About this Collection
Water M. Phillips interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders on subjects related to Philadelphia city government and history between the late 1930s and the 1970s. Related collection: Walter M. Phillips, Sr. Papers (Acc. 527)
About this Interview
Abraham Michaels came to Philadelphia in 1954 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He discusses his experience prior to coming to Philadelphia, and how he first came to work for the Philadelphia city government as Refuse Disposal Engineer. Michaels also talks about the government's decision to decrease Philadelphia's air pollution that was caused by the city's own dumps. This required new types of waste disposal. The city had established its plan to get rid of open burning dumps before Michaels arrived, but he continued the project once he began working for the city. Part of his job was to increase the number of incinerators and decrease the number of open burning dumps. Landfills in and outside of the city were built to supplement the incinerators. Environmental impact was also monitored more closely than in previous years. He ends by discussing dumping in the ocean and automobile fragmatizers, and notes that the growing emphasis is on resource recovery as opposed to destruction.
Biographical / Historical Note
Walter M. Phillips, Sr. (1912-1985) was active in Philadelphia civic and political life for over thirty years. He worked and volunteered in a variety of city and regional organizations. After retiring, Phillips initiated an oral history project, interviewing in the 1970s many individuals with whom he had worked.
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This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview. The interviewee/narrator read the transcript and made minor corrections, but the reader should bear in mind that it represents a transcription of the spoken word.
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