McNeely & Company, Manufacturers of Morocco, Buckskin & Chamois, White Leather, Bark Tanned, Sheep, Calf & Deer Skins, Parchment, Vellum, Et cetera. 64 North 4th Street below Arch Street near the Merchants Hotel, Philadelphia
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 large McNeeley factory complex of several industrial buildings, sheds, and fenced yard near a busy street and sidewalk. Workers attend to a maze of drying lines on which hang leather pieces. Delivery carts traverse the yard and depart through the gate under the McNeeley sign. A laborer uses a horse-drawn cart to collect coal from a mound on the side of the main building. Pedestrians, including a woman and boy, stroll and converse on the sidewalk. In the street, an African American couple pushes a filled handcart as a crowded horse-drawn omnibus from the Frankford Road−Fourth Street line passes by. The McNeely family operated a leather factory in Philadelphia from 1830 until the early 20th century. 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.
W.H. Rease, Philadelphia
Title in Original Language
McNeely & Co. manufacturers of morocco, buckskin & chamois, white leather, bark tanned, sheep, calf & deer skins, parchment, vellum &c. 64 Nth 4th. St. below Arch St. near the Merchants Hotel, Philadelphia. Manufactory 4th & Franklin Aven
Type of Item
1 print : chromolithograph ; 49 x 57 centimeters
- Digital catalog number: POS 463
- Rease, William H.,Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia, http://www.lcpdigital.org.
Last updated: September 2, 2015