Clarke, Alfred Lewis

Alfred Lewis Clarke wood engraving, Springfield, Ohio, in 1832

p4A ItemID E8997304

Alfred Lewis Clarke

A Victorian era wood engraver, Alfred Lewis Clarke was born April 6, 1857 in Springfield, Ohio, and is thought to have died in 1947. He was the son of Thomas Peckman Clarke and Sarah Ann Hawthorne and had two siblings, both also born in Springfield. His mother was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1835, his father in Providence, Rhode Island in 1832. Thomas Clarke moved to Springfield at the age of eleven with his parents in 1843. He attended Wittenberg College and then studied law before being admitted to the bar.

Throughout his life Clarke worked as an engraver and designer. Circa 1874 Clarke was working in Springfield with the Kentucky born wood engraver Charles H. Hall. By 1880 Hall had moved to Cincinnati and Clarke had formed a partnership with his younger brother Frank in the firm Clarke Brothers (1879), which specialized in wood engravings of agricultural and industrial equipment for use in advertising. The firm was listed in the Springfield directory through 1896. In 1881 The History of Clark County, Ohio, published by W.H. Beers & Co. in Chicago described the Clarke brothers as “occupying an office in the new Bookwalter Block, and stand high in their art, as well as in the estimation of the community, as young men of excellent morals, strict integrity and sterling qualities. The work of the young Clarke brothers is placed in successful competition with that of New York engravers, both as to quality and price.”

Reference note by p4A editorial staff; July 2011.

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