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Election Day in Philadelphia, oil painting by John Lewis Krimmel, 1815, inscribed I. L. KrimmeL pinxit. 1815.
Winterthur Museum

The scene depicts a patriotic election day crowd gathered on Chesnut Street in Philadelphia with the Pennsylvania State House in the background. American flags fly from buildings on both sides of the street.


In the early 19th century, the young nation of America jockeyed with more established countries to find its place on the world stage. As its population grew, agriculture and maritime trade, rather than manufacturing industry, became the mainstay of the economy.  Proud of their hard-won independence and eager to have visible symbols to express their sentiments publicly, Americans imported ceramics decorated with images that were tangible tokens of their patriotism.  It was in this climate that Staffordshire potters found a niche market for blue printed earthenware decorated with American themes.

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