H.P. & W.C. Taylor, Perfumers


This advertisement for the Philadelphia firm of H.P. & W.C. Taylor, Perfumers, portrays aspects of industry, transportation, and marketing in mid-19th century America. The central image shows a shipping scene at a pier above the Navy Yard on the Delaware River. Laborers are seen loading a ship with goods from a pier on which a horse-drawn wagon and cart are surrounded by crates. Members of the ship’s crew line the deck of the steamer, and a barge is moored near the pier. On the dock, a horse-drawn coach passes by a man loading a dray with crates marked "H.P. & W.C. Taylors Fancy Soaps Phila." under the watch of a company official as a rail car approaches. Sailing vessels are docked at another pier visible in the left of the image. Barrels, crates, and planks of wood line the wharf on which draymen load and transport goods. The vignette below shows the exterior of the H.P. & W.C. Taylor, Transparent Soaps factory, located on North Ninth Street. A locomotive and freight car of the Norristown and Germantown Railroad steams along the street and pedestrians pass by or enter the factory. The vignette is flanked by a banner proclaiming the firm’s establishment in 1819 and ornamented with filigree and sprigs of flowers. The monumental border framing the central image is adorned with flowers and provides details about the firm’s products and medals and prizes won, including at the 1851 London world’s fair. This print is by William Dreser, a German-born lithographer who was active in Philadelphia around 1847–60.

Last updated: February 12, 2016