Nathaniel Currier and James M. Ives – 1813–1888 and 1824-1895
Currier was a New York lithographer, who hired Ives as a bookkeeper in 1852 and made him a partner in 1857. As the firm of Currier & Ives, the pair produced the most popular lithographs of the 19th century. In an era before journalistic photography, film, and television, they satisfied the public appetite for visual depictions of important current events, and they also supplied images of famous people (both current and historical) and scenes of Americana and humor. Their company, run by their sons, endured until 1907, when other technologies made their prints obsolete. Today, the enormous volume of Currier & Ives images provides a unique window on 19th-century America.