William D. Rogers' Coach and Light Carriage Manufactory. Corner of 6th and Master Streets, Philadelphia


This hand-colored lithograph from circa 1854 is an advertisement depicting an exterior view of the Rogers’ industrial complex, the “model coach factory of America,” located at the busy corner of Sixth and Master Streets in Philadelphia. A sign on the side of the four-story building reads, “W.D. Rogers Coach and Light Carriage Factory,” and signage at the top of the building reads, “W.D. Rogers Carriage Builder” and “Carriages of Every Description Built by W.D. Rogers.” Outside the building, a clerk shows a carriage to a couple, while inside, laborers are seen working in the windows of the upper stories. Drays, surreys, “Rogers” delivery carts, and a young African American man with a white horse traverse the intersection in front of the building. On Sixth Street, a passenger disembarks from a horse-drawn omnibus near the factory entrance. On the left side of the image, a second omnibus rests at a corner; the omnibus driver unhappily receives a citation from a constable while his young passenger watches. Text at the bottom of the image reads, in part: “Carriages of every description built to order, which for style, durability & elegance of finish, shall not be surpassed by any in the country. The work is conducted under the immidiate superintendance [sic] of the proprietor, who is himself a practical Coach maker. N.B. orders from any part of the world, promptly executed. Southern & Western merchants will find it to their advantage to call at this establishment. The Sixth Street line of omnibuses run from the Exchange to the Factory every few minutes.” Rogers (the business established in 1846, and the factory erected in 1853) absorbed rival manufactory George W. Watson in 1870. The business operated for more than sixty years. The creator of this print is listed as 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. The printer was Wagner & McGuigan, a firm specializing in the production of advertising prints.

Last updated: January 9, 2018