The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

 

 

OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION

 

Creator:          Frederick Graff, 1774-1847                                                    

Title:               Papers

Dates:             1798-1829

Call No.:         Col. 358

Acc. No.:         76x138, 81x119

Quantity:        13 items

Location:        3 F 12

 

 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT

 

Frederick Graff was an engineer and architect.  Born August 27, 1774, in Philadelphia, he was the son of Maria Shinkle and Jacob Graff, Jr., and the third in a line of American builders, contractors, and engineers.  In 1797, Graff began his apprenticeship as a draftsman for the Philadelphia waterworks (often referred to as the Fairmount Waterworks), and in 1805 he became superintendent.  Graff contributed to its success for the remainder of his life, remaining chief engineer until his death in 1847.  His son, Frederick Graff (1817‑1890), was his successor.  The Philadelphia waterworks was the first steam powered waterworks in the United States.  It was noted for its efficient hydraulic system developed by Graff with practically no data on which to base his calculations.  Graff designed the waterworks' neo-classical buildings as well as its machinery.

 

 

SCOPE AND CONTENT

 

The collection consists of a sketchbook done by Graff in 1798; nine drawings of house plans; a letter to Thomas Hale, chairman of the Watering Committee; and photographs and newspaper clippings pertaining to the Fairmount Waterworks in Philadelphia.  The sketchbook includes rules for proportioning balustrades, sketches for wheeled vehicles, a garden plan, neo-classical buildings, gates, and interior and exterior architectural details.  Many of the drawings can be traced to William Pain.

 

The nine drawings provide examples of Graff's work as a draftsman.  Included are the front elevation for the three story building, ground plan, plan of the principal story, plan of the second story, first floor joist plan, second floor joist plan, attic joist plan and roof elevation, roof framing, and elevation of the roof truss.  The illustrations were done in 1806 and might have been drawn for the Branch Bank, Norfolk, Virginia.

 

The newspaper clippings, photographs, and letter document Graff's work at the Fairmount Waterworks.  The photographs were taken by his son, Frederic, Jr.  In the letter, Graff protests the proposal to build a railroad bridge over the Schuylkill River for fear that the pilings could cause flooding to the pumping machinery at the waterworks.

           

 

ORGANIZATION

           

The papers are arranged by subject.

 

 

PROVENANCE

           

76x138: purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Richard N. Clattenburg.

81x119: purchased from Bickerstaff's, Arlington, Virginia.

 

 

RELATED MATERIALS

 

The accession was originally accompanied by fourteen reports on the Philadelphia water supply published from 1799 to 1824 and bound together.  The volume was from Graff's library and contains his notes and annotations.  The item is in the Rare Book Collection with the call no. TD225.P54.

 

See also Graff family papers, Col. 388.

 

 

ACCESS POINTS

 

People:

            Graff, Frederick, 1817-1890.

 

Topics:

            Fairmount Water Works (Philadelphia, Pa.)

            Architectural drawing.

            Architecture - Study and teaching.

            Architectural drawing - Detailing.

            Framing (Building)

            Dwellings - Designs and plans.

            Waterworks - Pennsylvania - Philadelphia.

            Neoclassicism (Architecture)

            Letters.

            Clippings.

            Photographic prints.

            Copybooks.

            Architectural drawings.

            Architects.

            Engineers.

            Draftsmen.       

 

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION

 

Location: 3 F 12

 

 

[note: there is no 76x138.4]

 

 

 

76x138.l           "Fred Graff's Book 1798." 

 

            Includes:  rules for proportioning balustrades (note those at Philadelphia water works), sketches for wheeled vehicles, a garden plan (for Fairmount gardens, which were designed by him?), neo-classical buildings, gates, and interior and exterior architectural details.  Many of the drawings can be traced to William Pain.

 

                        Pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor.

 

            The book is dated the year after Graff had begun his apprenticeship as a draftsman with the Philadelphia waterworks.

 

 

76x138.3         Newspaper clippings (20th century) and a photograph (probably 19th century) regarding the Fairmount Waterworks that Graff designed and engineered.

 

 

81x119.           Letter from Frederick Graff to Thomas Hale, chairman of the Watering Committee, December 26, 1829.  The letter protests the proposal to build a railroad bridge over the Schuylkill River because Graff feared the pilings could cause flooding of the pumping machinery at the water works.

 

 

76x138.5         Photograph of Fairmount Waterworks.  On reverse: "taken by F. Graff, Jr."

 

 

76x138.2a        Front elevation of a three story, five-bay house with pedimented advancing central pavilion, hipped roof, belt courses, flat arches over windows, and round arches at the doors.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid paper.  Dimensioned.

 

76x138.2b       Ground plan for house (.2a). 

                        Spaces include a passage, two kitchens, two wood or coal cellars, a stairway, two closets, and three unidentified spaces.  1806?.  Labeled No. l.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.  Dimensioned.

 

 

76x138.2c        Plan of principal story for house (.2a). 

            Symmetrical with central passage flanked by rectangular rooms with fireplaces.  The passage gives onto an apsical entrance to a large rectangular room flanked by two rectangular and two square rooms.  The spatial organization recalls Adamesque devices.  Labeled No. 2.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.  Dimensioned.

 

 

76x138.2d       Plan of the second story for house (.2a). 

                        Divided into a series of sleeping and dressing chambers.  Labeled No. 3.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.  Dimensioned.

 

 

76x138.2e        First floor joist plan for house (.2a).  Labeled No. 4.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.

 

 

76x138.2f        Second floor joist plan for house (.2a).  Labeled No. 5.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.

 

 

76x138.2g        Attic joist plan and elevation of roof truss for house (.2a). 

            The king posts, rafters, braces, joists, plates, and beams are dimensioned.  Labeled No. 6.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.

 

 

76x138.2h        Plan of roof framing for house (.2a).  Labeled No. 7.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.

 

 

 

76x138.2i         Elevation of roof truss for house (.2a). 

            The main beam, principal rafter, jack rafter, king post, and braces are identified; also illustrated are hip rafter and bevel of hip.  Labeled No. 8.

 

                        Pen and ink and watercolor on laid brown paper.