Object Record

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Catalog Number 01.C.50
Object Name Plate
Title Library Company Plate
Artist J. & W. Ridgway
Date ca. 1820
Description Blue and white ironstone plate with central image of Library Company building and border of medallions of roses. Stamp on underside reads, "BEAUTIES OF AMERICA / LIBRARY PHILADELPHIA / J. & W. RIDGWAY."
Label This plate depicts the Library Company in the early 19th century, and was made by the Ridgway firm as part of their "Beauties of America" series. John and William Ridgway, members of a family of porcelain manufacturers, worked from 1814-1830 under the name J & W Ridgway in Shelton, Staffordshire, England. The transfer printing technique allowed the Ridgway firm to reproduce images on porcelain for mass production. Each type of dinnerware made in the "Beauties of America" series depicted a different scene, thus all the breakfast plates showed the Library Company. The Library Company was founded by Benjamin Franklin and his cohort in 1731, and was the first successful lending library in America. The original Library building was on the land where Library Hall of the APS now stands. With its expanding collection of books, the Library Company moved to another Philadelphia location in the 19th century, and the original building was demolished. In the 1950s that Library Hall was built, a reproduction of the original Library Company building.
Material Ironstone
Dimensions D-1 Dia-8.25 inches
Credit line American Philosophical Society
Search Terms 19th century
nineteenth century
Philadelphia