Lithographic Printers Union, Constitution and By-Laws of the Lithographic Printers Union of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: F. W. Thomas, 1857). Courtesy of the German Society of Pennsylvania, German American Collection.


Alphonse Bigot, Second Grand Ball of the Lithographic Printers Union (Philadelphia: T. Sinclair’s lith., 1863). Chromolithograph.


In 1854 the Lithographic Printers Union formed in Philadelphia. The members organized to advance and promote their “mutual interest as a fraternity” and “mutual welfare as men,” according to the Constitution and By-Laws printed in English and German in 1857. The Union, which met in beer halls, and later meeting halls, established printing fee scales, provided unemployment services, set conditions for strikes, and held “grand balls.”


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