Department of Special Collections
William Penn Keffer Collection of Sheet Music,
ca. 1790-1895

Content and design by John Bewley

Philadelphia Lithographers: Peter S. Duval (1804 or 5-1886)

Peter S. Duval was born in France in 1804 or 1805. He received his training as a lithographer in Paris. In 1831 Cephas G. Childs went on a tour of lithographic firms in Paris. He met and hired the twenty-six year old Duval and brought him back to Philadelphia to work in his company. When Childs retired from the lithography business in 1834 he sold his interest in the firm to Duval and George Lehman. The company of Lehman & Duval moved the business to a building at Dock Street and Bank Alley in 1835. Lehman resigned in 1837, and the firm became known as P. S. Duval's Lithographic Establishment.

In 1838 Duval issued ten numbers in a series called the Parlour Review. This weekly magazine was issued in French and English and included four pages of music per issue. It also featured portraits of famous composers and performers, including Beethoven, Bellini, Cherubini, Rossini, Paganini, Talma, and Catalani, drawn by Albert Newsam. From 1839 to 1840 Duval was partners with William M. Huddy in the firm of Huddy & Duval. The primary concern of the business was the creation of illustrations for Huddy's United States Military Magazine. This periodical was published from March 1839 to September 1842, when its twelfth and final issue was published.

Duval was one of the first to experiment with color lithography and is credited with the first color printing in the United States. The April 1843 issue of Miss Leslie's Magazine featured an illustration, Grandpapa's Pet, drawn and lithotinted by John H. Richards and printed by Duval. The application of color was limited and some color was applied by hand. Duval continued to refine his color process until the work was successful enough that it won a silver medal at the Franklin Institute's exhibition in 1849.

In 1848 Duval relocated his firm to the second floor of the Artisans' Building, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, between Chestnut and Market. The building was equipped with steam power and Duval adapted his presses to utilize steam power. His was the first major lithographic firm in Philadelphia to make use of the new power source which enabled him to run his presses faster and more cost effectively. By the 1850s Duval was operating the major lithographic firm in the city and he was able to hire the best artists and pressmen. His company was admitted to the Board of Trade in 1853, the only such firm admitted before the Civil War.

The Artisans' Building brned to the ground on April 11, 1857. Duval suffered a loss amounting to $100,000. Despite the loss he was able to reopen the firm, this time at Fifth and Minor Streets. Duval's son, Stephen C. Duval, joined the business in 1857 and the name of the firm changed to P. S. Duval & Son. Peter S. Duval continued to run the company until his retirement in 1869 when Stephen C. Duval was joined by Thomas Hunter. This partnership broke up in 1874 and Hunter continued to run a lithographic firm under his own name. Peter S. Duval died at his home in West Philadelphia on February 9, 1886.

There are approximately forty-four items in the collection for which Peter S. Duval's firms did the illustrations. Many of these items are listed elsewhere in this site under the names of the individual artists, especially Albert Newsam and James Queen, who provided much of the art work for Duval. There are also items listed under the heading for George Lehman who was partners with Duval in the firm of Lehman & Duval.

Illustrations by Peter S. Duval in the Collection
Item No.TitleImprintPlate No.IllustrationImage
Box 15
no. 8
Birgfeld's Cavalry Sheridan : grand military galop / Adolph Birgfeld Philadelphia : Chas. W. A. Trumpler, 1865 C.W.A.T. 216.6 Portrait of Philip Henry Sheridan on horseback leading his troops / P. S. Duval & Son Lith. Sheridan
Box 30
no. 26
I Breathe Once More My Native Air / words by W. J. C. ; music by R. F. Harvey Philadelphia : Lee & Walker, between 1849 and 1851 4189 3 Portrait of singer Catharine Hayes / P. S. Duval's Steam Lith. Press not available
Box 39a
no. 46
Le Salon : a Collection of the Most Admired Waltzes, Galopades, &c. : selected from the works of Strauss, Tolbecque, Musard & c. Philadelphia : A. Fiot, between 1840 and 1855 None Woman playing a piano in a drawingroom / P. S. Duval not available
Box 31
no. 61
Saucy Kate : a ballad / poetry by Henry H. Paul ; the music by George F. Benkert Philadelphia : A. Fiot, 1849 None Portrait of a young woman holding flowers / L. Grozilier del. ; P. S. Duval's Steam Lith. Press Saucy Kate
Box 14
no. 62
The Star Spangled Banner : an American national hymn : duett song & chorus / arr. by S. T. Gordon New York : S. T. Gordon, 1861 None Color: American and French flags / Lith. of P. S. Duval & Son Star Spangled
Box 30
no. 79
Wearing of the Green : as sung by J. E. McDonough in E. H. House & Dion Boucicoult's celebrated Irish drama of Arrah Na Pogue / arranged by S. Behrens Philadelphia : Chas. W. A. Trumpler, 1865 C.W.A.T. 239.4 Portrait of John Edwin McDonough in costume / P. S. Duval & Son Lith. McDonough
Box 38
no. 35
Der Wildfang Galopp : op. 119 / Carl Faust New York : S. T. Gordon, between 1858 and 1872 None Young man on horseback tipping his hat to a group of five people outside a house / Lith. by P. S. Duval Son & Co. not available

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