Charles Shober & Co.
Life Span: ~1855-1871
Location: Lake Street, Between Clark and Dearborn (109 Lake Street)
Charles Shober, the premier Chicago lithographer born in Germany in February 1831, worked as a lithographer in Philadelphia 1856-1857. Shober immigrated to the United States in 1854 and in 1855 delineated a lithographic plate for “The Horticulturist (N.Y.).” By 1856 Shober was listed in Philadelphia city directories as a lithographer at 17 Minor Street where by map lithographers, including George Worley and Benjamin Mathias also worked. In 1857 Shober partnered with Charles Reen in Reen & Shober at 5 South Sixth Street. By 1859 the partnership relocated to Chicago, where that year Shober established his own business and published the map “City of Ypsilanti” (1859). Shober operated his own firm and in partnerships (Charles Shober & Co.) until the great fire of 1871 when he took over the management of the Chicago Lithographing Company (Louis Kurtz and Edward Carqueville). In 1876 Kurtz left the firm that issued “The International Exposition 1876 at Philadelphia, PA. U.S.A. View from George’s Hill” (1876) and Shober & Carqueville was established. The partners printed sheet music, posters, maps, and trade cards. Shober left the company in the early 1880s, possibly after a fire at the firm according to Groce & Wallace. He later became president of the Chicago Bank Note Company.
Shober married Annie (b. 1844) in 1861 and with her had several children born in Chicago starting in 1865. Shober remained listed in censuses as of 1900.
Chicago Tribune, September 20, 1858
Charies Shober, 106 Lake street, Lithographer, exhibits a splendid show card of Lill & Diversey’s extensive Brewery, and many other articles in his line of art. There is a style and finish about the work that comes from this establishment, which can scarcely be excelled in any part of the country. A visit to Mr. Shober’s establishment and an examination of his handywork, will gratify the taste of the most critical in his peculiar art
Chicago Tribune, August 3, 1859
LITHOGRAPHY.—We had the pleasure of examining yesterday an elegant and large-sized map of La Crescent, Minnesota, on the opposite side of the Mississippi from La Crosse, and destined to be a place of some importance. The map is from the well-known lithographing establishment of Charles Shober, 109 Lake street. Mr. Shober has a large force of assistants, and thoroughly furnished premises for work in his line, alike creditable to him and to Chicago, since be can easily demonstrate that no one need go east of Chicago for the best-achievements of his beautiful art. See his announcement in another column.
Charles Shober & Co.
107-109 Lake Street
Charles Shober & Co.
119-125 Lake Street
CHICAGO LITHOGRAPHING COMPANY.
Chicago Illustrated, Part I, January, 1866
We propose to publish, in Monthly Parts, an Illustrated History of Chicago,—that is, a history of the more important and striking evidences of the City’s improvement and enterprise.
This work will consist of twenty-five part, each number will contain at least four tinted Lithographic Views of the Public Buildings, Churches, important thoroughfares, of the River and Harbor, of the Lake Park and Grand Central Depot, and other objects and points of interest. These Views, one hundred or more in number, will afford a comprehensive picture of this marvelous city. With the last number will be given a “General View of the City.” Each picture will be accompanied with a brief but comprehensive Letter Press description of the scene or the building illustrated. The Lithographs will be executed from Original Drawings, by the Chicago Lithographing Company, who have been employed by us expressly for this Work, and whose reputation as artists stands equal to that of any of the profession in this country. They will, in point of artistic execution, equal any publication of the kind ever made in the United States.
Descriptions of the Literary Work will be prepared by James W. Sheahan, Esq., of this city. The first number will be executed in January, 1866:
A limited number only will be published, and subscriptions, and orders for the Work can be addressed to us at our establishment, where further information can be obtained.
Jevne & Almini,
152 & 154 South Clark Street
Excerpted from Chicago Tribune, July 24, 1875
The fourth floor (of the Lakeside Building) is occupied by
CHARLES SHOBER & CO.,
proprietors of the Chicago Lithographing Company. Their lithographing establishment is the largest but one in the country, and they are turning out at least twice as much work as all other lithographic houses in the city combined. They excel in all the different branches of their art—photo-lithographing included. The proprietors, Charles Shober and Edward Carqueville, are both practical lithographers, pay close attention to their business, and superintend personally their extensive establishment. They are prepared to execute all orders in the way of lithography in the best styles, and, at the lowest possible prices, will always guarantee first-class work, and their facilities are such that even the largest orders can be promptly filled. The working force of the establishment numbers about 120 men, artists, printers, etc., and the machinery department includes eight steam presses of the best patterns, some twenty hand-presses, besides various miscellaneous machines. In illustration of of their superior working capacity it may be well to state that they turned out, besides an immense amount of commercial work, labels, and show-cards, city views, wall maps, and a number of county atlases, Capt. A. T. Andreas’ illustrated atlas of Minnesota, comprising several hundreds of pages of fine farm and city views, maps, plats, etc., all beautifully lithographed, and part finely printed State atlas of Iowa, in an edition upwards of 20,000 copies, a book containing several hundred pages of fine fine line-engravings, crayon views, portraits, amps, etc., making a contract three times as large as that of the Minnesota atlas, inside of six months from date of receipt of order. The office of Charles Shober & Co. is the very home of map and atlas publishers, who find the Lakeside Building so very convenient, containing, as it does, under one roof the largest lithographic and coloring establishments, bookbindery, and printing office in the West.
1876 Chicago Lakeside Directory