The Acquisitions Table: Philadelphia from Girard College

B.F. Smith Jr. after J. W. Hill. Philadelphia from Girard College – 1850. New York: Smith Brothers & Co., ca. 1850.515093_0001

The American Antiquarian Society holds a substantial manuscript archive for the Smith Brothers, a publishing firm located in Maine and New York. Four brothers formed the firm, which specialized in the printing of folio lithographed and engraved city views. The firm was founded in 1846, and the manuscript collection holds several subscription books for the following eight years, when the brothers published almost thirty views. They sometimes worked with prominent artists, or drew the images themselves. This view of Philadelphia was one of a pair and, according to the subscription book, was offered individually or as a set to subscribers in the city. The perspective from Girard College is captivating, showing the sweep of the Schuylkill River, with the city in the distance at the far left.

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