Franz Frederick Exner

Franz Frederick Exner

Photo credit: University Archives

Austrian immigrant Franz Frederick Exner came to Penn in 1900 as a graduate student in the Chemistry Ph.D. program. And though Exner and his wife, Hannah Longstreet Blythe Exner, remained in Philadelphia for just three years, they left behind a valuable record of their time: An impressive collection of 43 photographs, taken by Franz, including images of both and Penn and Philadelphia, that is now housed at the University Archives.

Though not a professional photographer (after graduation, Exner moved to Minnesota, where he worked as chemistry professor at Minnesota’s Carleton College for his entire career), Exner nonetheless successfully captured the feel of turn-of-the-century Philadelphia. Among his photographs are images of industrial barges moving down the Schuylkill, a block of West Philadelphia rowhomes, President Theodore Roosevelt’s appearance at Franklin Field for an Army-Navy football game and, in the image above, horse-drawn carriages strolling along the Wissahickon.

For more on this and other notable moments in Penn history, go to the University Archives web site at

Originally published on January 24, 2008