J.E. and B. Schell. City Marble Works and Steam Mantel Factory. Corner of Tenth and Vine Streets, Philadelphia


This advertisement from around 1854 shows a corner view of the three-building showroom and factory operated by the Schells at Tenth and Vine Streets in Philadelphia, from 1853 to 1856. J.E. Schell continued the business as J.E. Schell & Company starting in 1857. Patrons are seen entering the four-story storefront and mantel room adorned with signage reading, “J.E. & B. Schell” and “City Marble Works.” Statuary is displayed on a second-floor veranda. At the corner, a coach waits, and the disembarked African American driver stands at the ready. On Vine Street, behind the showroom, a family passes by and admires the marble statuary, monuments, and headstones in the fenced-in yard of the factory. Laborers load a headstone onto a horse-drawn cart, inspect open crates lining the street, and examine slabs of marble outside the storage building for the factory. Partial views of adjacent buildings and the 10th Street carriage are visible. Two lines of text below the title advertise the improved facilities for the factory. This print is by the firm of Rease & Schell, a partnership formed in the 1850s by William H. Rease and Francis H. Schell. Born in Pennsylvania circa 1818, Rease was a prominent mid-19th century Philadelphia trade card lithographer. He was known to highlight details of human interest in his advertisements. Schell was born in Philadelphia in 1834 and is best known for his work during the Civil War as an illustrator for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

Last updated: September 1, 2015