New York: Harper's Weekly, 1872. unbound. Woodcut. Image measures 13.75" x 9 1/8"
This engraved view of Boston after the Great Fire of 1872 was published nationally in the December 14, 1872 issue of Harper's Weekly. The fire, which destroyed about 65 acres of downtown Boston, was the worst in the city history. Steamboats in the foreground hose down the burnt wharfs. Behind the harbor, the burnt downtown spreads out before the viewer as a mass of charred remains. To the right, an empty lot takes the place of Fort Hill, a neighborhood housing tenement that had been removed and leveled just before the fire. Such empty lots may have helped to slow the spread of the fire by forming breaks in its destructive path. The damage done, however, was still significant, as the image clearly illustrates. The print is in good condition, with original folds as issued. Wear to the left edge. All in all, a fascinating image from a memorable event in Boston's history.