Section V. The Market

Commissioned work was the norm for lithographers from the time of Kennedy & Lucas in the late 1820s through the late 19th century. “Practical” or “general” lithographers produced pictorial works based on custom designs as well as less artistic, small format commercial lithographs, such as circulars, billheads, and checks. Receiving commissions from business proprietors, publishers, religious institutions, government and municipal agencies, and volunteer and fraternal organizations, lithographers “executed in short order” periodical and book illustrations, sheet music covers, plans, architectural drawings, advertising prints, certificates, and commemorative and souvenir prints. Some commercial establishments also specialized in certain branches of the business, such as book illustrations, maps, or labels.


Click on the thumbnails below to browse the items in this section of the exhibition.



William H. Rease, Moyer & Hazard, Successors of Alexander Fullerton, 174 Market Street, Fifth Door Above Fifth Street, Philadelphia [and] Elijah Bowen, Wholesale & Retail Hat & Cap Store, No. 176 Market Street, Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Wagner & McGuigan, ca. 1846). Crayon lithograph.
Max Rosenthal, Interior View of L. J. Levy & Co.’s Dry Goods Store, Chestnut St. Phila.: Erected in 1857 by W. P. Fetridge, Esqr. 55 Feet Front & 175 Feet Deep. (Philadelphia: Lith. & Printed in Colors by L. N. Rosenthal, ca. 1857). Chromolithograph. Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Louis Haugg, Philadelphia, Paris & New York Fashions, for Spring & Summer of 1864 (Philadelphia: Published and sold by F. Mahan, 1864). Colored by A. Biegeman. Crayon lithograph, hand-colored.



James F. Queen, Columbia Hose Co. of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: P. S. Duval Son & Co., lith., ca. 1865). Crayon lithograph, tinted with one stone.
Philadelphia and Southern Mail Steamship Company. (Philadelphia: J. Haehnlen, ca. 1866). Transfer lithograph.



First Floor of the Girard College (Philadelphia: Lith. of J. T. Bowen, ca. 1840). Pen and ink lithograph.
Detail of Fig. 3 from Plate 9, “Drawing Instruments &c used in Lithography,” in Every Man his Own Printer: or, Lithography Made Easy:  Being an Essay upon Lithography in All Its Branches... (London: Waterlow and Sons, 1854).



Given Philadelphia’s status as a center for the book trades, periodical and book illustrations formed a very steady branch of local and regional work for Philadelphia lithographers. Peter S. Duval and Alfred Hoffy (1796-1872) even started their own, short-lived periodicals during the 1840s and 1850s.

Alfred Hoffy, “No. 2. The Moyamensing Pear.” Hand-colored crayon lithograph in The American Pomologist: Containing Finely Colored Drawings, Accompanied by Letter-Press Descriptions of Fruits of American Origin (Philadelphia:  Published by A. Hoffy, 1851).
Wagner & McGuigan, Cape Palmas from “Views of Liberia” in “W. F. Lynch Report of Mission to Africa,” Senate Executive Documents, 1st Session, 33rd Congress, Part 3, Vol. 1, Doc. 1 (1853). Crayon lithograph. Gift of David Doret. Pl. LII. “Twins in utero: the head of one presenting, the breech of the other; Secondary foetus three months of age.” Plate printed by Thomas Sinclair in Francis H. Ramsbotham, The Principles and Practice of Obstetric Medicine and Surgery, in Reference to the Process of Parturition. Illustrated by One Hundred and Forty-Eight Plates (Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1849).
“Management of Short Limbs.” Hand-colored, crayon lithograph printed by John T. Bowen, in Mrs. A. Walker, Female Beauty, as Preserved and Improved by Regimen, Cleanliness and Dress (New-York: Scofield and Voorhies, 146 Nassau Street. J. & H. G. Langley, 57 Chatham St., [1840?]).
Pl. 48-51. Crayon lithograph printed by John Collins, in N. Whittock, The Oxford Drawing Book, or, The Art of Drawing, and the Theory and Practice of Perspective (New York: Collins, Keese & Co., 1840).



Girard House Polka. Composed & Respectfully Dedicated to Miss Flora Davis by C. F. Stein, Member of the Germania Musical Society (Philadelphia:  Lee & Walker, 1852). Printed by Thomas Sinclair. Crayon lithograph, tinted with one stone. Gift of David Doret.



Girard House Polka. Composed & Respectfully Dedicated to Miss Flora Davis by C. F. Stein, Member of the Germania Musical Society (Philadelphia:  Lee & Walker, 1852). Printed by Thomas Sinclair. Crayon lithograph, tinted with one stone. Gift of David Doret.

We have received from Mr. Frederick Bourquin a handsome lithograph of Fairmount Park, showing the recent additions made to it, with the proposed park on the west side of the river, including the Lansdowne estate recently donated to the city.
Printers’ Circular, July 1869


In addition to commissions, commercial lithographers produced for the open market as well, although less frequently given the financial risks of speculative printing. Lithographers printed non-commissioned works that catered to public tastes, such as frameable views (often chromolithographs by the 1860s), political cartoons, and news prints. Available for purchase at the establishments, lithographs of this type could also be procured at print and stationery shops, frame stores, auctions, and from peddlers on the street.


James F. Queen, Buildings of the Great Central Fair, in Aid of the U. S. Sanitary Commission Logan Square, Philadelphia, June 1864 (Philadelphia: Printed & lithogrd. by P. S. Duval & Son, 1864). Chromolithograph.



The Follies of the Age, Vive La Humbug!! ([Philadelphia, 1855]). Crayon lithograph.



Terrible Conflagration and Destruction of the Steam-boat “New Jersey,” On the River Delaware, Opposite Philadelphia, on the Night of Saturday, March 15th, 1856, Between 8 and 9 O’Clock, by Which Dreadful Calamity Sixty-One Lives Were Lost (Philadelphia: Published by A. Pharazin, 103 South Street, [1856]). Crayon lithograph, hand-colored.




Following the introduction of chromolithography and steam presses in the mid-19th century, the printing shops of the earlier era gave way to multi-storied factories with specialized departments, particularly after the Civil War. Although the facilities grew larger, the format of most of the commissioned, pictorial work became smaller. By the late 1870s, with the improvements to steam printing and the perfecting of chromolithography, mass-produced colorful trade cards, suggestive of modern advertising designs, became a primary product of the Philadelphia lithographic establishments that remained active into the 20th century. 



J. Westney, Agt., Manufacturers of Baby Carriages and Velocipedes, No. 226 Dock Street (Philadelphia: Ketterlinus, ca. 1882). Chromolithograph stock trade card. Gift of Emily Phillips.
Pictures and Frames. J. Hoover, 628 Arch St. Philadelphia (Philadelphia, ca. 1880). Chromolithograph stock trade card.


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