 819,000 people (603,237 men and 215,763 women) employed in the various economic activities as follows: agriculture, 3595 individuals; extraction of minerals, 485 industries, 388,690; transport, 66,205; trade, 110,580; public services, 22,065; professions, 42,975; domestic services, 84,455; employees, 99,950. Industries still form the preponderant economic base of the city today. The number of workers employed in the various manufacturing industries was 251,294 in 1909; it was 251,286 in 1914; it rose to 281,105 in 1919, to gradually decrease to 274,319 in 1923 and to 244,655 in 1929. For the same years the number of plants was 8375, 8454, 9064, 6399, 5860 in 1927. The production value had been $ 743,720,000 in 1909; then it had risen to about 2 billion in 1919; in 1923 it was $ 1,998,700,000 and in 1929 it was $ 1,984,760,000.
All the industries are represented there: the steel industries stand out, with over 11,000 workers in 1927; the mechanical industries for the production of railway material (remember the famous Baldwin locomotives, whose factories from the heart of the city have been brought to Eddystone); the industry for the production of electrical equipment (over 10,000 workers in 1927); the naval industries; textile factories (89,000 people employed overall), among which the most important are knitwear (with 15,999 workers in 1909, rising to 21,935 in 1927); hat factories and hat factories; the clothing, cotton and silk industries. There are also important factories for the refining of oil and sugar (especially cane, which is widely imported mainly from the countries of Central America): 1741 people were employed in sugar refineries in 1914, up to 1937 in 1927 (3 factories); of great importance are the tobacco factories, with over 8100 employees in 1927. Given the spread of culture, the numerous newspapers, periodicals and magazines. Philadelphia is also one of the most important publishing centers in the United States, with 620 factories and about 13,000 people employed in 1927: overall the paper and printing industry numbered over 33,000 individuals in that year.
The Port of Philadelphia is entirely riverine and encompasses the Delaware River from the Pennsylvania Railroad bridge at the top of the city at the mouth of the Schuylkilli River over a distance of over 20km .; the lower course of the Schuylkill River from its outlet to Fairmount Dam, with a length of 14 km. The section with the greatest traffic is the one that extends for 10 km. from Greenwich Point, approximately 5 miles. to south of Market Street, Alleghany Avenue, Port Richmond.
The Delaware River is benefited by the tide up to Trenton: the average height of the tide is m. 1.80 in Chester (Pennsylvania), of m. 1.60 in Filadelfia, of m. 1.25 in Trenton (New Jersey). The start of navigability for the Schuylkill River is at Fairmount Dam; the average height of the tide is in this case of m. 1.50. Tidal currents do not exceed the speed of 4-5 km. the hour and very rarely prevent navigation. Going up the Delaware River, the anchors follow one another in the following order: Marcus Hook Anchorage, Port Mifflin Anch., League Island Anch., Greenwich Point Anch. and Port Richmond Anch. The number of piers on the right (western) bank of the river, also including Petty Island, is over 200; on the Schuylkill River, by 70; on the opposite bank to Philadelphia (Camden), of 90.
The trade of the port of Philadelphia presents quite pronounced characteristics. As far as foreign trade is concerned, for the period 1911-1920 there were the following figures: imports 2.8 million tons; exports 3.9 million tons; for internal and local trade, 18-17 million tons. overall. Total foreign trade, both for imports and exports, was 5-6 million tons for the period 1921-1928. As for the type of products traded, imports prevail crude products for industry (iron ores, manganese, etc.), petroleum, food products (sugar); in exports, especially oil and its derivatives, products of the steel industry, coal, wheat and flour, etc.
As far as domestic trade is concerned, the product that generates the most traffic is coal. The states that have the greatest relations with the port of Philadelphia are those of central-western Europe and those of Central and South America; so intense is the trade with the island of Cuba, from which it mainly imports cane sugar, which is refined in the factories of the city; important relations with Great Britain, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, etc., which import, through Philadelphia, a considerable quantity of oil and derivatives, wheat (mainly Italy in the immediate post-war period), industrial products, etc.
Until the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, Philadelphia was the main trading post in the United States; later this pre-eminent position was lost to New York’s advantage.
Philadelphia is the most important railroad center in Pennsylvania: urban and interurban traffic is disposed of by means of underground and elevated power lines, and by means of surface tram lines.
The railway companies, which are based in Philadelphia, are, as has been said, among the most powerful in the United States, such as Baltimore and Ohio RR, Pennsylvania RR, Philadelphia and Reading Ry. Among the smaller ones we will remember the Philadelphia and Beach Haven RR the Atlantic City RR, which connects the metropolis with the great seaside resort of the mid-Atlantic, etc. The basic lines are those that connect Philadelphia with New York to the northeast , With Baltimore and Washington to the southwest , With Pittsburg, Chicago, St. Louis to the west: the city is located on one of the great parallel railway arteries, which lead from ‘Atlantic to the Pacific.
Philadelphia is also a notable aviation center, located on the route of the great Atlantic airline Boston-New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington-Atlanta-Daytona Beach-Miami (Florida) and that of the parallels that from New York to Philadelphia reaches Pittsburgh; from here one branch leads to Chicago, the other to Indianapolis and St. Louis to Kansas City, eastern sections of the great North American transcontinental air arteries.