Join the author of “Acres of Skin” as he shares the challenges of researching history and a story of national significance about human exploitation in the name of medical science at NE Philadelphia’s former, historic Holmesburg Prison. A subject of the experiments will offer an insider’s look at the prison.
Preserving and Presenting the History of Northeast Philadelphia since 1905
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF FRANKFORD
THE CENTER FOR NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA HISTORY
America’s Legendary Kensington & Allegheny (K&A) Second Story Men
Allen M Hornblum
“Confessions of a Second Story Man – Junior Kripplebauer and the K & A Gang”
Tuesday, 10 April 2012; 7:30pm
Historical Society of Frankford
1507 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124
Author Hornblum will not only present a fascinating insider’s look at the perils of writing a book about a culture of crime – but has invited several of the now retired K & A denizens featured in his book to participate in sharing their history-making exploits.
“From the 1950’s to the 1970’s, throughout the United States, the ragtag crew known as the K & A Gang robbed wealthy suburban neighborhoods with assembly line skills. It was hard to imagine a more unlikely crew of successful thieves, writes Allen Hornblum. (They were) two-fisted, beer-guzzling, ear- and nose-biting hoodlums from a blue collar section of Philadelphia called Kensington. The gang infuriated homeowners and baffled police up and down the east coast. Confessions of a Second Story Man follows the gang as they move in and out of homes, courtrooms, and prisons, and even go on the run. Hornblum describes the transformation of the K & A Gang from a group of blue collar thieves to their work in conjunction with numerous organized crime families and their role in making Philadelphia the meth capitol of the nation. This will be a compelling presentation about a fascinating bunch of hoodlums.”
The legendary Kensington & Allegheny “second story” men of the 1950-70’s were nationally known for their “art of burglary” – from Boca Raton to Bar Harbor. Northeast Philadelphia’s Allen M Hornblum, Assistant Professor, Temple University Department of Geography/Urban Studies, reveals the challenges that come with writing about these notorious area denizens.
The monthly public membership meetings of the Historical Society of Frankford, established in 1905, are held in its own Museum and Library, built in 1930. Attendees have the opportunity to enjoy the Society’s collections and exhibitions and learn something new each month. Following the program, light refreshments are served so participants and presenters can refresh and exchange ideas on the topic.
If you can imagine a man living around Kindred and Castor as a spy that was known throughout the world, you have a great imagination but its true. Allen Hornblum (author of “The Invisible harry Gold: The Man Who Gave the Soviets the Atom Bomb“) mesmerized the crowd back on May 14th at the Historical Society of Frankford as he spun the tale of an ordinary man who did a very bad thing. A Philadelphia guy who got into industrial espionage in the thirties when he was recruited by the Soviets. He was so unassuming that you would never suspect he was a key player in the plot to steal the secrets of the Aomic bomb by the Soviet Union.
In the end he repented, confessed and went to prison. Others conspirators denied the truth until the end. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953. Don’t ever pass up an opportunity to see Allen Hornblum in person. He tells a great story.
The HSF has another great program coming up in a few weeks. On June 14th they will be having their annual Antique and Collectible Appraisal fundraiser. Appraisals will only cost $8.00 per item and it is a fundraiser for the Society so it is money well spent. Watch the Gazette for details.
Preserving and Presenting the History of Northeast Philadelphia
Did you know that a crucial actor in the most disastrous case of espionage in the history of the world lived among us and within living memory? Noted author Hornblum shares the history-making story of NE Phila’s Harry Gold.
Have your antiques & collectibles valued by renowned Philadelphia auctioneer Barry Slosberg. Who knows, you may have a priceless treasure just waiting to be discovered! You do not need to bring an appraisal item to attend – but a sweet refreshment for our annual social would be appreciated. COST: $8.00/item; maximum 3 items/person.