Oliver Evans broadside promoting his cider press and other inventions

Evan Evans / F[rancis] Shallus, Engraver No. 89 South Front St. Phil[adelphi]a, CYDER OR TOBACCO PRESS. [:] EVAN EVANS’S STRAW-CUTTERS. [:] MARS WORKS. [Philadelphia or Washington, D.C.:] Evan Evans, [1811?]
Broadside on wove paper comprising three technical engravings surmounting two columns of letterpress. Printed area 14 ½”h x 8 5/8”w at greatest extent.

An unrecorded illustrated broadside promoting the products of the Mars Works in Philadelphia, established in 1807 by noted inventor, industrialist and author Oliver Evans (1755-1819).

One of America’s great self-taught inventors and industrialists, the contributions of Oliver Evans included the design and manufacture of an automated grist mill, one of which was installed at Mount Vernon by George Washington; high-pressure steam engines for civilian and military applications; and of course the machinery illustrated on this broadside. He also authored The Young Mill-Wright and Miller’s Guide (1795) and the fantastically-titled The Abortion of the Young Steam Engineer’s Guide (1805).

The broadside features three engraved illustrations of a “cyder, or tobacco press,” a “straw cutter,” and a “flour press.” Below are two columns of text describing the construction and operation of the cyder or tobacco press and the use of the straw cutter, as well as attestations of the machines’ utility (including one from famed surveyor Andrew Ellicott). The final paragraph, dated June, 1811, describes Oliver Evans’ Mars Works in Philadelphia, “consisting of an Iron Foundry, Steam Engineer’s shop, Mouldmaker’s Shop… Blacksmith’s Shop, Millstone Factory, and a Steam Mill for turning heavy cast and wrought Iron.”

OCLC 78387502 lists a broadside of similar title but dated 1813 and a much smaller size at the Hagley Museum and Library. OCLC 22202313 and 860790496 list a broadside of identical title and roughly similar size but apparently with only one illustration and the manufacturer’s statement dated April 30, 1807 (Library Company of Philadelphia, University of Iowa).

Not in OCLC or Shaw, American Bibliography.


Minor foxing and offset, irregularly trimmed at right and lower left.