Fairmount Waterworks. From the Forebay


This lithograph is a partial view of the Fairmount Waterworks, on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, one of America’s earliest municipal water-treatment systems. Powered consecutively by steam engines, waterwheels, and pumps that lifted water to reservoirs on a hill (Faire Mount), the waterworks and its beautiful setting were a tourist attraction from the beginning. They are seen here from the forebay, the reservoir from which the water was drawn to run the equipment. The plant was designed by Frederick Graff, and the result was an innovative engineering success and beautiful buildings reflecting the contemporary fashion for Greek Revival architecture. The lithograph is by George Lehman (circa 1800–70), a Swiss-born landscape artist, engraver, and lithographer, who in 1824 immigrated to the United States with his family, several of whom were also stonecutters. It was published by Childs and Inman, a partnership between Philadelphia engraver and lithographer Cephas G. Childs and New York portrait painter Henry Inman, and one of the earliest important lithographic firms in Philadelphia. The partnership was active 1830−33.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

C.G. Childs & G. Lehman, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Fairmount Waterworks. From the forebay

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph ; 21 x 29 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 240.1


  1. George Lehman, Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia, http://www.lcpdigital.org.
  2. Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary of Lithographers, http://www.librarycompany.org/pos/posdictionary.htm.

Last updated: February 26, 2014