Public Baths. Thomas E. J. Kerrison's Arcade-Baths


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 public bathhouse, originally built 1826−27 as a gallery of shops after the designs of John Haviland at 615−19 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Patrons enter through arches to the interior of the arcade, which has stairs over a central enclosed space that is flanked by corridors of rooms. The front facade also contains statuary and advertising signs in two niches above gated cellar entrances to "D. Gibb, Franklin House." The signs promote the tenant oyster house. A boy posts a broadside on the building and people pass by on the sidewalk. Kerrison operated the baths in 1845−49. The building was demolished in about 1859−60. 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.

Publication Information

Wagner & McGuigan?, Philadelphia


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph ; 19 x 29 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 628


  1. Rease, William H., Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia,

Last updated: September 2, 2015