Item No: pdcp00801
Title: Merchant's Exchange
Historic Street Address:
Dock & 3rd Streets
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 Philadelphiawere 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.
1840, Plate 3, Dock & 3rd Streets.
Gift of Evan Randolph, 1960. Transferred from the Rare Book Department, 12/96.
Hand-colored lithograph, published in Philadelphia by J.T. Bowen, 1840.
This magnificent building is situated on the corner of Walnut and Third Streets. It is erected from the purest Pennsylvania marble, from a design, by Mr. Strickland, the well-known architect of the city. The reader need not be told that "the Exchange" is the place where "merchants most do congregate". Hence the apartments in this noble edifice are mostly occupied by appropriate establishments. The Post Office is upon the first floor, occupying about two-fifths of the whole ground. On the Walnut Street side there are many splendid offices for insurances and other purposes....
-Ezra Holden, Views of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity, 1838
Wild, J. C. (John Caspar), approximately 1804-1846 - Lithographer
Bowen, John T., approximately 1801-1856? - Lithographer