This landscape view looking west from Reservoir Hill in Philadelphia shows the Fairmount Water Works, originally constructed between 1812 and 1822 after the designs of Philadelphia chief engineer Frederick Graff. Built to supply the expanding city with safe drinking water, the works included an engine house, mill house, and a millrace bridge. Visitors are seen strolling on the landscaped grounds of the works and rowers are visible on the nearby Schuylkill River. Also depicted are residences, probably including Lemon Hill, the Schuylkill Canal lock, and the river dam. The illustration is by John Caspar Wild (circa 1804–46), a Swiss-born artist and lithographer, who arrived in Philadelphia from Paris in 1832. He produced paintings and prints of Philadelphia and other American cities, including Cincinnati, Saint Louis, and Davenport, Iowa. His works are important historical records of these cities before the era of large-scale industrialization and rapid urban growth.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

J.T. Bowen, Philadelphia


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph, hand-colored ; 20 x 24 centimeters


  • Originally published as plate 1 in Views of Philadelphia, and its vicinity (Philadelphia: Published by J.C. Wild & J.B. Chevalier, Lithographers, 72 Dock Street, 1838). The lithographic stones for the views were acquired by John T. Bowen, who later reissued them with hand coloring. He copyrighted this view in 1840.
  • Digital catalog number: POS 225.4

Last updated: January 8, 2018