Louis Prang Lithograph Factory
270-286 Roxbury Street
Italianate style factory building
Louis Prang(1824-1909) advanced the art of chromolithography so that he could reproduce oil paintings on greeting cards. In 1875 he printed the first Christmas Card. These were very successful and Prang ran competitions every year for new artists’ designs to be used on his cards. It is said that young ladies recorded in their diaries how many Prangs they received that season. These cards are in great demand today by collectors.
Prang’s factory became a tourist attraction and he often conducted tours himself.
Prang closed his card making operation in 1890, unwilling to compete with cheap imitations, with cut out cards, with glue and glitter instead of layers of mellowed gold ink. He merged with Taber; Taber and Prang moved to Springfield in1892. The American Crayon Company acquired the rights to Prangs art material in 1909 and merged with Joseph Dixon Crucible Company in 1957 which is now Dixon Ticonderoga.
Prang believed that art was important for all children and was the father of art education in the United States. He invented the Prang Method of Art instruction, printed reproductions of famous art works and published art textbooks including “Art in the School Room and “Art Education in High Schools.” He also trained art teachers. His method of instruction was used by the Boston Public Schools for many years.
Prang also manufactured non toxic watercolors and other child safe art materials.
The Prang Factory is an Italianate style factory building located just below the home of the owner.
The Prang Factory is now a mixed use building, housing residential and office space.
Sources: National Register of Historic Places:Registration Form:Roxbury Highlands Historic District