• Peter S.Duval


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

    Duval was one of the first to experiment with color lithography and is credited with the first color printing in the United States. 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 in 1849 it won a silver medal at the Franklin Institute's exhibition.

    Duval relocated his firm to the second floor of the Artisans' Building In 1848. 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.

    In 1875 the Artisans' Building burned to the ground. Duval suffered a loss amounting to $100,000. He was able to reopen the firm, at Fifth and Minor Streets in Philadelphia. Stephen C. Duval, Duval's son, 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 1869 when he retired. 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 February 9, 1886 at his home in West Philadelphia.

    Penn Library Department of Special Collections, by John Bewley