Souvenir of the Coldest Winter on Record. Scene on the Delaware River at Philadelphia during the Severe Winter of 1856


In the mid-19th century, the winter of 1856 was known as the coldest on record. This genre scene from Philadelphia shows hundreds of persons skating and sledding on the frozen Delaware River in front of the old Navy Yard at Southwark. The participants include men pushing women in chairs with blades, men pushing a sleigh of women passengers, a man pulling a boy on a sled, and a man being pulled by a dog running through a crowd of skaters. In the foreground, a couple stands and watches; a woman peddler, seated on a stool, sells an apple to a boy; and a man has fallen on the ice, near two other boys. In the background, a ride has been fabricated with several men pushing a large pivoted pole lever to propel a toboggan of women passengers. Moored ships, steamboats, and sailing vessels line the shore. Also seen in the print is a distant cityscape of Philadelphia. The work is by James Fuller Queen, a Philadelphia lithographer and pioneer chromolithographer known for his attention to detail.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

P.S. Duval & Company Lithography, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Souvenir of the coldest winter on record. Scene on the Delaware River at Philada. during the severe winter of 1856

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : chromolithograph ; 25 x 33 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 704

Last updated: February 12, 2016