T. E. Chapman, Book Store and Book Bindery, 74 North Fourth 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 premises on the 100 block of North Fourth Street of the bookseller, binder, and publisher Thomas Ellwood Chapman. A male patron enters the store. A small broadside hangs in the door window, bundles of fibrous material rest atop the mantle, and shelves of books are visible lining the wall. A woman in the street stands to the side of the cellar doors closely examining the window display. A sign reading "rags bought" is a reminder that cotton rags from used clothing were the raw material of the best paper. The wooden door in the building facade possibly leads to an alleyway. Chapman opened the bookstore here in 1840, added the bindery in 1843, and relocated in 1849. 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