“Real Philly History, Real Fast” Provides 51 Reasons to Travel to Philly

A unique book on Philadelphia gives visitors many new reasons to visit the city William Penn founded in 1682.

Published by Temple University Press, “Real Philly History, Real Fast” provides 51 punchy profiles about Philadelphia heroes and historic sites, says Jim Murphy, a first-time author in his late 70s.

The book’s subjects range from the Acadians and the Mason-Dixon Survey to the Ninth Street Market and Isaiah Zagar of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.

“It’s history for everyone,” Murphy says, “for those who live in Philly and those just visiting. Short 3-to-4-page chapters on 51 intriguing subjects. Each with an informative headline and subhead, easy-to-read bullet copy, short, paragraphs, Fast Facts, a photo, and a list of nearby attractions.”

Murphy says, “I’ve never seen another travel book or guidebook like this in Philadelphia or anywhere else. You can read the book in quick bites. And if you don’t like one story, you can just jump to the next.”

Murphy says “Real Philly History, Real Fast” is the first guidebook he’s seen that includes stories on The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The Library Company of Philadelphia and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

Readers will discover interesting facts on every page that make touring Philadelphia far more enjoyable, he says.

Murphy, a certified tour guide, self-described amateur historian and marketing copywriter, has run his own business since 2004.

For nine years, Murphy wrote and edited Choices, an award-winning magazine with a circulation of 80,000 copies, for the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) headquartered in Delaware County.

This book answers such questions as:

  • What unique skill saved black businessman James Forten from a life of West Indian slavery?
  • Where is the first Pennsylvania historic marker in Philadelphia located with the word “riot” in the title?
  • What’s the name of the oldest quarantine station in the Western Hemisphere?
  • Which famous Philadelphia painter may have gotten his artistic talent from a noted forger – his father – who was exiled from England?
  • Where was the Liberty Bell secretly damaged?