View of the Inclined Plane, near Philadelphia

Historical Images of Philadelphia Philadelphiana
View of the Inclined Plane, near Philadelphia

Item Info

Item No: pdcp00795
Title: View of the Inclined Plane, near Philadelphia
Historic Street Address: Edgley Ave. and Belmont Ave
Historic Street Address: West Fairmount Park
Media Type: Lithographs
Source: Print and Picture Collection

 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. 


 Hand-colored lithograph, published in Philadelphia by J.T. Bowen, 1840.


Known as the Belmont Plane.


Plate 4 in Wild's Panorama and Views. 


The Inclined Plane is situated upon the Great Western Rail Road, leading from Philadelphia to Columbia [a town south of Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River].  Following the road from the intersection of Vine and Broad Streets in Philadelphia, for nearly three miles, you come to the foot of the Inclined Plane, on the opposite side of the river Schuylkill. 
-Ezra Holden, Views of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity, 1838

Geocode Latitude: Geocode Longitude:-75.217914
Geocode Latitude:39.994263

Creator Name: Wild, J. C. (John Caspar), approximately 1804-1846 - Lithographer
Bowen, John T., approximately 1801-1856? - Lithographer