Camden, city (1990 pop. 87,492), seat of Camden co., W N.J., a port on the Delaware River opposite Philadelphia, settled 1681, inc. 1828. The opening of the Camden and Amboy RR to New York in 1834 spurred the city's growth as a commercial, shipbuilding, and manufacturing center. In 1858, Richard Esterbrook opened a steel-pen factory. The Campbell canned-foods company began here in 1869, and electronics, steel, oil, and chemicals were important in the 20th cent. By the 1960s, however, weakened industries were closing or departing, and Camden was gradually left with pollution, high unemployment, and urban decay, leading to widespread poverty and crime; government corruption was also a problem in the late 20th cent. Walt Whitman's home, the New Jersey State Aquarium (1992), and the battleship New Jersey draw visitors. The Walt Whitman (1957) and Benjamin Franklin (1926) bridges connect Camden and Philadelphia. The city has a branch of Rutgers Univ.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.