Finn and Burton's Paper Hangings Warehouse. Number 142, Arch Street, Philadelphia


This advertising print from 1849 shows the paper hangings warehouse of the Finn & Burton firm, located at 142 (now the 600 block) Arch Street, Philadelphia. Through the open entryway two ladies and a gentleman can be seen seated at a table, while a clerk shows them wallpaper samples. The large side windows reveal massive architectural scenes, the illusion of depth in them presumably created by the elegant wall hangings. Well-dressed pedestrians pass by in the street. In the trompe l’oeil border around the main illustration hang samples of wall hangings, while large rolls of stock are shown in the lower corners. The print is by William H. Rease, the most prolific lithographer of advertising prints in Philadelphia during the 1840s and 1850s. Born in Pennsylvania circa 1818, Rease became active in his trade around 1844. 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, a listing in O'Brien's Business Directory indicates that by 1850 he had founded his own establishment at 17 South Fifth Street, north of Chestnut Street. After a partnership with Francis Schell that lasted from about 1853 to 1855, in 1855 he relocated his shop to the northeast corner of Fourth and Chestnut Streets, where, in addition to advertising prints, he produced certificates, views, maps, and maritime prints.

Last updated: January 8, 2018