J. and J. Reakirt, Wholesale Drug Warehouse: Drugs, Chemicals, Paints, and Dye-Stuffs. Southeastern Corner of Third and Callowhill Streets, Philadelphia


This advertising print from 1846 shows the three-and-one-half story building of J. & J. Reakirt, wholesale druggists located in the 200 block of Callowhill Street in Philadelphia. Signs advertise "Drugs, Chemicals, Paints, Oils, Glass, and Dye-Stuffs"; "White-Lead & Window-Glass at Manufacturers Lowest Prices"; “Paints, Oils, Varnishes”; and "Alum, Madder, Logwood, Camwood, Indigo, Copperas, Fustic, Turpentine." Patrons, visible through the open doorways, stand at counters within the storefront. Jars and decanters line the display windows. Crates and barrels, some marked, line the sidewalk. At the side of the store, a clerk checks a list as a drayman unloads his horse-drawn vehicle. A large-scale mortar and pestle of an apothecary hangs from the corner of the building, and a fire insurance marker is visible north of the sign that reads “Wholesale Drug Warehouse.” Joseph Reakirt operated this business solely until 1838, when he partnered with John Reakirt, who assumed sole proprietorship in 1859. This illustration is by Matthias Shirk Weaver. Born around 1816, probably in New Holland, Pennsylvania, Weaver came to Philadelphia in 1838 to study art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. To support himself, he worked as a lithographic artist, predominantly with printer Thomas S. Sinclair, drawing large Philadelphia business advertisements, portraits, membership certificates, book illustrations, sheet music covers, and maps. He left Philadelphia for Ohio in 1845, where he died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1847. This print was produced by Sinclair, one of the premier Philadelphia lithographers of the 19th century.

Last updated: August 19, 2015