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Will the Real Spiderman Stand Up?
Photograph by Photograph courtesy of the Mummers Museum


Eight-legged wonder, Frank Focacci displays a parade badge as a comic for the League Island Club in the 1922 Mummers parade, which continued a New Year’s tradition almost as old as Philadelphia. Early revelers masqueraded through the streets in the 18th century, firing muskets as they sauntered door to door asking for cakes and ale. During the 19th century the “shooters” formed clubs and competed for prizes from merchants. The press called them Mummers after the English “mumming play,” which in turn probably got its name from the German word for disguise. Originally all Philadelphia’s Mummers, like Focacci, dressed as clowns or in silly or satirical costumes.



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