Merchants' Exchange. Philadelphia


This lithograph from 1840 shows a view from the intersection of Third, Walnut and Dock Streets, and shows the Merchant’s Exchange that was constructed in 1832–33 for the Philadelphia Exchange Company after the designs of Philadelphia architect William Strickland. The view includes street and pedestrian traffic that is concentrated near the financial institution. Men converse and greet one another in front of the exchange, and several horse-drawn street cars travel by and around the building. On the left, couples promenade along a block of Walnut Street lined with buildings and a few trees. Neighboring businesses, railroad tracks, and the Girard National Bank (120 South Third Street) can be seen in the right background. This print was published by John T. Bowen, 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 and establishing his printing firm.

Last updated: October 30, 2015