Oil on canvas
Period gilt frame
H: 19"; W: 22"
Provenance: From the estate of George Gallup, Princeton, NJ
The Morgan Orr & Company was an iron foundry and steam engine building concern located at 1219 Callowhill Street in Philadelphia. The company was founded in the early 1850's by Joshua Morgan (b. 1820) and Arthur Orr (1819-1901) and quickly specialized in the production of coining machinery for the U.S. Mint. They produced coining presses, milling and other machines designed to work in precious metals. They provided machinery for the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia in 1858 and San Francisco (in use until 1955) and eventually supplied coining machinery to other countries including Peru, Bolivia and Mexico. This picture shows the company in 1865 at the height of its success with smoke bellowing from its furnaces and various activities in the courtyard before the complex. The 1867 Hexamer Insurance General Survey of the property below shows all of the buildings depicted here including the "Boiler Shop" and several more behind the group that faces Callowhill Street.
The unknown artist has captured the prosperity and activity of a Morgan & Orr's busy steam powered plant, illustrating an era of innovation and industrialization in Philadelphia and America.
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