Womrath and Neville, Manufactory of Fringes, Tassels, Cords & c. and George F. Womrath, Fur Store, 15 and 13 North Fourth 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. This advertisement shows two adjoining storefronts adorned with signage and display windows on North Fourth Street above Market Street. At number 15, the Womrath & Neville storefront, a clerk is visible helping a female patron. Shelves of merchandise line the wall behind him. Fringes, tassels, and other trimmings, a framed graphic, and a small broadside fill the main windows marked "Hosiery," "Trimmings," "Bindings," and "Tapes & Thread." Between the stores, a lady and a girl stand on the sidewalk, and the girl points at a fur piece in the window of number 13, the George F. Womrath Fur Store. A couple enters the building past a stack of wrapped bundles and packages and fur muffs and skins displayed near the entry. More fur muffs and stoles fill the showcase window. Two packages of "Bear Skins" line the sidewalk. Womrath and Neville partnered here in 1846−49. Womrath established his fur business in 1829. Rease became active in the lithography 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