photograph by Kerry Regan

Ned Drinker, guide

First Per​son Tours

There is nothing new in the world except the history we do not know.           Harry S Truman

                                                                                                                                                                               video by willdrinker.


Guide Services

Sightseers and travelers deserve a "first person" experience while touring.  Visitors should not only learn about and understand this remarkable place/person/thing/event but they should "feel" it, as well.  As much as possible these experiences should be delivered in the context of that moment so that the visitor is fully immersed in the experience.  This is the goal of First Person Tours.

My ancestor and namesake, Edward Drinker, was the first child of English parentage to be born on Philadelphia soil in 1680.  My family is an original Philadelphia family (greeted William Penn when he first arrived) and family members have always written about Philadelphia history.  Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker, kept a diary about her life in Philadelphia from 1758 to 1807 which is an invaluable source for historians.  She traveled to Valley Forge during the encampment of the revolutionary army there to seek the release of her husband, Henry Drinker, and other prominent Quakers, who had been exiled to Virginia for refusing to swear an oath supporting the revolutionary cause.  Their religion forbade the swearing of such an oath even though they were staunch patriots.  My great aunt, Catherine Drinker Bowen, wrote Miracle at Philadelphia about the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

On my grandmother's side of the family I am descended from Arthur Middleton of Charleston, South Carolina, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and an important South Carolinian and plantation owner.  I am also descended from James Logan, William Penn's secretary, later a mayor of Philadelphia, who built Stenton Mansion.  My ancestor, Sidney George Fisher, kept a famous diary from 1834 to 1871.

As a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, I am familiar with, and ready to provide tours for, all of its attractions.  Included in these are: Independence Hall National Historical Park and nearby sights and museums, Fairmount Park, the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Japanese House and Garden, Bartram's Garden, the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Valley Forge, the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, revolutionary battlefields, colleges and universities, New Hope, the Michener Museum, the shrines of St John Neumann and Our Lady of Czestochowa, and many  more.

Following are some of my more popular tours:

Found​ers Walking Tour

The essentials of colonial America in Philadelphia.

The personalities and events that led to the creation of the United States are important for all informed world citizens, especially Americans, to know and understand.  To better live in our world today we need to explore the issues that held the public's attention in the 18th century because "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". (George Santayana)

Corrupt and power-hungry leaders, restricted world trade and troubled race relations were as important to colonial Americans as they are to us today.

The Founders Tour includes the essential sites and topics in American history from the founding of Pennsylvania by William Penn in 1682 to the signing of the US Constitution in 1787.

Fairmount Park Bike Tour

Ride the park that makes the city.

Fairmount Park is one of Philadelphia's greatest treasures.  With over 2000 acres of parkland running along each side of the Schuylkill River, Fairmount Park has always been a place of recreation and respite from city life, as well as the location of the "country seats" of important Philadelphians.

This bike tour through gentle park terrain, will start and end, at the Fairmount Water Works and explore various sites in East Fairmount Park.  Bikes can be obtained from the city bike vendor, Indego, or you may bring you own.

The Bike Tour is at your own risk and will require the signing of a liability release form.

Free Tour

Free tours for disabled individuals with a Pennsylvania Access or Art-Reach card.

Having a son with Down syndrome, I know that individuals with disabilities are not usually exposed to sufficient historical and cultural experiences.  In an effort to overcome that deficiency, groups composed of a ratio of one disabled individual with a Pennsylvania Access or Art-Reach card per 4-person group may enjoy an appropriate version of any First Person Tour free of charge.  The usual fee of $2 per person will be collected by each cultural or historical site.

Barnes-de Mazia Tour

Understanding art using the Barnes Method.

Albert Barnes was not only a leading collector of important art, he was a trail-blazing educator.  This tour at the Barnes Foundation will expose the participant to the objective method of empirical art analysis as developed by Dr Barnes, put into practice by Violette de Mazia and grounded in the aesthetic philosophy of John Dewey and William James.

Rocky Steps and Fairmount Park

   Yo, Adrian!      Gonna fly now!

No visit to Philadelphia is complete without a run up the 72 stone steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and an impromptu victory dance - a climb made famous by the indomitable Rocky Balboa. A selfie with the iconic Rocky statue is well-earned.  Our walking tour will continue with an exploration of the Philadelphia Museum of Art azalea garden, the Fairmount Water Works, Boathouse Row and Lemon Hill Mansion.

Free two-hour

virtual tour from 

Jan 30, 2023:

As with most Schuylkill riverside communities, much of the history​ of Conshohocken is no longer visible and takes some effort to uncover. The goal of this 2-hour video, "Finding Conshohocken", is to inspire a collaborative and participatory exploration of our local history through participant visits to our rich interpretative sites such as the C Howard Heister Canal Center, Lock 60, the Iron & Steel Heritage Museum, and other keepers of our historical treasures, especially local historical societies. The Schuylkill Navigation is an important part of Conshohocken's history so that connection is explored, as well as elements common to other riverside communities such as the Quakers, mining, iron and steel production, industrialization, population decline, river restoration and community redevelopment.​

"​Finding Conshohocken"

The most ​personal is the most creative.

Bong Joon-ho, 2019 Academy Award for Best Director for Parasite, citing the influence of Martin Scorsese.


Ned Drinker

First Person Tours

18 Garnet Circle

Conshohocken PA 19428


[email protected]