Carl Emil Doepler. “Sectional View of the Cliff Street Building” (Harper & Brothers Building), 1855. From Jacob Abbott, The Harper Establishment; or, How the Story Books Are Made (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Joseph B. Davis, 1942 (42.105.22).

Behind the Scenes

This interactive goes beyond the storefronts and showrooms of Broadway to look “behind the scenes” at the processes and the workers that created the visual materials featured in the exhibition. Illustrated publications and promotional business brochures described, step by step, factory activities such as the 1855 book The Harper Establishment; or, How the Story Books Are Made, which featured this cross-sectional view of the Harper & Brothers’ Cliff Street factory. This engraving depicts the bustling, though idealized, commotion within Harper’s walls, but it also connects to the plethora of New York’s other large-scale businesses, such as the producers and purveyors of stereoscopic views Edward and Henry T. Anthony, the parlor furniture makers M. & H. Schrenkeisen, the lithography giants Currier & Ives, and Mathew Brady’s Daguerreian Gallery.

  • Stereoscopes

  • Parlor Furniture Production

  • Daguerreotype Portraits

  • Lithography

  • Publishing