Camden’s oldest radio station dates back to September 1925 when it signed on as WFBI at 1270 AM under the ownership of Robert Galvin. The city government became involved soon afterward. The official dedication of the now municipally-owned radio station, rechristened WCAM, occurred in Convention Hall, occurred on March 29, 1926. The station moved, sometime after 1931, to the 17th floor of the new City Hall Building at South 6th and Federal Street. Eventually it was permanently assigned 1310 on the AM band as its frequency.
The Merchants Trust was organized in November of 1911. It was a small bank that catered to Camden’s business community, and was one of many small and medium sized banks active in the 1910s and 1920s. From its founding through his death in 1924 the president of the Merchants Trust was Charles Reynolds. He was succeeded in that position by George Frey. E.G. Robinson served as vice-president all through this time. The new bank acquired the house of Casper T. Sharpless at 18 Broadway, and remodeled it for use as a bank. The Merchants Trust opened its doors for business on March 4, 1912.
This bank traces is roots back to June 16, 1812 when Camden’s first bank was incorporated. It was known as The State Bank at Camden, and retained that name until June 2, 1865, at which time it became a National Bank and its title was made The National State Bank of Camden. This bank did business until the late 1920s at the corner of North 2nd and Market Streets. The National State Bank of Camden merged with the First National Bank under the name First National State Bank on July 1, 1922.
The Central Trust Company organized on April 9, 1891 at Read’s Hall, a building which later housed the Camden Daily Courier newspaper. After receiving its charter on May 8, the Central Trust commenced business on May 11, 1891. The bank was located at 324 Federal Street until April 1, 1892, and then at 323 Federal Street. The Central Trust Company bank building at 4th & Federal Streets was opened on October 31, 1900. The first president was Abraham Anderson, R.F. Bancroft the first vice-president, and Charles C. Pine the first treasurer. Thomas Nekervis was made secretary-treasurer on April 14, 1892. Montreville Shinn was made assistant Secretary-Treasurer on June 16, 1908, and C. Chester Craig was made trust officer on December 17, 1900.
From the 1950s through the early 1970s the bar at 1226 Broadway was known as Bert’s Cafe. It had formerly been known as Buradine’s, and the proprietor at that time was Michael Burgo. By 1959 the bar had changed hands, Bert Bottura being the proprietor, and, appropriately enough was called Bert’s Cafe.
One of the last banks to be organized in Camden, Third National Bank was organized in January of 1928. The new bank survived the depression, and remained in business as the Third National Bank & Trust Company until the 1970s, when it was merged into the United Jersey Bank. Unlike the other Camden banks that survived the Depression, Third National remained primarily a Camden institution.
The Camden Trust traces its origin back to July 1, 1873, when the The Camden Insurance, Safe Deposit & Trust Company, first opened for business, at 224 Federal Street. Over a period of seventy-five years, the bank merged with other local banks such as the Security Trust Company, Central Trust Company, East End Trust Company, and American National Bank Bank. The bank relocated, and underwent name changes prior to achieving it’s “modern” format in 1938. At that point the institution was the largest bank in South Jersey.
789 Chestnut Street apparently was a bar before Prohibition. In 1887 and 1888 Philip Barr is listed in the Camden City Directory as operating a saloon at this address. The 1908 directory shows a John A. Gorman, and the 1918-1919 directory reveals that Walter D. Leonard was the proprietor at that time.
Charles F. Sattler had a liquor license for 109 North 6th Street as early as 1938. Shortly after he renewed his license in June of 1939, the bar appears to have changed hands. The 1940 Camden City Directory shows the bar as being called The Tavern, and that the proprietors were Taggart and Davis.