Porteus' Works. Pine Oil Camphine Distilled by Steam. Number 581, North Front Street. Philadelphia


This advertisement for the J.A. Porteus Chemical Works in Philadelphia depicts aspects of industry in mid-19th century America. The illustration at the top shows a view of the works, located at 581 North Front Street. Laborers load a horse-drawn wagon and a dray with barrels that are lined along the building. A couple walks past the factory, which is comprised of gable-roofed brick buildings of various heights. The illustration below is a cross-section view of an enormous distilling machine used in making the firm’s products, which included turpentine and varnish. A worker attends a barrel in which distilled liquid drains, while two men converse near the steam pump of the apparatus. Camphine, a processed oil of turpentine that was used for burning in lamps and as a solvent in varnishes, figures prominently in the advertisement. Porteus operated the factory on this site in 1846–54. The print is by James Fuller Queen, a prominent Philadelphia artist, lithographer, and pioneer chromolithographer, who produced many prints and views of the city.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Lithography of Wagner & M'Guigan, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Porteus' works. Pine oil camphine distilled by steam. No. 581 North Front Street. Philadelphia

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph, tinted with two stones ; 45 x 34 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 616

Last updated: April 22, 2013