Bird's Eye View of Dover Strafford Co. New Hampshire looking southwest 1877.
1877 (dated) 23.5 x 25.5 in (59.69 x 64.77 cm)
A stunning 1877 Albert Ruger three-color chromolithograph view of Dover, New Hampshire, set against a backdrop the rolling hills of southern New Hampshire. The view looks southwest on Dover from a hypothetical high point well above Garrison Hill. With a sufficiently altitudinous perspective to present a map-like layout of Dover, the view centers on the Cocheco River and extends broadly in all directions, revealing a bustling mill town at its height. The Boston and Maine Railroad enters town from the lower left corner. The T-shaped Washington Street Mills, at a sharp bend in the Cocheco River, still stands and now hosts a variety of businesses, restaurants, galleries, and even a church.
ChromolithographyChromolithography is a color lithographic technique developed in the mid-19th century. The process involved using multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, to yield a rich composite effect. Oftentimes, the process would start with a black basecoat upon which subsequent colors were layered. Some chromolithographs used 30 or more separate lithographic stones to achieve the desired effect. Chromolithograph color could also be effectively blended for even more dramatic effects. The process became extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it emerged as the dominate method of color printing.
Publication History and CensusThis view was drawn by Albert Ruger and lithographed by D. Bremner of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are aware of only one edition. This view is rare. The OCLC identifies 2 institutional holdings, at the Library of Congress and the University of Pennsylvania. We are aware of a third example at the Boston Public Library. A fourth example is known in private hands.
Albert Ruger (August 29, 1828 - November 12, 1899) was an important Prussian-American viewmaker active in the mid to late 19th century. Ruger was born in Prussia and immigrated to America as a young man sometime before 1850. He lived for a time in Akron, Ohio, where he was an apprenticed stone mason. By 1860, he had his own journeyman and apprentice. Near the end of the American Civil War, Ruger enlisted with the 196 Ohio Infantry. His first views date to this period and illustrate Union camps and an 1865 view of Columbus, where he was stationed. Discovering a talent for viewmaking, Ruger abandoned his work as a stonemason to move to Battle Creek, Michigan, and pursue a new career. Like most view makers, Ruger's views were sold by subscription and most were self-published. Ruger worked with a variety of other view makers and publishers, among them Eli S. Glover, Thaddeus M. Fowler, Joseph J. Stoner (Ruger and Stoner), and Augustus Koch. Ruger's work is distinctive, presenting cities from an exceptionally altitudinous perspective, giving his views a notably maplike quality Moreover, Ruger is significant in the corpus of view making. He is considered the first American viewmaker to achieve commercial success. Moreover, he is noteworthy not only for the quantity of his views, about 175, but also for the subject matter, focusing on southern and western cities following the Civil War. Ruger died in Akron, Ohio, at 71.
D. Bremner (fl. c. 1870 - 1890) was an American lithographer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the middle to late 19th century. Bremner printed views for a number of important 19h century American viewmakers, including Albert Rugers and Joseph J. Stoner.
Reps, John, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America (University of Missouri, Columbia, 1984), #2216. Library of Congress, G3744.D6A3 1877 .R8. Boston Public Library, Levental Collection, G3744.D6A3 1877 .R8. OCLC 5406784.