City Attractions, Cameleopard, Horticulture

United States Mint

This valuable Institution, was established, in 1792, and its operations commenced in Seventh Street, nearly opposite to Zane Street.

In 1839, provisions were made, for extending the operations of the Mint, and the present elegant marble edifice, with Ionic columns, facing on Penn Square, on the North and on Chestnut Street on the South, was commenced.

The building is constructed, with a large Central Courtyard, and covered with a roof of copper, being also, otherwise, fireproof. The North and South aspects, present a front of 122 feet, 60 of which is occupied by a portico, with six Ionic columns and the East and West sides extend 204 feet, to Penn Square.

The arrangements for refining the precious metals are, en an extensive, and greatly improved plan; these, with the powerful machinery, moved by steam, used in rolling the ingots, and stamping and milling the various coins, render the MINT, an object, worthy of particular attention, to the citizens, as well at visiting strangers.

In a national point of view, however, the Mint will always be regarded, as one of the most Important Institutions, as the Quality of Our Currency(which is essentially connected, with every form of business) will chiefly depend, upon the Purity, and Extent of its Operations.

Robert M. Patterson, Director.
William Findlay, Treasurer.
Adam Eckfeldt, Chief Coiner.
Franklin Peale, Melter Refiner.
Jacob R. Eckfeldt, Assayer.
William Kneass, Engraver.
Wm. E. Du Bois, Assistant Assayer.
Christian Gobrecht, Ast. Engr.

Philadelphia Zoological Institute

Established in Chesnut Street, near Ninth, at the building erected by Mr. Cook, for a Circus, is an extensive Collection, of the finest specimens of Natural History, selected at great expense, in various quarters of the world. The number and beauty of the various specimens of Living Animals and reptiles, has never been surpassed in the United States, and will compare with any other Collection whatever. This Exhibition will be continued through the winter seasons, and is made instructive and agreeable, by the polite attention of the Proprietors and superintendents, who make the visitors acquainted with all the facts, relative to these extraordinary and rare animals.

The Giraffe, or Cameleopard

Is one of the greatest wonders of the animal Kingdom, admired for its great height, singular proportions, and remarkable agility. The specimen of this rare animal, entirely answers the public expectation: It was obtained from Africa, at great expense.

The Cape Lion, the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Leopards, Jaguars, and Panthers, are superior specimens, of the feline species. Tha Elephants, Asiatic Rhinoceros, African Zebra, Eland, of central Africa, great Sloth Bear, of Hindosten, white Polar Bear, African Gnu, grizzly Bears, from the Rocky mountains, Peruvian Lama, Hyenas, Texan Buffalo, Camel and Dromedary, a variety of Gigantic and rare Birds, and several of the largest, and most splendid Serpents, from various parts of the world, render this Institute worthy of the continuance of the extensive patronage it has received. The Proprietors, Messrs. June, Titus, Angerine, & Co. deserve particular commendation, for the ample room, provided for the (securely) confined Animals, and the good order and cleanliness, of their interesting establishment.

Horticulture, Nurseries, &c.

In the city and neighborhood of Philadelphia, much attention has been paid to Horticulture, both in the gardens of private gentlemen, and in public nurseries. The splendid private residence of the late Henry Pratt, Esq. known u Lemon Hill, formerly the residence of Robert Morris, Esq. deceased, has been long celebrated, for the number and beauty, of the exotics, contained in its hothouses.

Messrs. Landreths, M'Arsnns, Buists, Hibberts and other similar establishments, are well known Nurseries, and celebrated, for ornamental, and useful Flowers, Fruits, Plant, Trees. &c. The Garden, established in Kingsessing, by Mr. Bartram, (long since deceased,) is still continued, in a state of improvement: Here, a large collection of Native American trees and plants, and a great variety of grapes, and a profusion of flowers &c. may be found. The grounds are arranged, to favor the growth of aquatic plants, by the introduction of pools of water: This ancient and beautiful public garden is pleasantly situated on the margin of the Schuylkill River, and contains a gigantic Cypress Tree, and many others, of great age and beauty; and is well worthy of attention, and patronage.

Here also, may be viewed in its flowering seasons the curious and rare plants with an immense flower and leaves, of sufficient size, when spread, to support a small aquatic Bird, known as the Lotus (or sacred Bean) of India.

Horticultural Exhibitions

The splendid specimens, afforded by the Public Gardens, Nurseries, and private seats of gentlemen, in the neighborhood of this City, are annually exhibited, at the Masonic Hall, under the superintendence of the Horticultural Society and on such occasions, those who are fond of plants and flowers, among whom the ladies are foremost, assemble in great numbers. The best specimens of Vegetables, Fruits, Flowers, &c. secure to their owners a public notice, and suitable premiums or rewards.

Merchants' Exchange

This magnificent building is situated, on the comer of Walnut and Third Streets. It is erected from the purest Pennsylvania marble, from a design of William Strickland, Esq. the well-known able Architect, of this city. The reader need not be told, that "the Exchange" is the place, where "Merchants congregate." Hence, the apartments of this noble edifice, are mostly occupied, by appropriate establishments. The Post Office is upon the first floor, occupying about two-fifths of the whole ground. On Walnut Street side, there are many splendid offices, for Insurances, and other purposes. The Reading Room, conducted by J, Coffee, Esq. the worthy Superintendent, is directly over the post office department. The splendid Rotunda, is upon the same floor, in the east end of the edifice; it is most beautifully ornamented, with designs, by the distinguished Italian painter, Monachesi. The floor is inlaid, in beautiful Mosaic work, upon which rest four elegant marble columns superbly wrought. Above is the splendid cupola, from which the delightful view, of the commercial operations of the city, upon the river Delaware. From the Rotunda, the spectator passes to a handsome balcony, formed by a semicircle of Corinthian pillars, fronting Dock Street, where the great western railroad passes this commercial portion of the city. The rest of the building is occupied by brokers, the board of trade, chamber of commerce, and various other apartments.

According to the early annals of the city. Dock Street, on which this splendid edifice is now erected, was the bed of a flowing stream of water, on the margin of which, was an Indian settlement.

The entrance to the Rotunda, from Dock Street is made, by semi-circular flights of marble steps, on the North and South sides' both of which, are guarded by gigantic lions. The whole, when viewed in connexion with the portico, from an advantageous position in Dock Street, forms a very grand and pleasant object. The marble pavement, beneath the portico on the east front, has been removed, and one of asphaltum and ornamental pebbles intermixed in its substance, substituted.

Dunn's Chinese Collection

Corner of Ninth and George Streets.

This immense Collection, which has been brought together, by the enterprise and industry, of one of our most wealthy and respectable citizens, Nathan Dunn, Esq. far surpasses any other known illustration, of the peculiarities of the singular people of the great Chinese Empire.

This extraordinary Exhibition pourtraying the Religious Rites, Manners, Customs, Habits, Commerce, Arts, Natural History.

Architecture, &c. &c. of the Chinese, has been made, at an enormous expense, during the residence there, of Mr. Dunn, of Eight Years, which transports you, at it were, at once, to China. The paintings alone, occupy several hundred frames, which afford an admirable view of all their peculiarities; the process of preparing Silk, the culture of Tea, their Insects, Flowers, Birds, Fish, Animals, &c. displayed by native Artists. The effect of these highly colored Paintings, is much exalted, and the whole is increased, by the likenesses of men, well known in Canton, as Mandarins, Merchants, Artificers, Coolies, &c. about the most natural figures, ever produced by art, as large as life.

There is a large Chinese room, filled with real furniture, divided from the Saloon, by a superb trellace-work screen, the gorgeous splendor of which, has never been surpassed, by anything exhibited in this country. The entrance screen, and other similar ornaments, are alone, worth a visit to the Collection.

The porcelain is of a character, for elegance and finish that defies description.

The models of cities, bridges, boats, lanterns, implements of art, and husbandry, minerals, shells, and an almost innumerable variety of other articles, would swell their description, into an extensive catalogue.

The space occupied by the Chinese Collection, will enable persons, who have not seen it, to form an imperfect estimate of its extent: It entirely fills a room, of 156 feet in length, by 70 feet wide.

The City of Philadelphia, and the public generally, are largely indebted to the very enterprising Proprietor of this wonderful collection, as well as to Messrs. W. W. Wood, and William B. Langdon, and other gentlemen, who have afforded their aid, in perfecting the Scientific Arrangement, of this unparalleled collection.

When it is considered, that the most of the curiosities of the Chinese Empire, are entirely beyond the reach, of even those, who have visited her cities and that of those who have traveled in the Eastern parts of Asia, comparatively few have had free accent to the interior of China, the intelligent public will be able to appreciate the value of the curiosity of China, and properly estimate the expense and labor, attendant on forming this immense Collection.

Every lover of Rare Curiosities, and everyone who takes pleasure in accurate knowledge, will here find, in a few hours, that which cannot be procured, from reading, views from engravings, or even an actual visit to China. The transporting of an Eastern Nation, so long a mystery, and a problem, to be seen, by the people of the West, has been well denominated, by one of our most useful citizens, an epoch, in the annals of curiosities.

This Collection is already, so well known, out of the city, that parties, frequently are formed, in neighboring cities, and villages, purposely, to visit it.

History of Philadelphia

Source: A History of Philadelphia: With a Notice of Villages, in the Vicinity, Printed and published by Daniel Bowen, 1839

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