MENSING & STECHER LITHOGRAPHIC COMPANY
[A tree-peddler's sample book containing a large collection of colour fruit and botanical specimen plates]
[Rochester, N.Y.]: [circa 1885]. Oblong 8vo. 82 pochoir and chromolithographic plates, many with the Mensing & Stecher imprint, but also including Dewey, Horticultural Art Journal, and other imprints. Many plates with pencil annotations of prices.
Contemporary black morocco, rebacked
A Mensing & Stecher "tree-peddler's" sample book with fine color plates of fruit varieties.
German-born Frank A. Stecher (1849-1916) first set up in business in Rochester in 1871 with Charles F. Muntz and Anton Rahn. They specialized in chromolithographic fruit plates, the first to do so in Rochester. In 1874-5 Muntz left the firm and J.D.A. Mensing became a partner. Three years later Rahn left. "Late in 1886, Stecher bought out Mensing and the firm became Stecher Lithographic Company... Stecher... was a leader in the chromolithographic industry in Rochester.... An 1888 guide to the industries of Rochester noted that the firm employed 100 people and had machinery valued at $125,000" (K.S. Kabelac `Nineteenth-Century Rochester Fruit and Flower Plates' in The University of Rochester Library Bulletin (1982), vol.XXXV, p. 103). The Mensing & Stecher imprint is on many of the plates, which include both pochoir and chromolithographic examples.
Cf. Karl Sanford Kabelac `Nineteenth-Century Rochester Fruit and Flower Plates' in The University of Rochester Library Bulletin (1982) vol. XXXV, pp. 93-114; cf. Sandra Raphael An Oak Spring Pomona 65.