J. H. Michener and Company's Curing, Packing and Smoking Establishment. Southwest Corner of Front and Willow Streets, Philadelphia


This advertising print from around 1851 shows the four-story building of the meat-packing house, located at the southwestern corner of Front and Willow Streets in Philadelphia. Signs on the front of the large, four-story building proclaim the names of the two Michener companies, Michener & Company Provision Dealers, and J.H. Michener & Company, Dealers in Smoked and Salted Provisions, whose products are listed as bacon, beef, pork, lard, and so forth. In the five open entryways to the building, patrons enter and depart, workers converse, a drayman departs, and barrels are stored. In the street, laborers push a handcart and load horse-drawn drays. At the side of the building, a laborer lowers a barrel from the top receiving entrance to a horse-drawn truck loaded with barrels and managed by three men waiting on the tram tracks on Willow Street. Ahead of the truck, a freight car disappears in the distance. A trompe l'oeil frame surrounds the image. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Printed by F. Kuhl, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

J. H. Michener & Co's. curing, packing & smoking establishment S.W. corner of Front and Willow Sts. Philadelphia

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph, tinted with one stone ; 29 x 49 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 395

Last updated: January 8, 2018