The Pen & Pencil Club is one of the oldest surviving press clubs in the country. Since 1892, the P&P, as it is affectionately called, has been open daily with nearly no interruption, including during Prohibition and World War II. It is the result of the merging of several membership groups and private clubs dedicated to journalists, editors and other members of the working press.

History of the Pen & Pencil

In 1892, Philadelphia had seven morning and six evening newspapers. The need was obvious: all those reporters and editors needed a place to drink, to socialize, to bitch and to unwind.

So the Pen & Pencil Club was formed by combining the Stylus Club, the Journalist Club of Philadelphia and the Reporters Club. Under its bylaws, the club is controlled by a working press. The club’s founders foresaw “…an oasis, a home, a place of relaxation.”

The club has seen many well-known faces in its history. President William Howard Taft once engaged in bar banter at the P&P until 5 am, after giving his bodyguards the slip. Composer George M. Cohan felt at home here. So did past members sportswriter Red Smith and short story writer Damon Runyon. More recently, professional athletes have broken our official ‘off the record’ policy.

Almost 125 years later, the tradition continues. The Pen & Pencil Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in America, and the second oldest in the world.

If you would like to contact the club please use the ‘Contact the Club‘ link in the left navbar and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Find a full history written by longtime board member Stu Bykofsky here.