Vig V - View of Mauch-Chunk

Karl Bodmer

Bodmer’s America

VignettePulled from the original steel and copper plates, engraved in Paris between 1836 and 1843 under Karl Bodmer's direction, after the artist's own watercolours drawn from nature during the journey.

The engravings are hand-printed in colours, à la poupée, with extensive hand-colouring and some application of gum arabic, in the nineteenth-century manner.

Engraved by Lucas Weber
Printed by Bougeard

Maximilian and Bodmer arrived at Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania on August 30, and spent the next day sight-seeing in that vicinity. Of particular interest to Maximilian was the colliery located nine miles from town and connected to it by a railway, which had been built to transport coal down the mountainside from the mines above.

"On the right or southern wall, a railroad comes from one of the collieries of the Mauch Chunk Company. . as far as to the valley of the Lehigh, and then turns to the right towards Mauch Chunk, . . The railroad is constructed of parallel pieces of wood, upon which the iron rails are fastened. . . In order to save expenses, a single road was built, so that wagons running up and downward have to use the same tracks, and accidents may easily happen."

During their brief stay at this place, Maximilian and Bodmer visited one or two neighboring settlements, spending the night of August 31 at a tavern in the Lehigh Gap. On September 1, Maximilian again returned to Bethlehem to complete the packing of his collection, while Bodmer
stayed on at Mauch Chunk to make additional studies in this area.

At Bethlehem on September 4, Maximilian recorded in his journal that the long-lost luggage from Boston at last had arrived.

Text by David Hunt, Director, Stark Museum, Orange, Texas, USA

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Original Print

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