Catasauqua, Pa.


Catasauqua, Pa.


Thaddeus M. Fowler
American, 1842–1922
and Oakley H. Bailey
American, 1843–1947
or Howard H. Bailey
American, 1836–1878
Printed by the American Oleograph Company
Published by T. M. Fowler & O. H. or H. H. Bailey




This representation of Catasauqua, in 1873 already a fairly substantial town located on the Lehigh River just east of Allentown, provides the perfect model for demonstrating the often complicated history behind the production of bird's-eye views. For example, we know from the inscription just below the image that the view was drawn and published by Thaddeus Fowler and one of two brothers, either Howard Heston Bailey or the younger Oakley Hoopes Bailey. Fowler worked with both at the beginning of his lithography career while still in Milwaukee, between 1872 and 1875. What we don’t know from the inscription is whether Fowler alone provided the drawing, or whether one of the Bailey brothers was responsible for the imagery as well.

In any case, neither Fowler nor the Baileys were yet comfortable enough with printmaking to transfer the drawing to stone. That aspect was given to Charles M. Vogt, who ran a lithography company in Milwaukee throughout the 1870s. The printing, on the other hand, was entrusted to the American Oleograph Company, also in Milwaukee, which was founded circa 1871 by Louis Kurz (who later would partner with Alexander Allison to publish, among many other fine lithographs, the 1890 depiction of the Johnston flood, also on view in the exhibition).


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




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


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


Color lithograph with additional hand coloring; 15-3/8 x 20-7/8 in. (39.1 x 53 cm)


United States, Pennsylvania, Lehigh (county), Catasauqua