Although Baltimore and Charleston had earlier directories as parts of other publications, in 1785 Philadelphia was the first city to produce a "separately printed" directory. In 1785, competing Philadelphia publishers John MacPherson and Francis White both issued directories, with MacPherson beating White to publication by about nine days. However, no directories were published from 1786-1790. Over the years until 1936 many different publishers put out Philadelphia city and business directories.
Cornelius Stafford, who also published Baltimore directories, explained in the preface of his first directory in 1797 why he launched this new publication: "a Directory in a mercantile city is one of the most useful Publications; and, from the circumstance of the great accession of new inhabitants to the city every year, together with the frequent removals, are the leading motives which have actuated the Editor to publish the present one & From the utility of the work, the Editor flatters himself to experience the patronage of the Public every year, as he intends publishing one annually, and which will be keeping on foot a desirable collection of genuine information." Stafford, who published Philadelphia directories from 1797 to 1800, may be the Englishman named Cornelius William Stafford who taught school in several Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, townships in the early nineteenth century. $1,250
James Mease. Picture of Philadelphia. Giving an Account of its Origin; Increase; and Improvements in Arts, Science, Manufactures, Commerce and Revenue. With a Compendious View of its Societies, Literary, Benevolent, Patriotic, & Religious. Its Police-the Public Buildings-the Prisons and Penetentiary System-Institutions, Monied and Civil-Museum. Philadelphia: B. & T. Kite, 1811. Printed by Jane Aitken. Fold-out frontispiece, Thomas Birch's "Philadelphia taken from Kensington" engraved by S. Seymour. First edition. Small octavo. xii, 376pp. Original boards; new gold stamped spine. Usual age toning; very good condition.
James Mease (1771-1846), son of a wealthy merchant and son-in-law of South Carolina statesman Pierce Butler, was a prominent Philadelphia physician. A founder of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, as well as a member of the American Philosophical Society, he wrote extensively on medicine (especially rabies), veterinary medicine, agriculture, geology, and local history.
Essentially an institutional history and description of Philadelphia that contains some social and cultural sections, this book is full of facts and figures about the early 19th Century city. $525
John Adems Paxton. The stranger's guide. An alphabetical list of all the wards, streets, roads, lanes, alleys, avenues, courts, wharves, shipyards, public buildings, &c. in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia, with references for finding their situations, on an alphabetical plan. Philadelphia, 1811. 16mo. 56 pages. Leather spine with gold stamping. Marbled boards. Expected toning to the pages.
Scarce guide to Philadelphia, without the accompanying map, which was sometimes issued on a roller or in a separate case. Includes a general and very heartfelt description of the city, statistics regarding its various districts and townships, and a directional guide. $375
J. Simons. "Map of the City of Philadelphia." Phila.: C.P. Fessenden, 1835. Engraving. 13 1/2 x 14 (neatlines) plus margins. Slight foxing. Frontispiece map folded into The Stranger's Guide to the City of Philadelphia. Collation: title, almanac for 1835, -11, 24-72. Text is contiguous within this irregular pagination. Sewn binding in marbled paper covers with intricate printed label, all original. All very good to excellent.
An exquisite stranger's guide book from an early date. The fifty eight pages give a great amount of information about services and locations in this large and growing city. This edition is not listed in Phillips' List of Maps and Views of Philadelphia, although that source lists editions for 1833, 1834, 1837, and 1843. Simons' map was used for other publications, including Charles DeSilver's Philadelphia Directory. A fine item. $600
William P. C. Barton. Compendium Florae Philadelphicae: Containing a Description of the Indigenous and Naturalized Plants found within a Circuit of Ten Miles around Philadelphia. Philadelphia: M. Carey & Son, 1818. 2 octavo volumes. I: 4ll., -251 pp.; II: -234 pp. Original spines with gold stamped titles and boards, original flyleaves and pastedowns. Rehinged. Sabin, 3857.
William Paul Crillon Barton (1786-1856), native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a physician and botanist who served in the U.S. Navy in the War of 1812 and subsequently worked as a professor of botany at the University of Pennsylvania. He knew and collaborated with many natural scientists throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. He had strong ties to members of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Alexander Wilson, Thomas Nuttall, and others. His best known works were: Vegetable Materia Medica of the United States (1817-19) and Flora of North America (1821-23). This study of the names of indigenous plants found in a ten mile radius of Philadelphia contains indices in both volumes and those for "English and Vulgar names" most useful. This is a lovely and carefully produced set by Mathew Carey and his son Henry. $650
John F. Watson. Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the Olden Time. Philadelphia: John Pennington and Uriah Hunt, 1844. Octavo. 2 vols. Period binding. Wood engravings by T. H. Mumford. Inscribed by William S. Vaux (likely not the renowned mineralogist). Clippings from local newspapers 1853-1908 pasted or folded in. Howes: Usiana, W-169.
John Fanning Watson (1779-1860) was cashier of the Bank of Germantown and secretary/treasurer of the Germantown and Norristown Railroad. He had a lifelong interest in the history of Philadelphia and Germantown, publishing the single volume first edition of the Annals in 1830, which he revised, enlarged and republished in this two volume set in 1844. $650
John F. Watson. Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Times. Philadelphia: Whiting & Thomas, 1856. Octavo. 2 vols. Expertly rehinged period binding. Extra illustrated. 72 illustrations.
John Fanning Watson (1779-1860) was cashier of the Bank of Germantown and secretary/treasurer of the Germantown and Norristown Railroad. He had a lifelong interest in the history of Philadelphia and Germantown, publishing the single volume first edition of the Annals in 1830, which he revised and republished in two volumes in 1844. This much enlarged compendium about the history of Philadelphia was bound for "J. Snyder" in half leather with marbled boards. The text is complete and while the fine illustrations using engraving and woodcuts are not generally where they are called for in the directions to the binder, all but three are present along with ten extra plates. One of the wood engravers is Henry M. Snyder who was not the owner of this volume, but there could be a connection. A collation of the plates accompanies these two fine volumes. This is the fourth printing of the second edition of this classic work. $650
Abraham Ritter. History of the Moravian Church in Philadelphia, from its Foundation in 1742 to the Present Time. Philadelphia: Hayes & Zell, 1857. Octavo. Rehinged, with original spine and boards. Publisher's cloth. Twenty one illustrations, some hand colored.
Born in Pennsylvania about 1792, Ritter was involved in Philadelphia real estate and commerce and in 1860 published Philadelphia and Her Merchants as Constituted Fifty & Seventy Years Ago. A devout Moravian, Ritter served the congregation in various offices over the years, including over three decades as the church organist. $225
The Stranger's Guide in Philadelphia, to all Public Buildings, Places of Amusement . . . with a Map of the Consolidated City. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1859. Collates: Front, tp., [viii]-xii, folding map, -272, 2ll. advertisements. Original buckram binding stamped in gold. Fine condition. Very informative and attractive.
Twelve chapters discuss and illustrate: public buildings, places of amusements, commercial institutions, education, medical colleges, literary and scientific institutions, benevolent institutions, churches, cemeteries, government buildings, internal improvements, hotels and "relics of the past." Folding lithographed map is: "Plan of the City of Philadelphia as now Consolidated shewing the boundaries of the Wards. Published by Lindsay & Blakiston." 20 x 17 (neat lines). Old tape repairs. Tape did not discolor. $450
"Memorial of the International Exhibition at Philadelphia, 1876." Thomas Hunter, Publisher, 716 Filbert St. Philadelphia. 3 1/4" x 5" volume of 48 views, plus a map of the centennial grounds and a list of the dimensions of ten of the principal buildings. There is some wear to the front cover, which is loose but attached. Volume collates complete.
This exhibition was one of the greatest tourist attractions of the era, with visitors not just from across the United States, but also from all around the world. With the tourists and world-wide interest in the exhibition, many souvenirs were issued. This pocket sized volume is essentially a much reduced version of the images in Thompson Westcott's Centennial Portfolio, also published by Hunter, but with non-tinted lithographs and without text. Five of the 52 views that appeared in Westcott were not published here (the Iowa & Missouri Buildings, the French Restaurant, and views of Independence Hall in 1776 & 1876) although the New England Kitchen and Log House appears here but not in Westcott. The latter is a scarce image.
Thomas Hunter originally joined with Pierre S. Duval's son, Stephen Orr Duval, when P.S. Duval retired in 1869. Hunter continued on his own once Stephen Orr Duval quit in 1874. $125
John Fanning Watson (1779-1860) was cashier of the Bank of Germantown and secretary/treasurer of the Germantown and Norristown Railroad. He had a lifelong interest in the history of Philadelphia and Germantown, publishing the single volume first edition of the Annals in 1830, which he revised and republished in two volumes in 1842 and 1856. Willis P. Hazzard updated the work in 1879, adding the third volume. $750
J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott. History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co., 1884. Three volumes. Octavo. Original brown cloth binding (rehinged) with gilt title on front covers and spines. New pastedowns and endpapers. Top page edges gilt. Howes, S-145.
Published in three volumes comprising 2,399 pages organized in 59 chapters, Scharf & Westcott's massive work is the standard reference for Philadelphia history up to its date of publication. It contains over 430 illustrations, including portraits, parks, houses, businesses, institutions, and the like. While some illustrations were small wood engravings set within the text, others were fine full page engravings. $400
Frederick P. Henry, Editor. Founders' Week Memorial Volume: Containing an Account of the Two Hundred and Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Founding of the City of Philadelphia, and Histories of its Principal Scientific Institutions, Medical Colleges, Hospitals, etc. Philadelphia: City of Philadelphia, 1909. Bound in 1/4 brown leather with gilt lettering. Octavo. 912 pages. Illustrated.
Intended to be "a standard history of the scientific and charitable institutions of Philadelphia," this volume was published in conjunction with the celebration of the anniversary of the City's establishment by William Penn. After an introduction describing anniversary celebrations, the volume contains seventy two essays sketching out the histories of institutions in the following categories: Scientific Institutions (6); Medical, Pharmaceutical, and Dental Colleges (9); Hospitals and Allied Institutions under Municipal Management (4); General Hospitals and Dispensaries (26); Special Hospitals and Dispensaries (18); Asylums, Homes and Training Schools (7); and, Medical Societies and Medical Journals of Philadelphia (2). $225
John Richards. Quaint Old Germantown in Pennsylvania: A Series of Sixty Former Landmarks of Germantown and Vicinity, Drawn on Zinc During the Years 1863-1888. Collated, arranged and annotated by Julius Friedrich Sachse. Philadelphia: 1913. Quarto. Printed mostly from the original zinc plates. Original boards, new spine, new end papers. Minor wear at bottom of front board.
A Swedish immigrant to Germantown, Richards worked as a gardener, day laborer and church sexton. During his recuperation from wounds suffered at the Second Battle of Bull Run in 1862, and without any instruction in art, Richards began creating sketches of landmarks in one of Philadelphia's oldest neighborhoods, from which he later made drawings on zinc plates. In the 1890s a local lithographer made prints from the plates. In 1913 Sachse, a renowned historian of the German communities in Pennsylvania, organized this publication, noting "Thirty three of these views are printed from the identical zinc plates made by John Richards; eight are reproductions of original sketches now first published; while the remainder are from transfers made of prints from the original plates." $600
George W. & Walter S. Bromley. Atlas of the City of Philadelphia 22nd Ward From Actual Surveys and Official Plans. Philadelphia: G.W. Bromley & Co., 1923. Folio, 23 x 17 1/4. Double page, linen-backed color Outline and Index Map with Legend, plus 35 tabbed, double page, linen-backed color maps. Cloth with gilt-lettered leather cover label. Shelf-worn from use in a real-estate office, but complete.
Starting about 1870, atlases of properties in and outside of Philadelphia began to be published by such firms as Bromley, Hopkins and Hexamer. Their output provides excellent, detailed images of the growth of the city of Philadelphia and the suburbs as well from the 1870s through the first part of the twentieth century. These atlases were used for planning, government purposes, and just for the information of citizens of the area. These atlases are also known as "railroad, real estate, and/or insurance" atlases and contain very accurate and detailed information such as streets, properties, parks, and other topographical and social features. Such information as property ownership, materials of construction, proposed developments, and so forth, are given with clear precision. These maps provide a rigorous and accurate picture of the locale at one point in history, and allow a unique privileged look at the past.
In addition to Philadelphia publications, George Washington Bromley (1853-1930) and his brother Walter Scott Bromley (1857-1927) also published atlases of Boston, New York and several other East Coast cities. Following the death of the Bromley brothers, the company concentrated its efforts on New York, where the final known imprint bearing the Bromley name was published in 1960.
This atlas, showing the neighborhoods of Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill is especially interesting in that it was used as a working document in a real estate office. Therefore, it contains paste-overs as properties were developed, especially in the inter-war years. Also there are some marginal notations of property sales and several newspaper clippings. Altogether this is a fascinating overview of northwest Philadelphia in the first half of the 20th century. $800
John F. Watson. Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the Olden Time....Enlarged by Willis P. Hazard. Philadelphia: Leary, Stuart Co., 1927. Octavo. Three Volumes; 609 + 640 + 524 p., 74 illustrations, short indexes in first two volumes, full extended index to all volumes in volume three, textured maroon cloth over boards with black lines, gilt spine titles, liberty bell in gilt on spines with black and gilt decoration.
John Fanning Watson (1779-1860) was cashier of the Bank of Germantown and secretary/treasurer of the Germantown and Norristown Railroad. He had a lifelong interest in the history of Philadelphia and Germantown, publishing the single volume first edition of the Annals in 1830, which he revised and republished in two volumes in 1842 and 1856. Willis P. Hazzard updated the work in 1879, adding the third volume. This set is a reprint of that edition. $150
Herman LeRoy Collins and Wilfred Jordan. Philadelphia: A Story of Progress. Philadelphia: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 1941. 4 Volumes. Illustrated. Cloth binding. Very good condition.
Herman LeRoy Collins (1865-1940) was a journalist connected with several Philadelphia newspapers: The Press, The Public Ledger, the Evening Telegraph (as president and editor), and The Inquirer. Known for writing a local column using the name "Girard," he composed the first two volumes of this work, on the general history of Philadelphia.
Son of well-known Philadelphia historian John Woolf Jordan, Wilfred Jordan (1884-1959) was long associated with the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and composed the third volume of this work, on the industrial and commercial history of the city.
The fourth volume consists of biographical sketches composed from information gleaned from its subjects. $60
Go to views of Philadelphia page
Go to Philadelphia reference books page
For further information, please contact:
8441 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118 USA
(215) 242-4750 [Phone]
(215) 242-6977 [Fax]
©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated June 1, 2016