Birch, Thomas "View of the Dam and Water Works at Fair Mount, Philadelphia"

Birch, Thomas "View of the Dam and Water Works at Fair Mount, Philadelphia"

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Thomas Birch. "View of the Dam and Water Works at Fair Mount, Philadelphia".

Philadelphia: Edward Parker, 1824. 7 x 14 3/4. Engraving by R. Campbell. With centerfold as originally issued. Repaired tear in sky near centerfold with minor wear along centerfold. Else, very good condition.

This view by Thomas Birch first appeared in the Report of the Watering Committee (1823), and thus Birch focuses on the mill house and dam, the latter depicted stretching across the center of the print. The original engine house, built in 1812 and also designed by Graff, is shown at the extreme right. To the left is the canal lock by-passing the dam, built as part of the agreement the City made with the Schuylkill Navigation Company in order to obtain the rights to water power at Fairmount. The view is oriented to look up the Schuylkill towards Lemon Hill, which can be seen in the background. Birch shows the Schuylkill teeming with activity. Several fishermen try their luck from the shore and nearby rocks, and more fishermen fill two of the three row boats below the dam. Steaming into the entrance of the lock is a paddle wheeler, ferrying passengers to the upper part of the river.

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