Cincinnati, OH: [Privately printed] (Lithogr. and printed by Hunckel & Son, Baltimore, Md.), . First edition. 4to. (84) pp. Illustrated, color title page (in gold, green, red, pink, fawn, black, and white) and two color plates, both featuring Catawba Wine, bottled by Mr. Longworth’s company, lithographic portraits of the couple on a single page, full-page tinted lithographic views of Cincinnati in 1800 and 1857, small portrait silhouettes of the couple, and two lithographs of their children, each captioned in pencil likely by Mrs. Longworth, red and gold first initial letter, 18 black-and-white humorous vignettes scattered through the text, all poetic tributes to the Longworth marriage, on each page enclosed within a gilt ornamental border. One of the poems, entitled "Grapes and Wine," praises Longworth's business. Sabin 41941. OCLC locates eight copies (Library of Congress, Brown, Cincinnati Historical Society, Dayton Public, Lloyd Library and Museum, Ohio Historical Society, Cincinnati Public, R.B. Hayes Presidential Center). Half the leaves loose in the binding, corners of several rear leaves chipped, a little browning, but a good copy of a rare ante-bellum American color-plate book. Contemporary textured cloth (rubbed, edges and corners eroded). (#5187). Item #58251
Longworth (1783-1863), a native of New Jersey, moved to Cincinnati in 1804, establishing a career as a banker and winemaker; his Greek revival villa, for which about 1850 he commissioned the African-American painter Robert Duncanson to paint murals, is now the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati. Planting a vineyard of Catawba grapes along the Ohio River, he established grape culture as a successful venture on the hills adjoining the city and began making a sparkling wine using the traditional method used in Champagne. From the 1830s through the 1850s, Longworth's still and sparkling Catawba wines were being distributed throughout the United States and exported to Europe. "A journalist from 'The Illustrated London News' noted that the still white Catawba compared favorably to the hock wines of the Rhine and the sparkling Catawba 'transcends the Champagne of France.' The wines were also well received at home in the United States where Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published a poem dedicated to Nicholas Longworth titled 'Ode to Catawba Wine.' The popularity of Longworth's wine encouraged a flurry of plantings along the Ohio River Valley and north to Lake Erie and the Finger Lakes region of New York. So successful was he that he has been called the 'Father of American Grape Culture.' The growing tide of German immigrants coming down the Ohio Valley to Cincinnati liked his wine. Longworth had found a lucrative market: the new Germans wanted an affordable, drinkable table wine to continue their homeland traditions, and he enjoyed a virtual monopoly. Besides being a pioneer and leading horticultural expert in his section, he was recognized as an authority in national horticultural matters" (Wikipedia). Cf. Pinney's "A History of Wine in America," pp. 156-68 for a larger picture of Longworth's work in Cincinnati.