Wood and Perot's Ornamental Iron Works


These two prints from 1858 are advertisements for Wood and Perot’s ornamental iron works in Philadelphia. Two views are shown, one of the “Ridge Avenue” factory, and one of the neighboring “Twelfth Street” foundry of the iron works. The Ridge Avenue view shows the massive “Wood and Perot Ornamental Iron Railing Factory Iron Works,” located at 1136 Ridge Avenue. Signs adorn the building, advertising “Wood & Perot, Manufacturers of Decorative Iron Work,” and “Iron Railings, Verandahs, Balconies, Stairs, Counters &c.” On the roof, a large statue of American politician Henry Clay (1777–1852) stands, and an American flag flies from a tower. Workers load three horse-drawn wagons stationed in front of the iron works as pedestrians mill past. Iron railings lean against the building, animal statuary is displayed on the sidewalk, and employees and patrons stand in doorways. In the street, a carriage travels toward a stopped, packed “Ridge Avenue” omnibus. Passengers get on and disembark from the omnibus. Across the street, near a tree, ladies with parasols and heavy capes promenade past a man pointing out the Clay statue to his male companion. The Twelfth Street view shows the new iron foundry, which was completed circa 1858, located to the rear of the Ridge Avenue works on the 400 block of Twelfth Street. The factory is adorned with a tower flying a “Wood & Perot” flag. Two laborers steady a horse-drawn cart near the entryway. In the street, a “Fairmount via Chestnut Street / Twelfth & Green Street” omnibus travels, followed by a volunteer riding one of a two-horse team pulling a steam fire engine. Three boys follow and direct the engine. Across the street, a man, potentially a constable, prepares to open the call box attached to a telegraph pole. Nearby, a family of five promenades down the block. In the background are the tops of the spires of the Church of Assumption, located at 1133 Spring Garden Street. Wood & Perot, a partnership between Robert Wood and Elliston Perot, was active between 1857 and 1865. These prints were produced by lithographer and printer Eugene Ketterlinus (1824–86), who was known for his work on manufacturer labels. Born in Germany, Ketterlinus immigrated to the United States in the early 1830s and was active in Philadelphia by 1842. He was the grandson of German engraver William Ketterlinus (1776–1803), and the brother of Paul (1820–94) and Adolphus (circa 1826–circa 1867), both printers. Between 1842 and 1855, Eugene and Paul operated a partnership, producing color stock cards and labels earlier than any other Philadelphia firm. They produced “plain & fancy printing,” including illustrated congressional documents, “embossed show cards, perfumery, fabric, wine and liquor labels, druggists’ furniture, jar and drawer labels, cards, bill heads, notes, checks, circulars, and catalogues.”

Last updated: January 9, 2018