Thomas Minford Wholesale and Retail Grocery and Tea Warehouse, South West Corner of Second and Walnut Streets, 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 of Thos. (Thomas) Minford, a southwest view of the three-story storefront and its signage, on the 200 block of Walnut Street. In front of the store, a female patron reaches into a sack, one of several sacks, crates, and canisters displayed near the open doorway. Within the store, a couple stands near rows of shelves. On the second floor, large, open panel doors expose the room lined with hay, revealing a barrel, crates, boxes of tea, and sacks. Brooms are stored in front of the third-floor windows. Two gentlemen converse on the side of the building. Minford tenanted the site in 1845−47 and later relocated to New York City. 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