A dramatic sperm whaling lithograph

Lith. by W. H. Rease, N. E. Cor. 4th & Chesnut St. / Printed by Wagner & McGuigan, MITCHELL & CROASDALE Successors to G. W. Ridgway & Co. DEALERS IN SPERM, WHALE, LARD & TANNERS OIL, CANDLES, RICE &c No. 30 NTH WHARVES, ABOVE ARCH ST. PHILADELPHIA. [New York: J.H. Colton & Co.,] 1856.
Lithograph, 13 3/8”w x 8 1/2”w plus title and wide margins, printed and hand color. Long mended tear from upper left corner extending several inches into image, with discoloration from old tape repair. Marginal soiling and staining. Lined on verso.

A dramatic sperm whaling image, used here to advertise the wares of merchants Mitchell & Croasdale of Philadelphia.

“Advertisement depicting a whale hunt after the 1835 aquatint by J. Hill from a sketch by C. B. Hulsart titled “Capturing a Sperm Whale.” Whalers in two small whaling boats attack a large sperm whale with harpoons. One boat has capsized over the tail of the mammal causing the crew to be dumped into the ocean. The whale spills blood from its wounds. The whalers’ mother ship, a large sailing vessel, waits in the calm waters to the right of the image. Another boat departs from the mother ship.” (Library Company of Philadelphia)

Though described in the prints as merchants, the Philadelphia partnership of Mitchell & Croasdale seems to have been above all a manufacturer of fertilizer. I find their “Super Phosphate of Lime” and “Peruvian and Mexican Guano” advertised in Eastern papers between 1856 and 1860:

“The works of Messrs. MITCHELL & CROASDALE are situated in the Nineteenth Ward, and cover nearly an acre of ground. They produce what they call “Highly Improved Super-Phosphate of Lime,” being a compound of ground bones, Peruvian guano, and other substances. The bones are first boiled the fat extraqcted, and pure bone, free from vegetable ivory, which is merely inert matter, is alone manufactured into fertilizers. Additional works are now being erected for boiling bone.” (Edwin T. Freedley, A Hand-Book Exhibiting the Development, Variety, and Statistics of the Manufacturing Industry of Philadelphia, 1857, p. 145)

According to the Library Company this advertisement was published in 1856 in Colton’s atlas of America: Illustrating the physical and political geography of North and South America and the West India Islands.

Philadelphia on Stone, 149. Not in Wainwright, Philadelphia in the Romantic Age of Lithography.