P. Maison's Biscuit Bakery, 134 North Front 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 the busy three-story bakery at 134 (later 214) North Front Street. Banners attached to the building swing out to awning posts to proclaim "P. Maison's Bakery 134." Another "Bakery" sign extends over the adjacent alley between the business and the neighboring building. A gentleman, possibly the proprietor, stands at the entrance of the building as laborers transport and stack barrels at the open entryway and upper receiving windows. In front of the store, a "P. Maison Biscuit Bakery" wagon is loaded with barrels next to a dray that is also laden with goods. At the side of the building, a driver atop a horse-drawn cart loaded with barrels confers with a colleague leaning from an upper window. 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.

Last updated: September 2, 2015