Neall & Matthews, Iron Founders and Machinists, Bush Hill Iron Works
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 Bush Hill Iron Works, originally established by Oliver Evans in 1809 and operated by Neall, Matthews, and Moore in 1846−54, on the plot of land that is now between Buttonwood and Spring Garden Streets, facing 16th Street. The bustling complex has grounds littered with cylinders, tubes, castings, and a pile of coal around which several laborers toil. The workers transport machinery by horse-drawn cart, hoist cylinders onto a dray, hammer castings, push handcarts, fuel the furnace, and labor in the workshops. Text in Spanish, English, and French below the image promotes the products of the works, including cylinders, steam engines, boilers, mills, pans, hammers, anvils, and castings. The text also notes the two air furnaces at the works, able to fill roll orders "without delay," and proclaims "all orders for machinery or castings thankfully received and promptly executed." James Neal retired in 1854, and Matthew and Moore carried on the business until 1870, when James Moore assumed sole proprietorship. The iron works constructed machinery for some of the leading rolling mills of the United States during the 19th century and, as indicated by the text, also had an export business. 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.
Printed by F. Kuhl, Philadelphia
Title in Original Language
Neall Y Matthews, maquinistas y fundidores, de hierro en Bush Hill, esquina de las galles de Fairview y la septima de Schuylkill, Filadelfia = Neall & Matthews, iron founders and machinists, Bush Hill Iron Works, (formerly occupied by Rush & Muhlenberg,) corner of Fairview & Schuylkill Seventh St., Philadelphia = Neall & Matthews, fondeurs en fer et machinistes, forges et fonderie de Bush Hill, (autrefois occupée par Rush & Muhlenberg,) au coin des rues Fairview et Schuylkill Septme.
Type of Item
1 print : lithograph ; 33 x 60 centimeters
- Digital catalog number: POS 499
- Rease, William H., Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia, http://www.lcpdigital.org.
Last updated: September 2, 2015