Conrad & Roberts Hardware & Cutlery, 123 North Third Street, Philadelphia


William H. Rease, born in Pennsylvania circa 1818, was the most prolific lithographer of advertising prints in Philadelphia during the 1840s and 1850s. Shown here is his advertisement for the Conrad & Roberts Hardware & Cutlery store on the 200 block of North Third Street. It shows the storefront adorned with signage. The store interior is visible through the two open entrances. A clerk retrieves merchandise from a shelf for a patron and another serves a gentleman at a counter. Laborers move barrels and boxes from the open cellar. Above the cellar, a "Hardware" sign is displayed in front of the store window. At the upper windows, employees work and boxes, crates, and barrels are stacked. Also shown are crates and barrels (marked with illegible text) lining the sidewalk and partial views of adjacent buildings, including a part of the store sign on 125 North Third Street. Conrad and Roberts began operating from the address in 1845. Rease became active in his trade around 1844, and through the 1850s he mainly worked with printers Frederick Kuhl and Wagner & McGuigan in the production of advertising prints known for their portrayals of human details. Although Rease often collaborated with other lithographers, by 1850 he promoted in O'Brien's Business Directory his own establishment at 17 South Fifth Street, above Chestnut Street. In 1855 he relocated his establishment to the northeast corner of Fourth and Chestnut streets (after a circa 1853−55 partnership with Francis Schell), where in addition to advertising prints he produced certificates, views, maps, and maritime prints.

Last updated: September 2, 2015