Penn Steam Engine and Boiler Works. Foot of Palmer Street, Kensington, Philadelphia. Reaney, Neafie and Company Engineers, Machinists, Boiler Makers, Black Smiths and Founders


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 vessels docked in front of the engine and boiler works complex at the foot of Palmer Street on the busy Delaware River. Teams of several horses haul materials on trucks past the boiler works. Laborers work on the docks, piers, and boats at the complex. Docked vessels include the tugboats, steamboats, paddleboats, and a sailboat. The firm was established as Reaney, Neafie & Smith in 1844, with Levy becoming a partner in 1845 on the death of Smith. It specialized in iron boats and engines and later steam-powered fire engines. Reaney left the partnership to start his own shipyard in 1859. Neafie & Levy remained in operation until 1907. The company became known as Penn Steam Engine and Boiler Works because of its proximity to the site where William Penn was thought to have signed his treaty with the Lenape people. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Brett's Lithography Press, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Penn Steam Engine & Boiler Works. Foot of Palmer Street, Kensington, Philadelphia. Reaney, Neafie & Co. engineers, machinists, boiler makers, black smiths & founders

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph ; 43 x 78 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 552


  1. Rease, William H., Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia,

Last updated: September 2, 2015