JOHN WESLEY YATES JR. was born on April 20, 1900 to John W. and Louisa Yates. The  Yates family was living in Stockton Township (present day East Camden) as early as 1850, coming to the area from the Kensington section of Philadelphia. He grew up in East Camden, at  107 Marlton Avenue, and in the late 1910s and early 1920s at 25 North 23rd Street in East Camden. The Census shows John W. Yates Jr. living with his parents and sisters Esther, Sylvia, and Alberta at that address. He was then a soldier with the United States Army.

By 1924 John W. Yates Jr. had married Mary Jones and taken up the boilermaker's profession. They were then living at 928 Woodland Avenue and stayed their into the 1930s. When the Census was taken in April of 1930 the Yates family included two daughters, Florence and Ruth. One son would follow, John W. Yates III. By 1947 the Yates family had moved to 2400 South 8th Street.

On February 1, 1930 John W. Yates Jr. joined the Camden Fire Department. After serving with distinction for 35 years, he retired on April 1, 1965. Last a resident of  Absecon, New Jersey, John W. Yates Jr. passed away on August 7, 1974. His grandson, David Yates, was named Chief of the Camden Fire Department on June 1, 2010, and served in that capacity until his retirement on December 31, 2010 after serving for over 25 years.

During the mid-1950s, John W. Yates took a number of photographs of Camden from within the fire engine he was riding in. His grandson, David Yates, found a number of them, has scanned them and made them available to this website. You can read more about John W. Yates Jr. and his life and times by clicking here.

The photos below appear to be have been taken prior to 1957.


Click on Images to Enlarge

 Looking north on Broadway at Ferry Avenue

 Looking south on Broadway at Spruce Street

 Looking south on Broadway at Kaighn Avenue

Southwest corner of Broadway and Mickle Street. The signs were for businesses at 201-203 Broadway. The building where the roof is visible at the bottom is 111 Broadway.B

Looking east on Everett Street towards the intersection of South 9th Street and Everett Street.

Looking west from South 8th Street north of the railroad tracks at Bulson Street
On the far right, rear of 2142 and 2144 Kossuth Street in Chelton Terrace Public Housing Project
At far left, the Barry Bronze Bearing Company at 724
Bulson Street.

Looking south on South 9th Street to the intersection at Bulson Street

Looking south on South 5th Street to the intersection of South 5th Street & Pine Street

South 7th Street, between Kaighn Avenue and Liberty Street. Building on far left was National Electric Supply. This building, and the other buildings, by then abandoned, had belonged to the Congoleum-Nairn  Company Inc., flooring manufacturs. 

Looking East on South 11th Street, towards the Armory-Public Works Building on Wright Avenue

View of Camden and of the underside of the Ben Franklin Bridge, as seen from Philadelphia