Isaac Koons Sugar Refinery and Rock Candy Manufactory


This advertisement from 1847 shows a three-story office building (with an addition), and the attached nine-story sugar refinery, located at the southwest corner of Willow Street and Old York Road (York Avenue), in Philadelphia. The signs on the office building identify this business as a sugar refinery and rock candy manufactory owned by Isaac Koons. A stout clerk stands in the doorway of the office. A horse-drawn dray loaded with goods (some labeled “K”) rests in the street and the drayman walks toward the clerk. A barrel stands next to the side of the office across from a laborer. He walks toward the barrel from an open entryway of the refinery, which is marked "No Admittance." Barrels are visible inside the refinery; more barrels, as well as crates, are piled in front of the refinery. Smoke spews from the stacks. Koons relocated from Race Street to Old York Road in 1844. This illustration is by Matthias Shirk Weaver. Born around 1816, probably in New Holland, Pennsylvania, Weaver came to Philadelphia in 1838 to study art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. To support himself, he worked as a lithographic artist, predominantly with printer Thomas S. Sinclair, drawing large Philadelphia business advertisements, portraits, membership certificates, book illustrations, sheet music covers, and maps. He left Philadelphia for Ohio in 1845, where he died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1847. This print was produced by Sinclair, one of the premier Philadelphia lithographers of the 19th century.

Last updated: January 8, 2018