View of Reading, Pa.

Title

View of Reading, Pa.

Creator

John T. Bowen
American, b. England, 1801–c. 1856
After Antonion Zeno Shindler
American, b. Bulgaria, c. 1813–1899
Published by J. T. Bowen, Philadelphia.

Date

1839

Description

The plan for Reading was laid out in 1743 by Richard and Thomas Penn, the sons of William Penn and proprietors of the colony of Pennsylvania since the elder Penn's death in 1718. The town, soon to be the county seat of Berks County (chartered in 1852), was named after the Penn family hometown in Berkshire County, England. Reading in turn leant its name to the Reading Railroad-more properly, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad-which was incorporated in 1833 and opened its first line, from Reading to Pottstown, in 1837. An extension to Philadelphia was added in 1839.

John T. Bowen, who today is perhaps best known for preparing and printing the plates for several of John J. Audubon's natural history projects, drew this view of Reading after a circa 1834 watercolor by A. Zeno Shindler now housed in the New York Public Library. The vantage point is the north side of Neversink Mountain, which rises on the east bank of the Schuylkill River just south of Reading. The mountain was a popular retreat for tourists and vacationers, featuring as many as five hotels near its summit, including the Whitehouse Hotel, possibly the "white Cottage" mentioned in the text accompanying the sheet here.

Adapted from the entry written by Judith Hansen O'Toole for the 1980 Pennsylvania Prints exhibition catalogue.

Contributor

Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Partial gift and purchase from John C. O’Connor and Ralph M. Yeager

Identifier

86.558

Source

John C. O'Connor and Ralph M. Yeager Collection, Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University

Rights

This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses are not permitted.

Format

Lithograph with hand coloring; 18 x 23-1/4 in. (45.7 x 59 cm)

Coverage

United States, Pennsylvania, Berks (county), Reading