This collection consists of glass plate negatives and advertising ephemera created by the Baugh & Sons Company, also known as the Baugh Chemical Company, manufacturers of a variety of agricultural fertilizers from 1855-1963.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of glass plate negatives documenting various operations of Baugh & Sons Company. The collection also includes trade literature, advertising ephemera in the form of pocket notebooks, and farmer's almanacs published by Baugh & Sons Company.
Series 1, Glass Plate Negatives, undated is arranged by size, 5x7 or 8x10. The glass plate negatives came to the National Museum of American History (NMAH) in 1966 from the National Park Service (NPS), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office. The glass plates, depicting sailing ships and wharf scenes, were given to the Division of Transportation, NMAH. The plates are not dated but appear to be early twentieth century. The glass plates may be ones used for the company publication, History of the House of Baugh, published circa 1927 or used in one of the many almanacs published by Baugh.
The scenes depicted in the various plates center around the company's wharf. Images of ships, tall masted and freighter, at the company dock are included as well as various staged scenes of laborers offloading animal bones (the basis of many of Baugh's products). There are also views of the factory complex from the Delaware River, showing an overhead rail system and large wharf side fertilizer hoppers with the company logo painted on at least one of them. The William J. McCahan Sugar Refining building may be seen in the background of some of the plates. These plates have been scanned.
Series 2, Advertising Ephemera, 1903-1914, undated is arranged chronologically. This series contains one piece of trade literature, seven pieces of advertising ephemera in the form of pocket memoranda, and three farmer's almanacs published by Baugh & Sons Company in the early twentieth century. The 1908 issue of the almanac contained a small black and white individual photograph of the Boston & Bangor Steam Ship Company building in Hampden, Maine.
The collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1, Glass Plate Negatives, undated
Series 2, Advertising Ephemera, 1903-1914, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Reportedly one of the oldest and largest fertilizer manufacturers in the United States during the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, Baugh & Sons Company was founded in 1855 by John Pugh Baugh (?-1882) and two of his sons, Edwin P. Baugh (?-1888) and Daniel Baugh (1836-1921) in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Some company materials claim a founding date for the "House of Baugh" in 1817, which is probably based on the fact that the family was initially engaged in the tanning industry near Paoli, Pennsylvania. Baugh manufactured a variety of ground bone-based agriculture fertilizers that were tailored for a wide range of crops. They later expanded into the manufacture of animal charcoal, glue, and chemicals. Baugh's corporate offices were located at the Delaware River Chemical Works on South Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with offices in Baltimore, Maryland and Norfolk, Virginia. Baugh operated manufacturing plants in Baltimore, Maryland at Canton in Baltimore harbor; Oneida, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the Delaware River at the foot of Morris and Moore Streets; Canton, Ohio; Galveston, Texas, and Norfolk, Virginia at Burton's Point.
A visitor to the Delaware River works reportedly wrote this description of the plant, "I have just inspected the Baugh Fertilizer Works on the Delaware River. I saw many large buildings, much machinery and numerous workmen. There was business activity everywhere; but, more than anything else, I saw bones. The whole placed suggested animal bones. There were bones in heaps, in sheds, on carts, on ships. There were bones whole and bones crushed; and bone ground, ready for shipment. I learned that the annual sales of Baugh's brands aggregate nearly 100,000 tons; which would be six thousand freight-car loads. I was told that these bones came from everywhere: from North America and from South America; from the West Indies and even from the East Indies. It was intimated that the present big bone heaps would soon be bigger, owing to incoming cargoes, but the statement made no impression on me." Baugh's Farmer's Almanac for 1903, page 14.
By the early twentieth century Baugh products were widely available from a network of independently owned farm supply stores. Baugh carried trade brands for each of its primary regions in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk. Baugh also exported products to England, France, Germany, and other countries. In its yearly almanacs they suggested the appropriate brand of Baugh fertilizer for specific crops and in some almanacs printed farmer testimony as well as photographs of crops grown with Baugh fertilizers.
Baugh Chemical Company was purchased by Kerr-McGee Oil Industries, Incorporated in 1963. Kerr-McGee ceased to exist as an independent entity in 2006 when purchased by Houston, Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
Collected for the museum by the Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History in 1966.
The collection is open for research use.
The collection is open for research use.
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The collection contains 205 photoprints, including 149 informal outdoor portraits and 46 studio portraits. Although the photographs, post cards, and other materials have been physically removed from the cyanotype album, album captions for the photographs are preserved in copy photographs made before the materials were removed during conservation treatment. The following is excerpted from Carolyn Long's paper, "The History and Conservation Treatment of the Baltimore and Ohio Cyanotype Book and Rosalie O'Connell's Album, Plus the Cyanotype Process Explained" (copy in control file).
Snapshots, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia were adhered to the reverse of the cyanotypes, and several sentimental poems, evidently Rosalie's own compositions, were written on the back pages. At the time the album was assembled, she dated the pages and wrote formal inscriptions with dark brown ink in a flowing script. In later years she wrote further explanations and made humorous comments with a blue ballpoint pen, apparently in the 1940's or later. The pictures and inscriptions create a record of a young woman's life in the early twentieth century that is as interesting as the views of railroad bridges and depots on the front of the pages.
Rosalie appears to have been in her teens or early twenties at the time, and was a pretty, vivacious girl with long dark hair. Her family, the C. T. O'Connells, lived at 2011 Barclay Street, Baltimore, in a blue-collar neighborhood near the railroad yards. Many railroad employees lived in the area, which offers an explanation of how Rosalie happened to have the cyanotype book. The O'Connells were a large Irish Catholic family, according to the album, which mentions Rosalie's siblings: Florence, an older sister with two children, Charles and Ursula; Bill, who served in the Mexican War; Ed, a football player; Richard, who ran for Democratic delegate to the State Convention in 1915; and a younger brother named Bartlett. Apparently Richard was Rosalie's favorite brother, for she wrote inscriptions such as "My Pal" and "My Dick" under his pictures. It was Richard's wife Ona who later sold the album to the Museum.
The O'Connells' neighbors were the Gables and the Feldmeyers. The Gables and their children are shown behind their house, with a wooden privy in the background. Above their picture, Rosalie wrote "The Dirty Dozen in 1916." "Pop" Gable apparently worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad and is pictured on top of a "Pennsy" engine. There are also snapshots of Rosalie with her flock of chickens in the back yard, and of neighborhood girls having a "fresh air fund" bake sale at 2003 Barclay.
Rosalie's best friend was Beatrice "Beets" Malstrom. The two girls, with other friends and family members, swam and ice skated at Jane's Creek and went to Riverview Park. Rosalie worked at Turner's Grocery Store on North Avenue, and a series of snapshots shows her co-workers clowning with a bottle of beer on a motor scooter.
Rosalie was courted by George Barry, who is shown with her on the boat Louise when he was home on furlough from the Navy in 1917. Poems and inscriptions suggest an eventual breakup of the relationship. Above one of these pictures she wrote, "The arrival -peace and happiness unexpected." Later, however, she wrote in ballpoint, "so mixed up," and "He was nice, but I was not in love."
The collection is arranged into one series. Materials arranged topically, with a copy photographic key to the original album arrangement.
Biographical / Historical:
In the 1890s the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad maintained a photographic record of its properties along its routes (Divisions); a book of cyanotype prints was made of each Division for railroad officials. The Museum purchased a book of the Baltimore & Ohio Philadelphia Division from the sister-in-law of Rosalie M. O'Connell, and found that it contained personal photographs mounted on the backs of the cyanotypes. Rosalie O'Connell had used the book as a personal photograph album from 1912 to 1917. Because the scrapbook material was damaging the cyanotypes, the National Museum of American History, Division of Conservation removed the photographs in 1985.
Rosalie apparently had come into possession of the cyanotype book when she was a teen-aged girl, possibly due to her father's job with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and/or the presence of other B & O employees in the neighborhood. Between the years 1912-1917 Rosalie used it as a personal photo album and scrapbook, adhering snapshots, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia to the reverse side of the cyanotypes. Because these items and the adhesives were causing damage to the cyanotypes, in 1985 Carolyn Long of the NMAH Division of Conservation removed the O'Connell material from the cyanotype pages. Thus for the first time the "Rosalie O'Connell Photograph Album" was physically separated from the B & 0 cyanotype album.
Materials in the Archives Center
Baltimore & Ohio cyanotype book in mechanical and civil engineering collection, NMAH.
The collection was purchased by the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering from Mrs. Richard C. O'Connell in 1979.
Collection is open for research.
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.