Henry Schile

New York City Lithographer

1870s: 18, 36, 56, and 62 Division Street, New York, NY

Henry Jerome Schile (1829-1901) was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1851. An advertisement in Goulding’s 1873 New York City Business Directory reads, “H. Schile, Lithographer & Publisher of All Kinds of Prints. Looking-Glasses, Frames, Steel Engravings, and Chromos. Framing done to order, 36 Division Street.”

Henry Schile’s work is described by Harry T. Peters in America on Stone as:

Though often German in source or character, often bearing titles in foreign languages, for the convenience of immigrants, and invariably and outrageously crude in conception, composition, drawing, and lithography, Schile’s prints are undoubtedly American in spirit, because they so vividly represent the ‘melting pot’ from which they came and for which they were made. … They did an extremely large quantity, all folios. I have never seen a small print by them, which is quite unique. Most of Schile’s prints are on heavy black paper. But they appear on all types of paper from the thinnest to the very thickest. The coloring is so crude in many that it beggars description.  When asked who made the best once, I declined to answer, but replied that quite surely Schile made the worst. Yet in spite of that they have real spirit of lithography.”

Peters describes “Across the Continent. Passing the Humboldt River. Pacific Bahn Nach Californien. Den Humboldt Fluss Passirend” (1870) as the best of Schile’s historical prints and “reproduced [in America on Stone] in color to show how far they could go.”

H. Schile & Co., Across the Continent. Pacific Bahn Nach California [Lithograph, 1870]. Courtesy of the Old Print Shop.

Overview of Prints Published by H. Schile (and H. Schile & Co.)

Historical prints including:

• “Across the Continent. Passing the Humboldt River. Pacific Bahn Nach Californien. Den Humboldt Fluss Passirend”

• “Columbus before Isabella”

• “Departure of Columbus”

• “Daniel Boone Protects his Family”

• “Pocahontas”

• “Washington Family”

Views including:

• “Central Park, N.Y. Preparing for a Drive,” 1874

• “Central Park, N.Y. Feeding the Swans”

• “Central Park, N. Y.  Winter Sports”

• “Panorama of the Cattskill Mts.”

• “West Point on the Hudson”

• “Rome”

Turf prints including:

• “The First Meeting. Jerome Park, N. Y. Coming In. Painted by Geo. Schlegel, 97 William St. N.Y … 1873”

• “Spring Meeting.  Jerome Park. Coming In”

• “Summer Meeting at Long Branch, N. Y. Start”

Sentimental prints including:

• “Christmas Tree”

• “Farewell”

• “Innocence”

• “Mother’s Grave”

• “My Protector”

• “The Pride of the Harbor”

• “The Pride of the Ocean”

• “Sunday Sports”

• “War”

H. Schile, 1776, Centennial International Exhibition, 1876 [Lithograph, 1876]. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Image (at top): H. Schile, Mischief [Lithograph, 1874]. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.