Patent Improved Lead Pipe Sheet Lead and Composition Gas Tubes, Manufactured by Tatham & Brothers, Office 15 Minor Street, Philadelphia, and 249 Water Street, New York


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 factory complex at 608 Delaware Avenue (occupied in 1844) for the lead pipe factory established in Philadelphia in 1841 by George N., Henry B., and William P. Tatham. The business office was in Minor Street. Employees work in front of the industrial factory building that is covered with signage and at its wharf. Men lift a barrel with a hoist, guide horse-drawn drays into a courtyard and down an alley for unloading, move planks of wood, and spray a hose into the river. Tatham & Brothers, a firm established in New York in 1838, operated the Philadelphia factory on Delaware Avenue until circa 1867. The firm patented a hydraulic pressure method to produce pipe in 1841. 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