antique prints, maps and watercolors

(Fire) A Transparent Lie Puck New York, c. 1860. $55.00

photo of print puck fire printvlg.jpg(Fire) A Transparent Lie <i>Puck</i>  New York, c. 1860. $55

"A Transparent Lie"
New York: Puck Magazine, c. 1860.

A satirical depiction of the false claims that were being made by some builders and of the public's misplaced faith in the ability of new technologies to keep them safe from the scourge of fire. Fires were horrifying and common in 19th century cities. This image shows people dressed in finery being welcomed into the ground floor of the ironically named apartment building, the "St. Phosphorus Flats," while flames roar from the upper floors and people try to save themselves by jumping through the windows. Since photography was not yet in common use at this time, this type of magazine illustration was the way that people learned the news of the day.

The reverse of the sheet contains fascinating advertisements for potions that "infallibly cure tape worm," pillows that "cure 'hopeless cases' of Catarrh and Consumptive diseases," and other fascinating products.
13 5/8 x 10 1/4 inches, sheet.
Hand colored lithograph.
Very good condition.