Julio H. Rae (Firm). Rae’s Philadelphia Pictorial Directory and Panoramic Advertiser: Chestnut Street from Second to Tenth Streets. Philadelphia, Pa: Julio H. Rae, 1851.
This week, for Neat Things I Have Cataloged, we have an interesting book featuring panoramas of Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. Chestnut street was the main commercial street in Philadelphia at the time, and Julio Rae (the publisher) hit upon a novel idea: a “visual directory” of businesses on the street. The directory of Chestnut Street begins at 2nd and ends at 10th Street. In the preface, Rae states that he “felt confident that he has hit upon a system not only novel and beautiful, but exceedingly useful, and one of which he believes to be entirely unique.”
Ostensibly to make more money from his project, Rae sold subscriptions to businesses on Chestnut - a subscription gave a business an advertisement in the book (on the left) and also placed their name on the building in which they were located (and the appropriate floor as well, on the right). Folding plates accommodate the taller buildings, and the largest plate (last image above) illustrates the State House, indicating where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Rae intended to update his Chestnut Street directory each year, showing changes in the businesses on the street. He also announced a similar panoramic advertisement work covering Market Street from the Delaware River to Broad Street. Apparently he was too ambitious, and neither project ever was published.
If you are so inclined, here’s a reference for more information:
I am all about jasonwdean's #neat things i have cataloged series.