Penn Hotel & Denny's Harness Shop


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 building containing the hotel and tavern operated by John Thompson at 329 Market Street and Robert Denny's saddlery and harness store at 327½ Market Street. Harnesses and other horse paraphernalia hang above the shop's display window and entranceways, including a stable entrance marked "Entertainment for Horses." A man walks his horse through to the rear and a clerk from Denny's converses with a customer by a stack of trunks. A groom looks after a horse in front of the adjacent hardware store; another horse harnessed to a sulky is tended by an African American man. Hotel guests enter the building and can be seen through the open second-floor windows. The hotel and tavern business and the harness and saddlery store had adjacent premises only for the year 1848−49. 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