The Life and Age of Man: Stages of Man's Life from the Cradle to the Grave by Frederick Gleason

The Life and Age of Man: Stages of Man's Life from the Cradle to the Grave by Frederick Gleason

Usage conditions apply
This colored print depicts a male from infancy to old age in decade-long spans, which was a popular and recurring theme of genteel society during the 19th Century. The figures are shown on ascending steps up to age 50 and then descending, with age 100 being the lowest to the right. Each image portrays a well-dressed youth or man in appropriate attire for his position in society (i.e., gentleman, soldier, elder). Verses beneath each figure associate a depicted animal with that stage of life. In the lower center is a small vignette of three men drinking at a table while a young man and women walk away. The devil gestures between the two groups.
This print was produced by Frederick Gleason (1814-1896). a lithographer and publisher in Boston, Massachusetts. Born in September 1814 in Germany, Gleason moved to the United States in October 1836, and began his career as a bookbinder. He became a citizen in June 1840. He is best known for establishing the popular illustrated weekly Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion in 1851, modelled on the Illustrated London News. At the time an innovation in American publishing, it brought him considerable success. After the Pictorial, Gleason published Gleason's Literary Companion from 1860–70; Gleason's Home Circle from 1871–90; and Gleason's Monthly Companion from 1872–87. He was married a second time after his first wife died, and he died November 6, 1896 in Boston.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
ca 1850
Gleason, Frederick
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 9 in x 13 in; 22.86 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Wild Animals
Patriotism and Patriotic Symbols
Uniforms, Military
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Clothing & Accessories
Domestic Furnishings
Morality & Religious Prints
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object