James S. Mason and Company, 108 North Front Street, Challenge Blacking, Ink, Etcetera, Manufactory


This print is an advertisement for James S. Mason & Co., a manufacturer of ink and blacking located on North Front Street in Philadelphia. The illustration shows a five-story brick and granite building adorned with a large sign reading "Blacking" (a 19th-century term for shoe and boot polish) on its roof. A patron opens the entrance door of the storefront as he peers at a large illustrated print on display in an adjacent window. On the second floor, above the window adorned with the print, a couple is visible in an open double-sided glass doorway. In front of the building, a laborer unloads a horse-drawn dray as a family approaches from a nearby corner. Also seen are a hoist on the side of the storefront and partial views of neighboring buildings. James S. Mason & Co. occupied the building from its completion in 1851 until 1919. The building was demolished in 1973. The work is by James Fuller Queen, a Philadelphia lithographer and pioneer chromolithographer known for his attention to detail.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Lithography of P.S. Duval & Company, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

James S. Mason and Co., 108 North Front Street, Challenge Blacking, Ink &c, Manufactory

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : chromolithograph ; 35 x 26 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 404

Last updated: September 2, 2015