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Ship Name and Designation History

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Philadelphia Class Protected Cruiser
    Keel Laid 22 March 1888 - Launched 7 September 1889

  1. USS PHILADELPHIA Protected Cruiser No. 4
  2. Commissioned 28 July 1890 - Decommissioned 18 December 1897
    Recommissioned 9 July 1898 - Decommissioned 22 September 1902

  4. Placed In Service as Receiving Ship 12 May 1904
    Reassigned to Prison Ship 4 November 1912
    Reassigned to Receiving Ship 19 January 1916

  6. Designated Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX) 17 July 1920

    Struck from Naval Register 24 November 1926
    Sold at public auction at the Puget Sound Navy Yard 1927


Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

  1. USS Philadelphia Receiving Ship Covers Page 1    (1909-1910)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text

Thumbnail Link
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image

1st Commissioning July 28 1890 to December 18 1897



Kirkham MT


JonBurdett philadelphia 1891.jpg
JonBurdett philadelphia 1891 back.jpg

Incoming mail to USS PHILADELPHIA at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

2nd Commissioning July 9 1898 to September 22 1902


Locy Type SL

Honolulu HI CDS


JonBurdett philadelphia 18990218.jpg
JonBurdett philadelphia 18990218 back.jpg

1899-03-06 - Rockland ME Rec'D


Locy Type SL


GregCiesielski Philadelphia C4 19000618 1 Front.jpg

No Image

Incoming mail for Lt. Frank Schofield (future Admiral)

Receiving Ship 12 May 1904 to 4 November 1912


Locy Type SL

USPO Machine Flag
Bremerton, Wash.


JonBurdett philadelphia c4 19080603.jpg
JonBurdett philadelphia c4 19080603 back.jpg

Postcard use. "The Gorge Bridge, Victoria, B.C."


Locy Type 1



GregCiesielski Philadelphia IX24 19081206 1 Postmark.jpg
GregCiesielski Philadelphia IX24 19081206 1 Back.jpg

From the Steve Shay collection.


Locy Type 1



GregCiesielski Philadelphia IX24 19090511 1 Postmark.jpg
GregCiesielski Philadelphia IX24 19090511 1 Back.jpg


Receiving Ship 10 January 1916 to 24 November 1926


Locy Type 2



JonBurdett pugetsoundreceiving 19160911 pm.jpg
JonBurdett pugetsoundreceiving 19160911.jpg

Censored WWI use, YMCA envelope.


Machine Cancel
Seattle WA

Duplex Cancel
Bremerton WA


JonBurdett philadelphia c4 19060720 back.jpg
JonBurdett philadelphia c4 19060720.jpg

Photo postcard of ship


Other Information

NAMESAKE - Named after the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Six ships of the US Navy have borne the name PHILADELPHIA - USS Philadelphia (1776 Gunboat), USS Philadelphia (1798 36-gun sailing Frigate), USS Philadelphia (1861 Side-wheel Steamer), USS Philadelphia C-4/IX-24,
USS Philadelphia CL-41 and USS Philadelphia SSN-690.



If you have images or information to add to this page, then either contact the Curator or edit this page yourself and add it. See Editing Ship Pages for detailed information on editing this page.


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