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The First Wall StreetChestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance$
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Robert E. Wright

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226910260

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226910291.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Building Nest Eggs and Homes

Building Nest Eggs and Homes

(p.104) 7 Building Nest Eggs and Homes
The First Wall Street
University of Chicago Press

In Philadelphia, many of the working poor managed to purchase their own homes, compared to other cities of America. Compared to a Manhattan tenement, even Philadelphia's diminutive bandbox houses were mansions. Best of all, the occupants owned them, and ownership brought pride, stability, and incentives to invest in the community. Philadelphia became the nation's original “City of Homes” for two simple reasons: supply and demand. On the supply side, it boasted a highly competitive home construction industry that erected some fifty-two thousand new houses between 1790 and 1850. On the demand side, early Philadelphians were usually industrious or unusually interested in owning their own homes, and, when it came to home ownership, fared better than their brethren did, mostly because they found it easier to save and to borrow.

Keywords:   homes, occupants, Manhattan tenement, incentives, supply and demand, Philadelphia

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