Philcon I

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(For other "Philcons" see Philcon (Disambiguation).)


The fifth Worldcon, and first in Philadelphia, Philcon I was held August 30 to September 1, 1947, in the Penn-Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia, PA. The GoH was John W. Campbell, Jr..

L. Jerome Stanton was Toastmaster and Milton Rothman was chairman. Attendance was about 160. See Philcon I Membership List.

The convention was (nominally, anyway) put on by the Philcon Society which was an open membership group that existed for that sole purpose. The committee was: Oswald Train, Robert A. Madle, Jack Agnew, A. E. Waldo, James A. Williams, A. M. Phillips. Big Pond Fund: F. J. Ackerman, California Representative: James Hevelin, New York Representative: William S. Sykora.

Philadelphia won at the 1947 Worldcon Site Selection at Pacificon in 1946. In the 1948 Worldcon Site Selection, there were two bids for the 1948 Worldcon, Toronto in 1948 and Milwaukee in 1948.


Activities[edit]

Philcon was just a bit rowdy. In All Our Yesterdays, Harry Warner reports that

Perhaps the first of the big drunken worldcon parties followed in the Hadley suite where Fantasy Press and Prime Press provided much liquor. Fans gaped in disbelief at Campbell sitting on the floor, helping Hubert Rogers and Benson Dooling to sing a variety of bawdy ditties. 

The hotel staff did not interrupt, because there was a Sigma Alpha Rho convention in the hotel, and the kids got blamed for all the noise that the fans made. This demonstrated Emerson's philosophy about compensation, as applied to fandom, because, at the Pacificon, the other convention in the meeting place had been that of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Fireworks Furor[edit]

But that's not all! At some point during the drinking session in the Hadley suite, Jack Speer remembered that he had fireworks in his car, Quintessence of FooFoo. He, Al Lopez, Ron Christensen, and Chan Davis went down, retrieved the fireworks and started setting them off. After the police came by and warned them to stop, they returned to the hotel and started setting them off from the various fire escapes (in those days a hotel was frequently festooned with fire escapes). The police did not find this amusing, and the fans paid $5 each for disturbing the peace. (It did not go entirely to waste because the Willy Ley used the fireworks to find his way to the hotel.)

Program[edit]

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30[edit]

* Afternoon Session: 1 p.m.
* Greetings and introductions by the Chairman.
* Main Speaker: John W. Campbell (on Atomic Power).
* Intermission: 15 minutes.
* The Editors Speak. (Sam Merwin)
* Introduction of Resolutions and Discussion of Fan Business.
* Evening Session: 8 p.m.
* Messages from Publishers.
* Auction of Books and Original Illustrations. (Sam Moskowitz and Erle Korshak)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31[edit]

* Afternoon Session: 1 p.m.
* Speaker: L. Sprague de Camp, "Adventures in the Occult."
* Discussion: "Is Science Catching up with Science: Fiction?" Conducted by Chan Davis.
* Intermission.
* Speaker: Erle M. Korshak. "The Collecting and Enjoyment of Fantasy Literature."
* The Eastern Science Fiction Association. (meeting)
* Evening Session: 8 p.m. 
* Entertainment by fans and authors, L. Jerome Stanton, Master of Ceremonies.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1[edit]

* Afternoon Session: 1 p.m.
* Speaker: George O. Smith.
* Symposium on Interplanetary Travel: Willy Ley, Thomas Gardner, Ph.D.
* Intermission.
* Fan business, final discussion on resolutions, financial report, choosing of site for next convention.
* Banquet: 7 p.m.

More reading[edit]

From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959
from Convention PhilCon I produced by the Philadelphia SFS was loaded, chairman Rothman selfcriticizes, with too much heavy science on the program, but Speer and some friends managed to lighten things up a little with the Fireworks Furor.



Pacificon I Worldcon Bidding,  Hugos Torcon I
first Philcon Philcon II
Reasonator 1947
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