Cornelius & Baker, 181 Cherry Street, Philadelphia. Manufacturers of Lamps, Gas Fixtures, Et cetera
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 the multi-story factory on the 800 block of Cherry Street. A tower and American flag top the building, in which workers appear at some of the open windows. A number of horse-drawn vehicles are coming and going, including delivery wagons and, in the foreground, a carriage occupied by three gentlemen and drawn by two agitated horses that the driver attempts to settle. At the corner, a boy with a light fixture walks past a lamppost. Christian Cornelius, a Dutch immigrant silversmith, founded the Cornelius lighting business in 1827, which became Cornelius, Baker, and Company in 1835. By the 1850s, it operated the factory illustrated here, another on the 500 block of Columbia Avenue, and a store at 176 Chestnut Street. The firm began by making brass lighting fixtures but later also made zinc fixtures and sculptures, some of which were installed in the United States Capitol. The business was succeeded by Cornelius and Sons and Baker, Arnold and Company in 1869. William 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.
Printed by Wagner & McGuigan, Philadelphia
Title in Original Language
Cornelius & Baker, 181 Cherry Street, Philadelphia. Manufacturers of lamps, gas fixtures etc.
Type of Item
1 print : lithograph, tinted with two stones ; 39 x 58 centimeters
- Digital catalog number: POS 161
- Published in Colton's atlas of America, illustrating the physical and political geography of North and South America. Commercial edition with business cards of prominent houses in Philadelphia. (New York: J.H. Colton and Company, 1856)
- Grissom, Carol A., The Zinc Statuettes of Cornelius and Baker (Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 2012).
- Grissom, Carol A., Zinc Sculpture in America, 1850−1950 (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2009).
- Rease, William H., Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia, http://www.lcpdigital.org.
Last updated: September 2, 2015