Lovely promotional for farm equipment maker Adriance Platt & Co.

THE HUDSON RIVER from POUGHKEEPSIE TO NEW YORK. Poughkeepsie: Adriance, Platt & Co., ND [but probably 1880s-1890s.]
Chromolithograph, 27 ¾”h x 21 ½”w at neat line plus narrow margins.

A rare and lovely chromolithographic promotional for farm equipment maker Adriance Platt & Co., unusual for its use of a bird’s eye view of the Hudson River.

Adriance Platt & Co. began in 1852 as a wholesale hardware business founded by John Adriance, his son John P., and two other men. The men soon moved into farm equipment and got their big break in 1857, when they bought the patent rights to the “Buckeye” mower. They moved production to Poughkeepsie in 1859, one of the partners left with the hardware business in 1863, and from thence forward they were exclusively in manufacturing. The firm seems to have had considerable success, due to the Buckeye mower and other innovative products, as well as its (for the time) innovative use of chromolithographic catalogs and promotional posters. In 1913 it was sold to the Moline (Illinois) Plow Co.

The poster features a bird’s-eye view of the Hudson Valley as seen from a viewpoint high above New York Bay, with Poughkeepsie looming in the far distance. New York City is shown in some detail, with the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island and the Brooklyn Bridge clearly visible. The five vignettes feature a pastoral scene and images of Adriance, Platt machinery in use in the field. The poster is undated, but I tentatively assign it to 1880s-1890s given the dating of other similar images put out by the firm.

The delicate, watercolor-like effects, the varied layout, and the use of a bird’s-eye perspective renders this a most appealing image. It is also extraordinarily rare, as I find no examples on line or in institutional collections.

Not in OCLC. Not in the on-line catalog the Jay T. Last Collection at the Huntington Library.


1 ½” tear into image, all but invisible after mending. Backed with poster canvas by a previous owner.