Franklin Iron Works. Sutton and Smith's Iron Foundry. Franklin Street between Second and Front Streets, Philadelphia


This advertising print from 1847 shows the Franklin Iron Works and Sutton & Smith's Iron Foundry, located on Franklin Street between Second and Front Streets in Philadelphia, where the two businesses went into partnership circa 1843. Smoke is seen billowing from the chimneys and smokestacks of these industrial buildings, and a few workers are seen conversing on the sidewalks and attending to two horse-drawn drays. The Franklin Iron Works was established at the 100 block of Franklin Street in 1841. The firm manufactured cylinders, shafts, wheels, steam engines and boilers, machinery for mills and cotton processing, and other iron products. The print is by William H. Rease, the most prolific lithographer of advertising prints in Philadelphia during the 1840s and 1850s. Born in Pennsylvania circa 1818, Rease became active in his trade around 1844. 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, a listing in O'Brien's Business Directory indicates that by 1850 he had founded his own establishment at 17 South Fifth Street, north of Chestnut Street. After a partnership with Francis Schell that lasted from about 1853 to 1855, in 1855 he relocated his shop to the northeast corner of Fourth and Chestnut Streets, where, in addition to advertising prints, he produced certificates, views, maps, and maritime prints.

Last updated: September 2, 2015