Item No: pdcp00791
Historic Street Address:
640 Waterworks Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Print and Picture Collection
Almost every body, at home and abroad, has heard of the beautiful spot called "Fairmount:" at least every "travelled" person has. It would be considered as teh absence of all taste, for a stranger to appear in Philadelphia, and not to devote an hour to visit "the Fairmount Water Works".
-Ezra Holden, Views of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity, 1838
Hand-colored lithograph, published in Philadelphia by J.T. Bowen, 1840.
John Caspar Wild (1804-1846)
Swiss-born and Paris-trained artist, John Caspar Wild moved to Philadelphia in 1832. He travelled around the city, creating watercolors of newly built and impressive buildings, using them as the basis for lithographic prints, which could be reproduced in great numbers. With his partner J. B. Chevalier he issued a series of 20 prints, released in monthly parts in 1938 as Views of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity.
Wild's prints were originally issued in parts - four prints each month for the first five months of 1838. The 20 plates were followed by the four panoramas from the State House steeple. This was followed by the second edition (still in 1838), which consisted of all 20 plates in one bound volume. "Poetical illustrations" of each image were written by Ezra Holden and Andrew McMakin, the proprietors of the Saturday Courier. Holden wrote the prose and McMakin wrote the poetry.
Not long after the Views of Philadelphia was published, Wild moved west to St. Louis and turned his focus to that city and the Mississippi Valley. The copyright and lithographic stones to view his Views of Philadelphia were bought by J. T. Bowen, who published another edition in 1838 and a new edition of the work with hand-colored plates in 1848. Wild died in Davenport, Iowa at the young age of 42.
Wild, J. C. (John Caspar), approximately 1804-1846 - Lithographer
Bowen, John T., approximately 1801-1856? - Lithographer