Object Record

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Catalog Number 2010.11
Object Name Engraving
Title Fairmount Gardens, With the Schuylkill Bridge
Artist Bartlett, W.H.
Artist 2 Giles, J.
Date 1839
Description Well-dressed visitors walk on fenced path up the side of Fairmount. At background is the south garden with fountain, and the Schuylkill Bridge. Across the river is Harding Hotel, a popular resort.
Label This engraving, made in 1839 after an earlier picture by English artist William Henry Bartlett, depicts the Fairmount Waterworks, a famous Philadelphia landmark. Conceived by Frederic Graff, a former assistant to architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the Waterworks combined technological achievement with an aesthetically pleasing design. In 1822, pumping engines powered by waterwheels replaced the previous dangerous and inefficient steam engines at the Fairmount site, providing the city with safe, drinkable water from the Schuylkill River. The old Engine House became a restaurant to accommodate the multitude of tourists who visited the site. The bridge shown here, known as the Schuylkill Bridge, the Upper Ferry Bridge, or "The Colossus of Fairmount," built from 1809 to 1812, was a marvel of engineering by Lewis Wernwag. The bridge burned down in 1838 and was replaced by a wire-cable suspension bridge. Adolph G. Rosengarten probably donated this drawing to the APS in the mid-20th century. He gave more than 200 items to the Society, including many images of the city.
Medium Engraving
Dimensions H-6.75 W-8.75 inches
Credit line American Philosophical Society
Search Terms 19th century
nineteenth century