Old Honesty Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Old Honesty Street
Neighborhood Spring Garden
Origin of name Old Honesty soap
Valley Street (until 1896)
Origin of name Its location in a stream valley
Victoria Street (1896–1910)
Volunteer Street (1910–1922)

Old Honesty Street is named after Old Honesty soap, which was made in a factory on this street by F. L. Falck & Co., founded in 1890 and still in business at least as late as 1969.[1][2][3][4][5] In 1968, 88-year-old Dick Kreis, still selling soap door to door for the company after 74 years, recalled that the soap was named after a brand of tobacco enjoyed by one of the early soapmakers.[6]

The street went through a series of names starting with the letter V before settling on Old Honesty. The 1890 Hopkins atlas shows Valley Street,[7] perhaps because it followed the lower course of a small stream that fed into Spring Garden Run (which flowed along Spring Garden Avenue).[8][9] It was changed to Victoria Street in 1896 by an Allegheny city ordinance, one of over 100 streets renamed to sort out confusion.[10][11] Allegheny was annexed into the City of Pittsburgh in 1907, and in 1910 a Pittsburgh city ordinance changed the names of over 900 streets to eliminate duplicates; Victoria Street was renamed Volunteer Street to distinguish it from Victoria Street in Oakland.[12] Finally the name was changed to Old Honesty Street in 1922.[13]

In a 1937 column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Charles F. Danver humorously contrasted Old Honesty Street with Crooked Way.[14]


  1. Allegheny City Society. Allegheny City, 1840–1907, p. 33. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2007, ISBN 978-0-7385-5500-3. LCCN 2007927944. [view source]allegheny-city
  2. Alyse Horn. "Exploring Spring Garden, past & present." Northside Chronicle (Pittsburgh), Jan. 2017, pp. 1, 13. https://issuu.com/nschron/docs/january-2017.indd; https://www.thenorthsidechronicle.com/spring-garden-a-historic-northside-neighborhood/. [view source]horn
  3. William M. Rimmel. "Old Allegheny." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, vol. 52, no. 2, Apr. 1969, pp. 141–152. https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/view/2998. [view source]rimmel
  4. "Sales of soap company grow: Quality declared to cause demand for local product." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 25, 1931, p. 10. Newspapers.com 90128845. [view source]sales-of-soap
  5. Stewart Love. "Signs of the time." Pittsburgh Album. Pittsburgh Press, Oct. 15, 1961, Sunday ROTO, p. 16. Newspapers.com 149303714. [view source]signs-of-the-time
  6. Margaret Carlin. "The happy philosophy of hard work." Pittsburgh Press, Mar. 10, 1968, Pittsburgh's Family Magazine, p. 6. Newspapers.com 148910708. [view source]happy-philosophy
  7. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Allegheny, vol. 2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1890-volume-2-plat-book-allegheny; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1890-allegheny-vol-2
  8. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1872-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1872
  9. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1882-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1882
  10. "An ordinance changing and establishing the names of avenues, streets, lanes and alleys in the city of Allegheny." Allegheny city ordinance, 1896, no. 166. Passed Mar. 19, 1896; approved Mar. 23, 1896. Reprinted in the Pittsburg Press, Mar. 31, 1896, p. 9 (Newspapers.com 141573537), and Apr. 1, [p. 6] (Newspapers.com 141573556). [view source]ordinance-1896-166
  11. "Wholesale changes: New names are suggested for many streets in Allegheny: Badly mixed nomenclature: The public works committee trying to remedy the trouble now existing—an ordinance which will embrace 125 streets, alleys and places—a reign of confusion." Pittsburg Press, Feb. 13, 1896, p. 4. Newspapers.com 141574402. [view source]wholesale-changes
  12. "An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets, lanes and alleys in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1910, no. 715. Passed Mar. 31, 1910; approved Apr. 5, 1910. Ordinance Book 21, p. 342. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the [Select and Common Councils] of the City of Pittsburgh for the years 1909–1910, appendix, pp. 312–328, Devine & Co., Pittsburgh, 1910 (Google Books doQzAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223832; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1909). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Apr. 19, 1910, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86611990, 86612022), Apr. 20, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86612278, 86612297), and Apr. 21, pp. 10–11 (Newspapers.com 86612601, 86612625). [view source]ordinance-1910-715
  13. "An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets and ways in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1922, no. 333. Passed Sept. 25, 1922; approved Sept. 27, 1922. Ordinance Book 33, p. 597. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh for the year 1922, appendix, pp. 232–233, Kaufman Printing Company, Pittsburgh (Google Books -UEtAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223972; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1922). [view source]ordinance-1922-333
  14. Charles F. Danver. Pittsburghesque. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 12, 1937, p. 8. Newspapers.com 90316941. [view source]danver-1937