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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Historical Prints

Spanish American War, 1898
American Philippine War, 1899-1902


Though relatively unfamiliar to many Americans, the Spanish American War played a huge role in the determining the course of American history in the first part of the twentieth century. It established the United States as a world power, set a jingoistic tone for our foreign policy, and gained for the country an foreign empire. The war was at least partly started by public enthusiasm spurred by the press and popular prints played a significant role in informing the Americans about the war and shaping public perception.

The acquisition of an empire proved, however, a mixed blessing for the United States, for within six months the Americans were at war with their former allies, the Filipino insurgents. This guerilla war proved brutal and difficult, dragging on for three years until it was officially declared over in July 1902.

GoGo to a brief history of these wars

Spanish American War

Battle of Santiago
S. G. Sebry. "The Naval Battle of Santiago." Boston: James Drummond Ball, 1898. 22 x 42. Chromolithograph. Large margins. Five inch tear, expertly repaired, into image on right hand side. Otherwise, very good condition. With portraits of American and Spanish captains in the bottom margin. With a photocopy of original advertisement for the print.

When was declared against Spain in 1898, Spain's Caribbean Squadron had taken refuge in the harbor of Santiago, Cuba. United States was worried of this fleet raiding the North American coast or endangering the American invasion forces bound for Cuba. Under the Command of Maj. General Williams Shafter, 15,000 American soldiers landed near Santiago and fought the Battles of El Caney and San Juan Hill. With the capture of Santiago by the Americans, Admiral Pascual Cervera and his Spanish Fleet were now within range of American artillery fire, and he considered their position in danger. On July 3 the Spanish Squadron attempted to escape the harbor which was being blockaded by the American Fleet commanded by Admiral Sampson. The Spanish fleet was no match for the American five battleships and two armored cruisers. The campaign was a huge triumph for the modern United States Navy. This print, designed as a panorama to show the scope of the engagement, was issued not long after the battle. Names for both the American and Spanish ships are indicated. Below the image in the bottom margin are numerous oval portraits of the American and Spanish captains of the ships that took part in the battle. This print was originally issued in two editions. One an Artist Proof which was offered on canvas and other the Regular Proof Edition. This print is the latter edition. A copy of the advertisement for the print accompanies this print. A very dramatic and stirring view of the battle. $850

Prints by Kurz & Allison Chicago, 1898-99. Chromolithographs. Very good condition, except as noted.

The Chicago firm of Kurz & Allison is well known for its production of commemorative prints of American historical scenes. Founded in 1885, the firm's avowed purpose was to design "for large scale establishments of all kinds, and in originating and placing on the market artistic and fancy prints of the most elaborate workmanship." Elaborate they certainly were- the majority of their prints being bright and dramatic, with action throughout the image. Drawn in a broad, graphic style that developed from Kurz's background as a muralist, these prints have a striking appearance that makes them not only interesting historical images but also excellent decorative prints. While their Civil War prints are probably the most famous, their images of the Spanish American war were issued contemporaneously with the events, part of public fascination with this "splendid little war."

Prints from The United States Army and Navy. Akron, Ohio: Werner Company, 1899. Chromolithographs. Ca. 9 1/4 x 13 1/4. Very good condition.

Images from a fine series of prints illustrating the history and the uniforms of the American Army and Navy, from the American Revolution to the Spanish American War. Each print captures in detail the various types of uniforms worn by each service and by rank.



Leonard Wood
Boardman Robinson. "Leonard Wood." No place, publisher or date, but probably New York around the time of WW I. Lithograph, with signatures of artist and subject. 21 7/8 x 17 (sheet.) Folds, one with repaired tear, and several light spots. A portrait with multi-faceted interests.

New Hampshire-born Leonard Wood (1860-1927) was an 1883 graduate of Harvard Medical School who entered the Army as a contract physician in 1885. His bravery and service in Indian campaigns in the southwest led to his receipt of the Medal of Honor and to his engagement as physician to President McKinley and his family. In the Spanish American War he was given command of the First Volunteer Cavalry (the "Rough Riders"); his second in command was Theodore Roosevelt. Remaining in Cuba as Military Governor, in 1901 he was awarded a position as Brigadier General in the Regular Army, becoming a Major General in 1903. He was assigned military command in the Philippines, and then in 1910 became the only physician to be Chief of Staff of the Army, serving in that post until 1914. Wood was responsible for many organizational reforms in the Army, which were credited for the success of the Army in the World War which soon followed. Wood trained divisions for that conflict, and then was under consideration for the Republican presidential nomination which went to Warren Harding in 1920. Wood spent the remainder of his life as Governor-General of the Philippines.

Son of a sea captain, born in Nova Scotia and raised in Wales, Boardman Robinson (1876-1952) trained first in Boston and then in Paris, where he was influenced in the tradition of political cartooning established by Honoré Daumier. He returned to the United States in 1904, creating work for New York newspapers and magazines. Known as a socialist and as a supporter of woman suffrage, Robinson joined radicals such as Max Eastman in condemning the war which began in 1914. After the entry of the United States in 1917 the government put Eastman, Robinson, John Reed and others on trial for espionage for criticizing the war effort; two juries could not reach a verdict and the case was dropped. Robinson went on to teach at the Arts Students League in New York and then directed the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. His murals appear in Rockefeller Center and the Department of Justice.

Interestingly, this print bears the "bug" of the "Amalgamated Lithographers of America Local No. 1" which was established in 1915. So this portrait of a military subject was produced sometime after Robinson's pacifist leanings were clearly evident. $300

American Philippine War

Off to WarSpacerHome From War

"Off to The War" and "Home From The War." 1903. Chromolithographs. Each ca. 17 x 13. Some wear and chipping in margins.

Pairs of popular prints on the theme of a soldier heading off to war and then returning appeared in this country as early as the Mexican-American War. This pair appeared at the end of the Philippine-American War. $350


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