Philadelphia Gas Works. From the Southwest


This lithograph from circa 1852 shows an exterior view of the first Philadelphia Gas Works. The gas works was expanded in 1850 after the designs of the second chief engineer, John C. Cresson (1806–76). This view, looking northeast, includes the coal stores, retort house, lime and coke sheds, lime kilns and house, purifying houses, gasholders, and railroad tracks situated on the 2200–2300 blocks of Market Street, immediately east of the Market Street Permanent Bridge. The gas works were originally completed in 1834 after the designs of engineer Samuel V. Merrick (1801–70). A second facility, the Point Breeze Gas Works, was built 1851–54 at the intersection of Passyunk and Schuylkill Avenues, designed by Cresson. The printer, John T. Bowen (circa 1801–56), was a prominent Philadelphia lithographer and the most important mid 19th-century American publisher of publication plates. He was born in England circa 1801, immigrated to the United States in 1834, and worked as a colorist and lithographer in New York before relocating to Philadelphia in 1838.

Last updated: June 30, 2016