Jersey City: Ca. 1885. Lithograph advertisement with a racially stereotyped depiction of a Black woman applying stove polish to the belly of a little white girl who reaches out and pinches her cheek. The woman with her hair in tied up in a kerchief, the cherubic little girl wrapped in a large towel. Boxes of the stove cleaning product on the table on which the girl stands with the Jersey City address visible on the packaging.
Joseph Dixon (1799 -1869) was a prolific American inventor, notably of the first wood and graphite pencil in the country. By the 1870s his company (Joseph Dixon Crucible Company) was the world’s largest dealer and consumer of graphite, making 86,000 pencils a day. He also invented a mirror for a camera that was the forerunner of the viewfinder, a patented double crank steam engine, a method of printing bank notes to deter counterfeiters, and stove polish, all out of factories based in Jersey City.
7 1/2 x 8", upper corners trimmed in curve. Very good condition. Item #22785