Organized January 8, 1895
The Special Collections Library at the University of Michigan owns a substantial number of prints, photographs, and original artwork. These visual materials complement the printed material in most subject areas. The Transportation History Collection contains over 12,000 such items, including this early print of Cincinnati. Cincinnati, in addition to being “The Queen City of the West,” was a major printing and publishing center from the earliest days of the Old Northwest Territory.
This view of the city was printed by Strobridge Lithographing Company, which, along with Gibson Greetings, the Hennegan Company, S. Rosenthal, and U.S. Playing Card, was founded by master lithographers who had immigrated to this country in the early nineteenth century. The print is based on an original painting by an artist named A.J. Swing and combines an imagined aerial view with map-like components. Thus, the viewer is able to see the entire town of Cincinnati, including its waterfront, with each building neatly numbered and identified in the key at the bottom. The streets are also clearly identified. Number 14 is Fort Washington, built in 1789–1790 to protect early settlers, and probably the earliest structure in what shortly became known as the town of Cincinnati. The building boom to come is evidenced by the large “Artificer’s Yard” (number 2), as well as the structure in the process of being erected on Walnut Street. Since the well-known Strobridge Company was not established until the 1840s, this print dates some decades later than the probable date of circa 1800 for the original painting.Cincinnati, 1800. Cincinnati, Ohio: Strobridge Lithographing Co., [n.d.]. Lithographic print.
University of Michigan on-Line Library, Deep-Blue