William W. Clark, Drug and Chemical Warehouse, 16 North Fifth Street, Philadelphia. Drugs, Medicines, Chemicals, Glass, & Et cetera. Paint, Oil, and Glass, English, French, German, & Mediterranean Drugs


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 premises of William Clark, druggist, at 16 North Fifth Street. Signs advertise "Drugs, Paint, Oil, & Glass, English, French, German, & Mediterranean Drugs." Through the open entranceways of the business shelves of bottles on cabinets are visible lining the walls. A clerk reaches for one of the potions as a patron enters the store. Another clerk descends into the cellar in front of the building. Crates and barrels of elixir, drugs, and paint marked with delivery addresses line the sidewalk across from a horse-drawn dray parked in the street. Bottles, decanters, jugs, and boxes fill the central display window and upper windows. An oversize model of a mortar and pestle is displayed above the entrances. Clark operated from the address in 1839−53. 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.

Last updated: September 2, 2015