0.25 Cubic feet (119 glass 35mm slides; 1 photographic print (2 1/2 X 3 1/2 in). , 2" x 2")
New York (State) -- Yonkers
Greystone (Yonkers, New York)
The Untermyer Family Slide Collection includes 119 glass 35mm slides documenting the grounds of Samuel Untermyer's estate, Greystone. In addition to general garden views, the images depict architectural features, vistas from the property, and interior shots of Greystone's greenhouse. The slides are not captioned or dated. The photographer was Samuel Untermyer II, the grandson of Samuel Untermyer.
Samuel Untermyer was born in 1858 in Lynchburg, Virginia, the son of German immigrants. Untermyer was a New York lawyer who began practicing law at 18 and was admitted to the bar in New York in 1879. He established himself as a corporation attorney and became known for corporate mergers and arranging financing for industries and real estate developments. His most famous merger was with Utah Copper Co. and the Nevada Consolidated Companies which created Bethlehem Steel. Untermyer purchased Greystone in 1899 at an auction of the estate of Samuel J. Tilden.
The first owner of Greystone was John Waring, a hat manufacturer, from Yonkers, New York. The house was named Greystone for the grey granite that was quarried nearby and used to construct the house. John Davis Hatch designed the residence.
Samuel J. Tilden, a lawyer and former governor of New York (1874-1876) and unsuccessful Presidential candidate against Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) bought Greystone for a summer residence in 1879. Tilden constructed a large greenhouse complex including a Lord & Burnham greenhouse. Tilden died in 1886 leaving the bulk of his estate to what was later to become the New York Public Library. His two nephews contested the will, and it took ten years to resolve the estate.
Untermyer owned Greystone from 1899-1940. He hired the architect Joseph H. Freelander to remodel the mansion. The estate was 150 acres and famous for its Beaux-Arts gardens designed by William Welles Bosworth. Bosworth's gardens included the Greek Garden; a long staircase, known as the Vista, with a Hudson River view; a rock garden with an overlook called the Eagle's Nest; and an Italian-style vegetable garden constructed as five large terraces. At Untermyer's death in 1940, the estate was divided and sixteen acres donated to the city of Yonkers as "Samuel Untermyer Park and Gardens."
Three photographic prints of Greystone in the Alfred Branam manuscript.
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: email@example.com.
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Sports and trading cards, 1952-1996, amassed by card collector Ronald S. Korda. The sports cards are subdivided by sport. Baseball cards, (1952-1996), comprise the vast majority of the sports cards, while football (1968-1996) and hockey (1968-1996) are the two next largest subseries. There are lesser quantities of cards for basketball, and only a few each for all other sports, such as racing, skiing, etc. Non-sports cards cover a large variety of popular culture topics, including motion pictures, television programs, popular music, toys, games, cars and trucks, comics, fantasy art, and many other subjects. Some ephemeral items are also included in the collection, such as sticker albums, posters and programs
Scope and Contents:
This collection is divided into two main series, Series I, Sports; and Series II, Non-Sports.
Series I, Sports, comprises more than 90% of the collection. Within Series I, the collection is divided into seven subseries:
Subseries A: Baseball;
Subseries B: Football;
Subseries C: Hockey;
Subseries D: Basketball;
Subseries E: Other Sports;
Subseries F: Sports programs, schedules and other paper ephemera; toys, souvenirs and novelty items;
Subseries G: Sports card packaging.
Subseries A is the largest, with baseball cards making up approximately 70% of the entire Korda collection. Within the first three subseries, the cards are further subdivided into cards in sets, which are sleeved, and cards in packs, which are stored in card-sized boxes. Subseries D and E are in packs only. Both cards in sets and in packs have been arranged alphabetically by manufacturer, and thereunder, chronologically. Within sets, cards are arranged in numerical order by card number. In cases where, for baseball cards, titles of sets were unclear or ambiguous, the reference book Sports Collector's Digest's Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (which in this finding aid will be referred to as Standard Catalog) was used to determine how card sets should be titled. Likewise, in the rare cases in which cards were not numbered within sets, the order used was that given in Standard Catalog. In the case of football and hockey, Beckett's Football Card Monthly and Beckett's Hockey Card Monthly were used as reference guides.
Series II: Non-Sports, is arranged into twenty three subseries:
Subseries A: Mass Media and Entertainment
Subseries B: Education
Subseries C: Comic Books and Strips
Subseries D: Toys and action figures
Subseries E: Literature
Subseries F: Automotive Themes
Subseries G: Crime and Law Enforcement
Subseries H: Military Topics
Subseries I: Biography
Subseries J: Fine Arts
Subseries K: Adult Themes
Subseries L: Beauty Contests
Subseries M: Video Games
Subseries N: Parodies
Subseries O: Product Advertising
Subseries P: Fantasy Art
Subseries Q: Monsters
Subseries R: Card Games
Subseries S: Stickers, patches and tattoos
Subseries T: Toys, games, puzzles, post cards and posters
Subseries U: Pogs, caps and gum wrappers
Subseries V: Oversize of above topics
Subseries W: Non-card items, relating to above topics
Subseries 1, Mass media and entertainment, is the largest of the non-sports categories, comprising movies, television and music. Other subseries are similarly subdivided. Unlike the majority of the sports cards, the non-sports cards are stored in small, card-sized cartons, which have been assigned the letters A through DD, and are stored in 4 Paige boxes and 1 DB. They are listed here according to titles of packs.
The collection is divided into two series.
Series 1: Sports
Series 2: Non-sports
Ronald Korda, an employee of NBC television and a man of modest, middle class means, began assembling his card collection in childhood after receiving a pack of cards as a party favor. After that initial inspiration, he began his collecting hobby which was his passion until his death in March, 1996. In the early years of his hobby, he collected baseball cards, later expanding to other sports as well as cards on diverse popular culture topics. Among these topics are films, television, popular music, science and nature, comics and magazines, toys and action figures, games, and products, and in addition to cards, there are stickers, sticker albums, tattoos, gum wrappers, puzzles, games and other novelty items. Numerous foreign issues are included. He amassed his collection by attending cards and collectibles shows and seeking out reputable dealers, and by purchasing factory sets when they became available. He was selective and careful, and in the case of the sports cards, succeeded in acquiring complete sets of virtually every series which he collected. (With the non-sports cards, he tended to collect samples rather than entire sets.) This thoroughness is what makes this collection rare and possibly unique among any card collections in public or private hands. With few exceptions, there are no cards missing, and virtually all are in mint or near mint condition. The Kordas could have sold their collection for a fortune, but felt it important that the collection stay together as a unit. Mr. Korda, in an emotional article entitled "Collections Should Live Forever" written for Baseball Hobby News, referred to his collection as "my card family" and expressed the fear that the family would be split up after he died. He approached the Smithsonian late in 1995. Just days before the Archives Center was to acquire the collection, Mr. Korda died. Finalization of his gift was completed by his wife.
Although baseball and other trading cards date back to the nineteenth century, with some of the earliest accompanying packages of tobacco, they gained great popularity during the Depression with the advent of the bubble gum card. In the post-World War II years, and especially during the prosperous decade of the 1950s, they began to enjoy tremendous popularity, as the technology for producing them improved. The market rapidly expanded, and cards for other sports and other topics became popular, just as competition among manufacturers was heating up. The earliest trading cards accompanied packs of tobacco, but were eventually used to advertise gum, cookies, soft drinks, baked goods, hot dogs, and numerous other products. Card manufacturers, such as Topps, changed card formats with each new set, varying the presentation of statistics, vertical and horizontal orientation, use of action shots, candid shots and portraits, and inclusion of puzzles, games, fold-outs, and other novelties. They also added new features, such as trivia questions, cartoons, and holograms. As the hobby has changed, so have trading cards. Today's glossy, high-tech trading cards bear little resemblance to the tobacco cards of the 19th century or even to the cards produced during the "golden age" of cards in the 1950s. This collection represents a very diverse sampling of the card hobby from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Some card packaging was transferred to the Museum's Division of Cultural History.
add accession numbers
The entire collection was donated to the Archives Center in April, 1996 by Mr. Korda's widow, Catherine Korda. Some of the card packaging was transferred by the Archives Center to the Division of Cultural History.
Collection is open for research.
Use of this collection by researchers requires compliance with security procedures more stringent than those required for other collections in the Archives Center. This is due to the high value and rarity of some of the items in this collection. Autographed items, and cards valued at higher than $300 by Standard Catalog and Beckett's are stored separately, and may be seen only with special permission from the Reference Archivist, and then only in cases (such as photography or scanning) where it is deemed a necessity.
Color photocopies have been placed in sleeves where these items would normally be stored. When using card boxes, only six at a time may be requested from the Reference Archivist, and unlike other collections, may not be reserved in advance (i.e., on each separate research visit, a researcher must request boxes only for that visit.)
Card sleeves may be taken out of the binders for photocopying only with the permission and the supervision of the Reference Archivist. Cards may not be taken from sleeves, except with the permission and supervision of the Collection Specialist. This may involve making advance arrangements with the Collection Specialist. These procedures are necessary for the preservation of this exceptional collection in perpetuity.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Ronald S. Korda Collection of Sports and Trading Cards, 1952-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Catherine Korda.
The enormous task of rehousing and processing this collection was enabled by a generous grant from the Smithsonian Research Resources Program in 1997, which made possible the purchase of large quantities of extremely specialized supplies.
The collection contains: twenty-nine silver gelatin photoprints mounted on Fome-Core, Masonite, and cardboard, ranging in size from 5-1/2" x 9-1/4" to 10-11/16" x 13-13/16"; three 5" x 7" unmounted silver gelatin photoprints; a scrapbook which originally contained 56 silver gelatin photoprints, ranging in size from 2" x 3" to 7-1/2" x 9-1/2"; and silver gelatin film negatives (presumably acetate) for the prints. The scrapbook includes a New York Daily News clipping about Rivers: "Builds a Bridge to Students" by Anthony Burton (dated May 12, 1970 by Rivers) with a photograph showing him speaking to a crowd,
Most of the photographs depict the construction of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings--iron workers on the job and relaxing during breaks, and pictures of the buildings at various stages of completion. Other subjects are: a demonstration to prevent World War II (1935), a color photoprint of the Civil Rights March and Demonstration in Washington, D.C. (1963), and two magazine clippings from a Soviet publication, New Times, in which Rivers's prize-winning "Self Portrait" (1930) was reproduced.
Most of these prints were made by Charles Rivers many years after the creation of the original negatives, probably ca.1970s 1980s. The collection is in generally good condition, except that many of the print surfaces are scratched.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Rivers created a certain amount of confusion about his origins, whether accidentally or intentionally. Born Constantinos Kapornaros (or Kostandinos Kapernaros) in the small town of Vahos in Mani, an isolated area in the southern Peloponnesian region of Greece, on May 20, 1904, he emigrated to the United States as a child of five or six with his parents. His school record showed that he was enrolled in 1911 at the age of seven. The family lived in Maine or New Hampshire, then Massachusetts, and later other locations in New York state. It is believed that his new name was derived from the Charles River in Boston. The change may have been occasioned by a need to conceal his deep involvement in left-wing political and union activities.
Mr. Rivers settled in New York City in 1950 and resided there until 1993. He sometimes identified his birthplace as Denver, Colorado, but this may have been a fabrication or simplification, based on the fact that Greek church baptismal records were kept in Denver. His sons James and Ronald believe that he never became an official American citizen. Late in life, in order to visit his birthplace, he was issued a passport, based on his school records, which stated that he was born in Denver.
Rivers photographed the construction of the Chrysler Building (1929) and the Empire State Building (1930) in New York City. He was inspired to take up photography by seeing the work of the influential documentary photographer Lewis Hine, whose famous images of working children helped win passage of protective child labor laws. Rivers and Hine both photographed the Empire State Building and the men building it, yet Rivers apparently was unaware until years later that his idol had been present. Employed as an iron worker, Rivers traded his pail of tools for a Zeiss Ikon camera during his lunch hour or when photographic opportunities arose. While the workers depicted in some of the photographs clearly are aware of the photographer's presence, Rivers's project presumably was conducted more or less surreptitiously. It is not known for certain if the paths of Rivers and Hine ever crossed, but his son Ron considers it unlikely: Hine photographed only the Empire State Building in connection with his "Men at Work" project, not the earlier Chrysler Building, and Rivers did not work on the Empire State Building for a very long period. His self-portrait on the Empire State Building, "The Bolter-Up," may have been intended as a memento during one of his last days on that job.
Rivers became unemployed in the Depression and consequently became involved in national efforts to create Social Security, unemployment insurance, and housing programs. These experiences apparently encouraged his active participation in politically leftist activities, as coverage about him in Soviet publications attests. A pacifist, in 1935 he was involved in demonstrations aimed at preventing World War II, and in the 1960s he took part in anti-Vietnam demonstrations and encouraged young people to continue such resistance.
In the 1950s Rivers worked in steel fabrication, in a chemistry lab as a technician, and briefly as a legislative aide for a New York state senator.
In 1986 Rivers submitted his 1930 self-portrait, posed on the Chrysler Building, to the International Year of Peace art contest sponsored by the New Times, published in Moscow: it was awarded a prize and diploma.
Mr. Rivers died in 1993, only two weeks after moving to Arlington, Texas to enter a nursing home near his sons' homes.
1. The page on Rivers in New York University=s Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives web site (http://laborarts.org/collections/item.cfm?itemid=82) --noted 5 June 2002), claims Rivers was born in 1905 and changed his name Ato resemble those of the Mohawk Indians working on the high steel of New York City=s skyscrapers and bridges".
2. This spelling is given in an e-mail from James Rivers to Helen Plummer, Aug. 19, 2002.
4. Telephone conversation between Ron Rivers and the author, 6 June 2002. Additional information was provided by Ron Rivers in electronic mail messages, 5 June and 12 June 2002.
5. James Rivers, op. cit.
6. Telephone conversation with Ron Rivers, 6 June 2002.
7. In a biographical statement for the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art (copy supplied by Helen Plummer), Charles Rivers called Denver his birthplace. The George Eastman House photographer database also included this apparently erroneous information, probably derived from the Amon Carter statement (telephone conversation with Helen Plummer, 3 June 2002).
8. Ron Rivers, telephone conversation, 6 June 2002.
9. Identified by Charles Rivers as the camera used in the skyscraper photographs: interview by Carol Sewell, "Photographer looked at U.S. from high view," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 27, 1986. Rivers also used a Rolleiflex, according to Ron Rivers (see note above), but the folding Zeiss Ikon camera would have been a more convenient addition to a lunchbox than the bulkier Rolleiflex. The collection negatives are not in the Rolleiflex square format, moreover.
10. See Judith Mara Gutman, Lewis W. Hine and the American social conscience. New York: Walker, 1967.
11. Ron Rivers, telephone conversation, 6 June 2002.
Materials at the Smithsonian Institution
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Included Rivers's self-portrait, "The Bolter Up," in its summer 2002 exhibition, "Metropolis in the Machine Age," in the form of a new print made from a digital copy of the Archives Center's original negative. The author discussed the new print from the Rivers negative and other photographs in this exhibition in an invited gallery lecture, "The Skyscraper Photographs of Lewis Hine and Charles Rivers," Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, June 6, 2002.
Materials at Other Organizations
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
See Barbara McCandless and John Rohrbach, Singular moments: photographs from the Amon Carter Museum, with select entries by Helen Plummer. Reproduction of a Rivers photograph, with description and analysis, p. 30. Additional information has been generously supplied by Ms. Plummer, curatorial associate, and Barbara McCandless, curator of photography, Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth Texas.
Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University
Museum of the City of New York
Some of his photographs were included in the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art exhibition, "Looking at America: Documentary Photographs of the 1930s and 1940s," December 1986.
The collection is a gift from Mr. Charles Rivers, 1989.
Collection is open for research.
Archives Center claims copyright. Rights were conveyed to the Archives Center through a Deed of Gift signed by the donor.
Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary Search this
The 1893 Essay Prize Competition, 1893-1907: In 1893 the Smithsonian announced a world-wide competition for a prize for the best essays on human knowledge of the nature and properties of air, or for practical applications of existing knowledge to the welfare of mankind. Contestants included both eminent scientists of the day and those drawn by a chance to expound novel theories and so win the ten thousand dollar prize.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 31, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence
Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary Search this
Hodgkins Prize Papers Submitted for the 1893 Competition: In most cases each folder contains both correspondence and a copy of the intended prize essay. Some contain drawings, photographs, or copies of an author's other works. Some essays were returned at the author's request. Authors' names have been supplied when they could be determined with certainty. The rules of the competition allowed contestants to enter under a pseudonym; and some are listed here using that name, since no real name could be found. There is also a register of Hodgkins Fund correspondence, circa 1893-1897, in series 5.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 31, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence