The Harvest Girl

November 7, 2014

This delightful little illustration showed up at an antique show beside a strangely familiar (and oddly grotesque) sibling.  They were overpriced.  I bought them anyway.

HarvestGirlThe little harvest girl advertises W. N. Stevens Variety Store, at “S. E. corner of Third and Arch Streets,” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The ad probably is late 1830s; the store was at this address from 1837 to 1839. (It’s advertised in Philadelphia newspapers until at least 1845.)

Probably the image was copied from another.  (Her sibling’s definitely was.)  While I haven’t yet found the original for the Harvest Girl, this kind of doubling was fairly common in 19th-century American periodicals and books.  Illustrations were expensive to create, and publishers used them and reused them and reused them …  (Someday I will tell the epic saga of the monkey.)

And, apparently, copied them from other publishers.  (That sibling, for example.)  Maybe this is a copy of a better illustration.  Maybe not.  It has a wonky charm of its own, however, and it was certainly worth the price.

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One Response to “The Harvest Girl”


  1. […] I saw the lumpy little boy on the left at an antique show, I had to buy him.  (Along with his sister; I didn’t want to break up the […]


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