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"Souvenir of Penn'a Railroad Sceneries"
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD SOUVENIR ARTIST ALBUM, c. 1880s
This hardbound cover souvenir book is covered with black cloth, having a heavy orange paper covering with gold embossed lettering and designs, measuring 3.25 x 5" overall. The cover has period stylized lettering that reads Souvenir of Penn'a Railroad – sceneries with intricate gold borders, fleur de lis decorations and designs. the rear cover has idenitical border designs with what appears to be a Pennyslvania state coat of arms at the center. The inside rear cover has an attached paper page that reads F. Weber & Co. – successors to Janentzky & Weber – importers of and dealers in artists' materials – manufacturers of artists' oil and water colors, academy boards, artists' canvas, pastel colours, paper mache plaques, engineers' and draughtmen's supplies – sole agents for the U.S. for Riefler's patent drawing instruments – roll drawing papers, blue print papers, etchers', engravers' and lithographers' materials, chromos and engravings, paper and wax flower materials – 1125 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, Pa. of importance is the fact that F. Weber & Co. was located at this address from 1887 to 1900. The canvas of many famous paintings carry the labels of Janentzky & Weber and F. Weber & Co.
Featured are twenty-four glossy artist lithographs, appearing to be reproductions of pen and ink drawings, each featuring intricate and detailed work. All are printed on one side of medium weight cardstock, having a thin red border, with a title at the bottom. One image is attached to the inside front cover, with the rest being attached to each other in an accordian style.
Included are the following titles, which mostly identify the georgraphical area depicted, rather than describing the scene:
A souvenir view book of the Pennsylvania Railroad, usually sold onboard the train, or bought at a news stand in a depot. This offers a tour of the early Pennsylvania countryside, images of early railroad architecture, equipment, signals, trains, and the traveling public. An historic relic no doubt purchased by a tourist, perhaps making their first train trip, as a remeberance of the sights viewed from an early railroad coach. The skill of the artist is perhaps the most intriguing characteristic, considering the images appear almost as real photographs.
Text and images courtesy of an anonymous donor.