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Glass plate negatives of Frank Taylor drawings


Held at: Philadelphia History Museum [Contact Us]15 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia History Museum. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

"Frank Hamilton Taylor was born in Rochester, NY on April 21, 1846. In 1865, he came to Philadelphia to serve an internship at a lithography firm. Taylor chose Philadelphia because of its strong publishing industry and vibrant art community. By 1870, he had established his own lithography firm, and was serving as a special artist for various newspapers and publications in the city. Additionally, Taylor collaborated on many guidebooks and wrote several publications, most notably Philadelphia in the Civil War, and the Official Office Building Directory and Architectural Handbook of Philadelphia. Taylor entered semi-retirement in 1910 to focus on a series of watercolors, washes and drawings of Philadelphia. He eventually published these images as Ever-Changing Philadelphia in 1915.

"By 1927 Taylor's health had begun to decline to the point where the Court of Pleas of Philadelphia declared him "an alleged weak-minded person" and had him placed under the guardianship of the Commonwealth Title Insurance Company. He died two months later."


Quoted text from: Joseph-James Ahern. Finding aid to "Frank H. Taylor Drawings of Philadelphia Homes, 1915-1924 (bulk 1922)," University of Pennsylvania, University Archives and Records Center, UPX 2 T251. November 2012. Accessed October 16, 2014.

This collection consists of nearly 250 (full plate) glass plate negatives of sketches drawn by Taylor, mostly of building exteriors and street scenes in Philadelphia, with some sites in nearby areas. Most, if not all, are from Taylor's Ever-Changing Philadelphia and Old Philadelphia series. Many, if not all, of the sketches were photographed by local photographer Henry Howland.

An item-level inventory of this collection is available on-site.

The Philadelphia History Museum also owns some Frank Taylor prints, as well as several original drawings by Frank Taylor, and a clippings scrapbook (circa 1880), acquired as separate accessions from different sources.

American Museum of Photograph (Sipley), 1990 (accession 90.31.1)

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Philadelphia History Museum directly for more information.

Philadelphia History Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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