Bowles's Moral Pictures, 1796?

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The full title of this engraved broadside illustrating maxims from Franklin's The Way to Wealth is Bowles's Moral Pictures, or Poor Richard Illustrated. Being Lessons for the Young and the Old, on Industry, Temperance, Frugality by the Late Dr. Benj. Franklin.

The broadside or poster is composed of a network of 25 rectangles, arranged five across and five down. Bars divide the rectangles. Each rectangle contains an oval ring, on which is written text. Twenty-four of these are maxims from the book. Within each of these is a detailed illustration of that maxim. The twenty-fifth oval ring contains Franklin's name, titles, and birth and death data, and contains a profile portrait of him surrounded by sprays of laurel.

The sheet was published by Bancks & Co., Manchester, presumably shortly after Franklin's death. Somewhat later in the decade a similar version was issued by the firm of Bowles and Carver of London. In 1859, a Boston firm, Samuel A. Allen and Thomas R. Holland, published a version with the same layout, but updated ornament and type faces, and a larger rectangular portrait of Franklin.

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Illustration depicting Franklin and his maxims Terms of Use Credits