Exceptional lithographed view of the City of Philadelphia, drawn by Parsons & Atwater and published in 1875 by the firm Currier & Ives.
Finely executed bird's eye view looking east from West Philadelphia showing the city between West Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River, East Falls/Germantown, and Southwark/Grey's Ferry.
The lithograph was almost certainly produced in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition, given the appearance of the buildings in Fairmont Park, in the lower left of the map. Unlike the rest of the map, these buildings are notably out of proportion, suggesting that they were sketched from prototype plans. Further, it is uncertain if the constructed buildings ended up looking similar to those shown here.
The view shows the Philadelphia skyline from across the Schuylkill River. The industrialization of the city is prominent with smokestacks throughout and trains entering and leaving the city at many different points. The hallmarks of Philadelphia are instantly recognizable, namely City Hall and Independence Hall. In the distance, across the heavily trafficked Delaware, lie fields and small, rolling hills.
Currier & Ives
Currier and Ives was a printmaking company based in New York City from 1834-1907, specializing in high-quality, hand-printed and colored stone lithographs. The focus of their work was American life, cities, and people, and they often employed celebrated artists of the day to render drawings to be reproduced in print form.