Melloy & Ford, Wholesale Tin Ware Manufacturers


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 operated by John M. Melloy and Robert Ford at 291 Market Street (later renumbered 723). It promotes the "lowest rates," "quick sales & small profits," and "metallic roofing." The building’s many signs and product advertisements include a large scale model of a coffeepot and prominent displays of tinware in the shop window, on the shelves, and by the door. In front of the shop, a couple strolls and two laborers lift a crate onto a horse-drawn dray, while a female customer enters the store. An African American peddler with tray and bell passes a line of crates on the sidewalk. Tinsmiths work near the third floor windows. Melloy & Ford were in business together from 1849 until 1861, when Melloy entered partnership with Isaac Smith at the same address. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Printed by F. Kuhl, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Melloy & Ford, wholesale tin ware manufacturers

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph ; 41 x 21 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 465


  1. Rease, William H., Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia,

Last updated: September 2, 2015