Wetherill's White Lead, Red Lead, Chemical Glass, Drug & Dye Stuff Store. Old Stand 65 North Front Street East Side, Three Doors South of Arch Street
William H. Rease, born in Pennsylvania circa 1818, was the most prolific lithographer of advertising prints in Philadelphia during the 1840s and 1850s. This advertisement shows the storefront of Wetherill & Brother (John Price and Dr. William Wetherill) on Front Street above Market Street. Signs advertise the "Drug, Paint & Glass Store," proclaim the proprietors "Druggist & Color Men," and depict the store emblem of an American eagle with a shield atop a barrel, surrounded by apothecary packages and bordered by the text "Encourage your own Manufactory" and "65 Old Stand." Stacks of barrels flank the two open entryways in which the back of a clerk carrying a large box and two male patrons are visible. Decanters fill the display windows, and boxes, barrels, and glassware are stacked near the upper-floor windows. A clerk descends into the cellar across from a drayman, in the street, steadying his horse-drawn vehicle loaded with labeled packages. John Price and William Wetherill were the grandsons of Samuel Wetherill, the founder of the earliest white-lead factory in America. They assumed management of the business in 1837, with William handling purchases and John Price superintending the manufacturing branches. William assumed sole management of the firm following the death of John in 1853. 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.
Lithography of Thomas Sinclair, Philadelphia
Title in Original Language
Wetherill's white lead, red lead, chemical glass, drug & dye stuff store. Sons of and successors to Samuel Wetherill who established the first white lead manufactory in the United States. Old stand 65 North Front Street east side, three doors south of Arch St.
Type of Item
1 print : lithograph ; 53 x 35 centimeters
- Digital catalog number: POS 833
- Explore Pennsylvania History, http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-338.
- O’Donnelly, Matthew, The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, “Excavating an Inventor’s Legacy: Samuel Wetherill,” http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/Zinc.html.
- Rease, William H., Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia, http://www.lcpdigital.org.
Last updated: September 2, 2015