Written by Abraham Swan (British, active 174568); etching by John Norman (American, ca. 17481817); published by Robert Bell, Philadelphia
Etching; 13 1/4 x 8 1/16 in. (33.6 x 20.5 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1943 (43.26.1)
On December 5, 1774, John Norman, an engraver recently arrived from London, advertised "Proposals for Printing by subscription, the American edition of Swan's British Architect." The volume, with sixty folio copperplates, was available the following June, published by Robert Bell, then Philadelphia's leading printer and bookseller. The first architectural book ever printed in America, it was a faithful copy of Abraham Swan's British Architect, first published in London in 1745.