June 30, 2016

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.”

Columbia Hose Company of Philadelphia Membership Certificate

This lithograph from circa 1865 is an honorary membership certificate to a fire company in Philadelphia (the Columbia Hose Company). The certificate contains three pictorial vignettes depicting: fire fighters racing a steam engine and hose carriage past Independence Hall; an exterior view of the Columbia Hose Company station on Cherry Street, north of Seventh Street; and volunteers fighting a blaze (on October 3, 1865) with hoses, a steam engine, and ladders at the French & Richards drugstore, located at the northwest corner of Tenth and Market Streets. The vignette of the Columbia Hose Company station shows the station dog, hose carriage, and pedestrian traffic, including a couple looking at the storefront display window of a neighboring building. Fire fighting equipment, including a trumpet, ax, ladder, hose, and belt are drawn bundled together to form side borders and decorative elements on the certificate. Above the decorative elements, the fire company institution date of “1806” is listed. At the top of the certificate are the American eagle and a shield, the Roman numeral for eight (i.e., VIII), and the Columbia Hose Company motto, “The Public Benefit Is Our Desire.” The certificate was issued to Charles Flowers, who was “admitted to membership” on March 4, 1850, and had “honor conferred” on December 5, 1866. The certificate is signed by G.W. Taylor, (President) and William R. Fraley (Secretary). The lithograph is the work of artist James Fuller Queen (circa 1820–86), a Philadelphia lithographer and pioneer chromolithographer known for his attention to detail and composition, and who was himself a volunteer fireman. The firm of P.S. Duval and Son was the printer. Peter S. Duval, one of the most prominent lithographers and printers of his day, was born circa 1804 or 1805 in France. Duval emigrated from France to Philadelphia in the fall of 1831 to accept a job as a lithographer with the printing firm of Childs & Inman. By 1837 he had established his lithographic printing shop and he remained in business until his retirement in 1869.

Point Breeze Park, Schottisch

This lithograph from circa 1858 is tinted with two stones and is the cover illustration to the sheet music “Point Breeze Park,” composed by George J. Corrie. The view shows spectators at a trotting race at the park on the Penrose Ferry Bridge Road near Point Breeze in Philadelphia. Several men, wearing top hats, stand in the raised stand for judges while male and female club members crowd the piazzas of the two-story main clubhouse. Racing on the course are two horses pulling sulkies. A few spectators stand on the grounds and landscaped paths. A second, smaller clubhouse building is adjacent to the main clubhouse. The park, established in 1855 by the Point Breeze Park Association of sportsmen, promoted trotting races as agricultural exhibitions to circumvent an 1817 city ban on horse racing. The park was sold to a private owner in 1901 and, in 1912, was sold again for development as an amusement park. The artist of this image was James Fuller Queen (circa 1820–86), a Philadelphia lithographer and pioneer chromolithographer known for his attention to detail and composition. The printer, Thomas S. Sinclair (circa 1805–81), was born in the Orkney Islands of Scotland and was active in Philadelphia by 1833, where he soon had his own business and was one of the first local printmakers to experiment with color lithography. A practical lithographer throughout his career, Sinclair produced all genres of lithographs, including maps, advertisements, city and landscape views, sheet music covers, portraiture, political cartoons, certificates, and book illustrations.

Pupil's Polka

This lithograph from circa 1857 is a sheet music cover for the “Pupil’s Polka,” composed by A. Tatzel and dedicated to the pupils at Hlasko’s Dancing Academy in Philadelphia. The view shows the interior of a room where children attend dance class at the institute operated by Miecislaw Hlasko. A mother introduces her son to the instructor as pairs of children perform different dance steps. Parents watch the children from the dance floor and other chaperones and children sit on a long cushioned bench located on one side of the hall. Two musicians play from a raised platform adorned with a balustrade in the background. Chandeliers and a skylight are seen above the dance floor. Beneath the image, prices are printed: “Colored 4 1/2” and “Plain 3.” The lithograph was produced by the firm Schnabel, Finkeldey & Demme, a partnership between three German-born Philadelphia lithographers: William Demme, John F. Finkeldey, and Edward Schnabel. The firm was active under this name circa 1856–57, and produced a series of prints detailing commercial buildings on Chestnut Street, as well as sheet music covers.

Terrible Conflagration and Destruction of the Steamboat "New Jersey"

This hand-colored lithograph from 1856 shows a dramatic view of the steamboat New Jersey, engulfed in flames and smoke on the Delaware River. Panicked passengers huddle, jump, and dive into the icy river, where the water is already teeming with disaster victims. The men and women in the river bob and swim. Passengers lie on, attempt to stay upon, and assist others onto floes of ice and bits of debris. In the lower right of the image, a rowboat containing a rower and a man holding a baby (as well as a victim hanging on to the rear of the vessel) arrives at the nearby wharf. The rescuer hands the limp baby to a woman, as a man stands nearby with a look of concern. In the left background, signage for “Baths” can be seen on the riverbank. The New Jersey, captained by Ebenezer Corson, was mid-voyage to Camden from Philadelphia (using an alternate elongated route due to heavy ice), when it caught fire on the night of March 15, 1856. The fire started as a result of defective boilers, a fireplace, and brick work. With the fire spreading rapidly, Corson retreated to Arch Street Wharf in Philadelphia, and came within 30 feet of the pier when the pilot house collapsed, leaving the boat unmanned and out of control. Corson survived by leaping ashore before the uncontrolled ship drifted back out on the river. This print was published by John L. Magee (born circa 1820) and Alfred Pharazyn (circa 1833–circa 1878). Magee was an artist, engraver, and lithographer who specialized in cartoons and event prints. Active in Philadelphia by 1855, he produced portraits, church views, political cartoons, and event prints, including Civil War imagery. Pharazyn operated a print coloring establishment in Philadelphia between the 1850s and the 1870s.

Charles C. Oat's Lamp Store. Number 32 North Second Street, Philadelphia

This lithograph from circa 1848 is an advertisement showing a four-story storefront located at number 32 North Second Street, north of Market Street in Philadelphia. The building is adorned with signage reading, “Lamps,” “Charles C. Oat’s Lamp Store,” and “C.C. Oat.” A female patron stands at the open entry and peers into the display window, which is filled with lavishly-designed lamps, chandeliers, and light fixtures. Inside the store, a clerk assists a female patron reviewing a display table of lamps. On the sidewalk, a couple strolls past a pile of boxes near the store, a boy with no shoes carries a bundle, and a boy peddler walks with his basket of wares. Partial views of neighboring businesses are also seen, with partial signage reading, “...Maull...Bonnets” and “34 W.H.E...Shoe....” The neighboring shops are a hat store, probably one owned by Robert F. Maull, and a shoe store. The hat store has a display of hats strung from ropes hanging from the roof and sidewalk awning. Oat tenanted this address from 1848–50. The artist, William H. Rease, was born in Pennsylvania circa 1818, and was the most prolific lithographer of advertising prints in Philadelphia during the 1840s and 1850s. Rease became active in his trade around 1844. 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, located at 17 South Fifth Street, north of 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.