- Historic Sites
The simple, affectionate water colors of an unassuming Scots immigrant, David J. Kennedy, bring back the Philadelphia of 1876 and our first great world’s fair
December 1971 | Volume 23, Issue 1
He had one business investment, in his later years, in a company producing the “Philadelphia busybody,” an arrangement of mirrors in a tin frame that, fixed outside a secondstory window, enabled the housewife within to see who stood on the doorstep or walked in the street. In times past there was hardly a block of row houses in Philadelphia without several busy-bodies projecting, as now air conditioners do, from upper windows.
Kennedy closed his brief memoir of his life in 1879: My dear darling wife Morgiana took sick on Feby 21 st 1879 and died on the 20th of Pneumonia & heart disease, only 5 days sick. She was the bright & shining light of my married life. No one ever enjoyed a happier married life than we, and to her good judgement, care and prudence I owe all my success in life. She was a good, thoughtful, kind, selfsacrificing creature as ever lived, always readv to help others regardless of self. She now lies in Laurel Hill where I !shall] shortly join her.
His life went on quietly thereafter. His last dated water color was done in 1893. He died at Philadelphia in 1898.