Item #3635 James Boyd, Saddler, No. 27 Merchant’s Row, Boston.
James Boyd, Saddler, No. 27 Merchant’s Row, Boston.

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James Boyd, Saddler, No. 27 Merchant’s Row, Boston.

Boston [Mass., ca. 1826]. Broadside, 9.5” x 7.75” (illus. 4” x 6.875”). CONDITION: Good, old horizontal fold at center, document tape repair on verso at lower margin, 1” tear to right margin, a few small areas of rubbing to lower edge of illustration.

An attractive illustrated broadside for an important Boston fire hose manufacturer, printed by “the pioneers of the lithographic art in Boston.” 

This pleasingly illustrated broadside advertises the business of James Boyd (1793–1855), an Irish immigrant known for his revolutionary invention of the rubber-lined fire hose. Boyd founded Boyd & Sons in Boston in 1819, and filed his patent two years later. Capable of withstanding greater pressure than riveted leather hoses, Boyd’s novel rubber hoses allowed for a greater volume of water to be pumped, and made firefighting faster, safer, and more efficient. He gained prominence as a Boston firefighter and Massachusetts state legislator, and expanded his business with the help of his sons James and Frederick. Other goods advertised here include “Molasses & Oil Hose for Ships use,” “Naval Gunnery Equipments,” “Traveling and Common Trunks,” “Carpet Bags, Hat Cases,” and “Cart & Waggon Harnesses.” Boyd & Son was renamed “National Foam” in the 1920s and survives today as a leader in foam-based fire control. The illustration shows a view of South Market Street, with what is now Quincy Market on the left, the South Market Building on the right, and the masts of Boston Harbor in the distance. Three large signs hang across the end of South Market Building, the largest of which advertises “J. Boyd’s Hose Factory.”

Operating from 1825 to 1836, Pendleton’s was founded by brothers William Pendleton (1795–1879) and John Pendleton (1798–1866) and located at Harvard Place. The city’s first shop of its kind, Pendleton’s was also one of the finest lithographers of its era. Prior to the formation of the firm, William had founded Senefelder Lithographic Co. in 1825 with Abel Bowen. A range of artists—some of whom would become quite prominent—learned the art of lithography while working at Pendleton’s, including Fitz Henry Lane, John H. Bufford, Seth Cheney, Nathaniel Currier, Thomas Edwards, B. F. Nutting, George L. Brown, Benjamin Champney, Alexander Jackson Davis, David Claypoole Johnston, Robert Cooke, William Rimmer, and John W. A. Scott. These artists created a variety of materials: maps, plans, portraits, fashion plates, topographical views, sheet-music covers, advertisements, and historical prints. In 1826, the brothers won a silver medal for the “Best Specimen of Lithography” at the annual exhibition of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.

OCLC records just one variant, with slight differences in image and text, at the Boston Athenaeum.

REFERENCES: Cullen, James Bernard. The Story of the Irish in Boston (1819), pp. 199–203; “History Of Boyd & Son Boston, Massachusetts,” at Missouri Boot & Shoe Company online; Proceedings of the Bostonian Society at the Annual Meeting, January 10, 1882, p. 18; Pierce, Sally and Catharina Slautterback. Boston Lithography, 1825–1880 (Boston, 1991), pp. 146–147.

Item #3635

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