J. Willis, Shoe Manufactory. Number 241 Arch Street, Philadelphia


This advertising print from 1846 shows the four-story manufactory and storefront for “J. Willis Wholesale & Retale [sic] Ladies Shoe Store,” located on the 600 block of Arch Street in Philadelphia. On the street beneath the store awning, a couple enters the store through the entryway, while a lady looks at a partially visible print hanging in the central display window, possibly depicting the Willis shoe store. Drapery is visible in some of the upper floor windows and a horse-drawn carriage is parked in front of the building. Partial views of the adjacent buildings also can be seen. A prominent graphic element of this image is the shading, representing light reflecting from windows. The business featured in this print operated from this address as “J. Willis” between 1840 and 1853, at which time it was renamed “J. Willis & Son.”

Last updated: January 8, 2018