The Sanitary Fair Grand March


This chromolithograph from circa 1864 is a cover illustration to the sheet music “The Sanitary Fair Grand March,” composed by Edward Mack (1826–82) and dedicated to Mrs. Elizabeth R. Biddle. The bird's-eye view shows the exhibition grounds at Logan Square during the Great Central Fair, which took place in Philadelphia in June 1864. The purpose of the fair, which featured art, craft, and historical exhibits, was to raise funds for the United States Sanitary Commission. This was a private organization that operated during the American Civil War under the authority of the federal government to provide relief to soldiers and assistance to the Union Army in matters relating to health and hygiene. The print shows the square and the surrounding cityscape from the northwest, including the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. Trees line the streets and the outside of the square, where throngs of people walk the sidewalk and crowd the fair entrances. Horse-drawn vehicles, including carriages and omnibuses, travel the streets and park along the grounds. American flags labeled “U.S.S.C.” adorn all of the buildings. Most of the fair buildings were designed by Henry E. Wrigley, who served in the war in the Independent Company of Acting Engineers and the Corps of Topographical Engineers. The central exhibition gallery was designed by Strickland Kneass, chief engineer and surveyor of the city of Philadelphia. This print is a variant of the lithograph created by Philadelphia lithographer and pioneer chromolithographer James Fuller Queen (circa 1820–86), and was printed and offered for sale daily at the fair by the establishment of P.S. Duval and Son. Peter S. Duval, one of the most prominent lithographers and printers of his day, was born circa 1804 or 1805 in France. Duval emigrated from France to Philadelphia in the fall of 1831 to accept a job as a lithographer with the printing firm of Childs & Inman. By 1837 he had established his lithographic printing shop and he remained in business until his retirement in 1869.

Last updated: June 30, 2016