West Philadelphia Institute


This lithograph from 1853 shows a view of the proposed building of the West Philadelphia Institute, a mechanics’ institute. The building was erected in 1853 on Williams (i.e., North 39th) Street, north of Market Street in Philadelphia. Two men are pictured here in a bucolic setting; they walk up a path leading to the small Georgian- and Florentine-style two-story building, which has several windows. The building contained a library, a lecture hall, and classrooms intended to help young men to educate themselves and to avoid vice during their free time. The building was purchased in 1871 by the Board of the Presbyterian Hospital and the institute was relocated to 40th and Ludlow streets. The print was produced by Thomas S. Sinclair (circa 1805–81). Sinclair was born in the Orkney Islands of Scotland and was active in Philadelphia by 1833, where he soon had his own business and was one of the first local printmakers to experiment with color lithography. A practical lithographer throughout his career, Sinclair produced all genres of lithographs, including maps, advertisements, city and landscape views, sheet music covers, portraiture, political cartoons, certificates, and book illustrations.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Thomas Sinclair, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

West Philada. Institute

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph ; 13 x 18 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 825

Last updated: December 29, 2015