Philadadelphia & New York Pekin Tea Company, North West Corner of Callowhill and Sixth Streets, Philadelphia


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 Philadelphia store of the Pekin Tea Company heavily adorned with lettering on the 600 block of Callowhill Street. Through the open entrances, clerks are visible standing at counters in front of shelves of boxes of tea. Within the large display windows, Chinese figurines of men and women flank additional merchandise displays. Two patrons pass stacked boxes of tea near the entrances as they proceed into the storefront. Other foot traffic includes a couple on promenade and a man and woman, at opposite showcase windows, peering at the figurines. A larger Chinese male figure, holding a box of tea and standing on another one, adorns the second-floor corner of the building. Street signs displayed on two of the store’s window frames are visible on each side of the figure. Also shown are partial views of adjacent buildings, including part of a sign reading "[T]aylor's Room." The Pekin Tea Company was founded in New York in 1845 and operated this Philadelphia store in about 1847−51. 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

Lithography of F. Kuhl, Philadelphia


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph ; 38 x 34 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 566


  1. Rease, William H., Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia,
  2. Reed III, Fred L., “Take it from Pekin,”Coinworld (September 16, 2013)

Last updated: September 2, 2015