The Acquisitions Table: The Bookbinders Shop

The Bookbinders Shop. Philadelphia: P.S. Duval for the American Sunday School Union, ca. 1850.

This image of the interior of the British bookbinding establishment of Westleys & Clark was issued by the Philadelphia lithographer P.S. Duval sometime between 1842 and 1850. A second, related print showing a ship and its furniture was printed by Duval using the same bordered vignette format, also for the American Sunday School Union.  Possibly the images (along with others not yet located) were used to educate children about trades — each features workers and modern equipment along with relevant vocabulary.  Duval had a steady relationship with the American Sunday School Union, publishing several small-format, paper-covered books for children during this period.  The bookbinding shop shown in this print includes both male and female workers surrounded by reams of paper and the tools used to create books for the booming markets of Europe and America.

Published by

Lauren Hewes

Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society

3 thoughts on “The Acquisitions Table: The Bookbinders Shop”

  1. Eric, Thank you for letting us know about your variant copy! LOC has the same print that we have, with the identical border. The sheet was apparently part of a larger set of occupational images issued by the American Sunday School Union. Is the Club’s also by Duval, or is it perhaps the British precedent that Duval was copying?

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