Captain Watson. “View On The Schuylkill From the Old Water Works.” From Cephas G. Childs’ Views of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia: C.G. Childs, 1827-1830. 3 1/8 x 5 ½ (image). Octavo. Copper engraving. Very good condition.
Almost three decades after the publication of the first edition of William Birch’s City of Philadelphia, Cephas Childs published the second comprehensive series of prints of the city, entitled Views of Philadelphia. Childs, a native of Bucks County, was one of the most prominent American printmakers of his day. He was an expert engraver and publisher, and he later went on to run an important early lithographic firm. Despite his energy, skill and popularity, Childs never made much money from prints, and so in 1834 he abandoned the business to become a newspaper publisher. The Views of Philadelphia was Child’s most important early publication, containing twenty six prints, most engraved by Childs. The detail and composition of the engravings is excellent, and they provide a fascinating view of the city in early 19th century. See: Snyder, Mirror of America, pp. 70-77.
Other images from Cephas Childs' Philadelphia: