Philcon II

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

Philcon II banquet.

The 11th Worldcon, held September 5–7, 1953, at the Bellevue-Strafford Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was officially known as "The 11th World Science Fiction Convention," but it was popularly called Philcon II and that's how it is remembered.

The GoH was Willy Ley and Isaac Asimov was Toastmaster. It was chaired by Milton Rothman, who replaced James A. Williams, the original chairman, upon his death. Tom Clareson was Vice-Chairman.

PR 1 was edited by Dave Hammond and Alan E. Nourse, PRs 2 and 3 by Nourse and William J. Jenkins, PR 4 by Jenkins, and the Program Book by Dave Kyle. This seems to have been the first Worldcon with a convention newsletter. The fancy printed convention newsletter, the Philcon Reporter, was edited by Dave Kyle with a big staff.

Philcon II instituted the Hugo Awards: See The First Hugos, 1953 Hugos.

Tetsu Yano became the first Japanese fan and pro to attend a Worldcon at Philcon II, due to the efforts of Forry Ackerman’s Project: East Meets West.

There was some ill-feeling during the 1953 Site Selection at Chicon II, when the spur-of-the-moment Philadelphia bid (see The Story Behind Philly in '53) beat a San Francisco bid for the con. This led to the adoption of the rotation plan. Other bidders were Cleveland in 1953, Indianapolis in '53, Queens SFL in '53, and Niagara Falls in '53.

Because so many fans felt that Philly had unfairly taken the 1953 Worldcon from San Francisco, in the 1954 Site Selection, they awarded them the 12th Worldcon -- in spite of there being no San Francisco bid and only one San Francisco fan at the convention: and he wasn’t there at the time!

Philcon II publications and photos on

Con Reports:

From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
from Convention PhilCon II saw an incredibly lengthy auction session managed by L Sprague deCamp but was fannishly marked by the irruption of the 7th Fandom faction, organized earlier in the summer. Early mutterings of the advisability of incorporating were heard and the rotation plan, which regularized the idea of holding cons in Eastern, Central, and Western locations successively ("orderly progression westward") was adopted.

Chicon II Worldcon - Bidding - Hugos SFCon
Philcon Pennsylvania Worldcons Pittcon
This is a convention page. Please extend it by adding information about the convention, including dates, GoHs, convention chairman, locale, sponsoring organization, external links to convention pages, awards given, the program, notable events, anecdotes, pictures, scans of publications, pictures of T-shirts, con reports, etc.