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Stump [or Stumpy? Stumpie?] and Stello (dancing) [acetate (or nitrate?) film photonegative]

Photographer:
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Names:
Hartman, Eddie  Search this
Subseries Creator:
Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Scurlock, Robert S. (Saunders), 1917-1994  Search this
Custom Craft  Search this
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Scurlock, George H. (Hardison), 1919-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Item
Container:
Box 34
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Retouching
Photographs
Date:
[1930s]
Scope and Contents:
Job Number: 18790
The male figure is in blackface, wearing a straw hat, and may be Eddie Hartman. However, in a March 30, 2012 interview with Dr. Harold Corwin, who played "Stumpy" from 1938, curator David Haberstich was told that the male was neither Hartman nor Corwin. Possibly the Stump or Stumpy shown here was part of a Washington act inspired by the Stump and Stumpy of New York. Corwin furrther stated that he had no knowledge of a Stello or Stella in this connection. Title in ink on base side at top edge: "Stumpy & Stello 4 - B&W". No maker's edge imprint. Numbers on original envelope, A206 and 156.
General note:
Notes: In nitrate box
General:
From negative box D.
Subseries Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Subseries Rights:
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Minstrel shows -- 1900-1960  Search this
Blackface entertainers  Search this
Vaudeville -- 1930-1940  Search this
Portraits -- Men -- 1930-1940  Search this
African American entertainers -- 1930-1950.  Search this
Dancers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Retouching -- Pencil
Photographs -- 19th-20th century -- Black-and-white negatives -- Nitrate
Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film
Subseries Citation:
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.1: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives
Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.1: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives / 4.1: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin negatives
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0618-s04-01-ref763

Stump [or Stumpy? Stumpie?] and Stello [man and woman, male figure seated] [acetate (or nitrate?) film photonegative]

Photographer:
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Names:
Hartman, Eddie  Search this
Subseries Creator:
Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Scurlock, Robert S. (Saunders), 1917-1994  Search this
Custom Craft  Search this
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Scurlock, George H. (Hardison), 1919-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Item
Container:
Box 34
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Retouching
Photographs
Date:
[1930s.]
Scope and Contents:
Job Number: 18790
Male is in blackface, possibly Eddie Hartman. However, in a March 30, 2012 interview with Dr. Harold Corwin, who played "Stumpy" from 1938, curator David Haberstich was told that the male was neither Hartman nor Corwin. Possibly the Stump or Stumpy shown here was part of a Washington act inspired by the Stump and Stumpy of New York. Corwin furrther stated that he had no knowledge of a Stello or Stella in this connection. Title in ink on base side at top edge. No maker's edge imprint. Numbers on original envelope, A206 and 155. Faces retouched. In a
General note:
Notes: In nitrate box
General:
See also framed print from negative in collection, 1998.0011.
From negative box D, now in Freezer Box 34.
Subseries Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Subseries Rights:
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Minstrel shows -- 1900-1960  Search this
Blackface entertainers  Search this
Vaudeville -- 1930-1940  Search this
Portraits -- Men -- 1930-1940  Search this
African American entertainers -- 1930-1950.  Search this
Dancers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Retouching -- Pencil
Photographs -- 19th-20th century -- Black-and-white negatives -- Nitrate
Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film
Subseries Citation:
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.1: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives
Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.1: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives / 4.1: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin negatives
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0618-s04-01-ref793

W. Oscar Sullivan Papers

Collector:
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Sullivan, W. Oscar, 1891-  Search this
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Author:
Sullivan family  Search this
Extent:
2.6 Cubic feet (8 boxes )
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Books
Appointment books
Scripts (documents)
Diaries
Photographs
Date:
1900-1960
Summary:
Papers and photographs document the careers in show business (traveling medicine shows, vaudeville acts and acting in stage shows) of Mr. Sullivan, members of his family and associates.
Scope and Contents:
These papers and photographs mostly relate to the careers in show business of Mr. Sullivan, members of his family and associates. Their activities included traveling medicine shows, vaudeville acts and acting in stage shows. Most of the photographs are unidentified and undated. The publicity releases, theater handbills and newspaper clippings are often undated as are numerous handwritten scripts, ideas for jokes, and songs. Many diaries and daily account books are included but often do not indicate the identity of the record-keeper or his/her associates. Some racist materials contained in the comedy acts reflect the prejudices of Oscar Sullivan's time and his Southern background. His reference to black persons in his diaries and his songs concerning blacks were degrading. His comedy routines involving black characters portrayed them with, the usual stereotypes.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Publicity, Scripts, Routines, Songs, 1910-1947

Series 2: Photographs, 1912-1960

Series 3: Correspondence, diaries, appointment books, 1909-1956 Series 4: Books, 1863-1942

Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1900-1959

Arranged roughly chronologically within each series.
Biographical / Historical:
The Sullivan collection (1900-1960) consists of advertisements, publicity materials, photographs, letters, appointment calendars, and work papers of W. Oscar Sullivan, his wife, Aline Moore and his daughters, Laverne and Virginia. Sullivan and his family were vaudeville, medicine and tent show performers who entertained in small towns, especially in the Southeast. Their act included monologues, singing, dancing, acrobatics, and comedy, including blackface. The Collection documents their careers as small-time entertainers who managed to eke out a living through their talents.

W. Oscar Sullivan was born in Georgia about October 10, 1891. He left school after the 6th grade. In 1909 he was known as Ruscara Sullie, "the Phenomenal Boy Assistant" to Lee Hubert & Co., "Magic, Mental Telepathy, Spiritualistic Phenomena."

Sullivan was encouraged by his brother, Lee, to stick with show business. Lee often dissuaded Oscar from writing home-sick letters to his mother who evidently wanted him to stay in Savannah, Georgia and get a steady job.

In October 1912, Sullivan became an agent for The Southern Ruralist, a semi-monthly farm journal, soliciting subscriptions. Also in October 1912, he applied to J. Frank Denton & Co., dealers in Lightning Rod and Fixtures in Spread, Georgia, for a salesman's job. He was told that the arrangement would be payment by commission and a horse and rig. The horse would have to be fed out of the commission. The company believed that being paid on commission would spur him on to work.

In November, 1912, Sullivan wrote to Archie Fourneia's Show which advertised that it presented up-to-date vaudeville and moving pictures. Sullivan's brother Robert a dentist, previously managed the Lyric Theater in Macon, Georgia where he met Ollie Hamilton, the stage manager for Fourneia. Fourneia offered Sullivan a job as straight man for Negro acts and to talk about the moving pictures and make announcements. He would receive $12 per week and all expenses. The terms were accepted, but delays followed. Another letter told him that he was expected to do "Nigger act show on type of Over the River Charlie"? and two acts a night. Fourneia cancelled on December 5 because he had previously wired money to another man who had finally arrived.

On December 6, 1912, Sullivan got an offer from Russell Craner to join "The Irish Piper", a play. But Sullivan turned the offer down because he had a contract with the Paul Anderson Stock Co. to handle general business and juvenile parts.

In 1912, Sullivan advertised himself as a "Character Elocutionist" for a twelve minute act. In 1913, he advertised that he could do a fifteen minute show presenting "Mighty Moments from Great Plays". He added he could do light comedy, juvenile leads, low comedy and heavy character roles.

On May 1, 1913, Sullivan was offered $12 per week for two acts a night-a specialty and closing act-by the R.L. Russell Show. He was to cut out the "nigger acts". Evidently he did not take it but went with another show to New England.

Sullivan did plays with the C.F. Haraden Show for the 1913 and 1916 seasons. In the early years, Sullivan wrote songs and poetry. His spelling was very bad. Some of the work was quite racist and nasty. Some of the poetry and writings were rather risqué.

There is no information when Oscar and Aline Moore were married. In 1917, their letterhead stationary announced "Sullivan-Moore" were experienced in drama, vaudeville, musical comedy and that they were "sober and reliable." The collection contains many programs printed in local newspapers showing them acting in plays at the Empire Theatre in Ironton, Ohio in 1918-1919. In May 1922, the family including two daughters, lived in Savannah, Georgia. Both were members of Actor's Equity. In January, 1924, Sullivan was offered a job at $35 a week for 30 weeks with the Princess Floating Theatre of Beverly, Ohio. There is no indication of whether he took it.

By 1927, the Sullivans were living in Ironton, Ohio again. The children went to school there. Presumably, when Laverne was 11 and Virginia was 7, they had an act called "Sullivans and Their Knick Knack Kids."

In 1931, the Sullivans were looking for work and not eating well. The family in Savannah helped when they could. In 1931, Sullivan's mother died. Through these years, their show people friends offered them a variety of jobs. During the depression years, much unemployment was reported in letters from friends, relatives, neighbors and show people.

On February 16, 1933, Aline Sullivan died at age thirty eight after an operation and influenza. The family had been performing in Knoxville, Tennessee. Laverne was then eighteen and Virginia was fifteen years of age.

After her death, Sullivan and his daughters played in stage shows between movie shows and were known as "Flashes of 1933". After performing in Dallas in 1934, they became the "Dancing Cowgirls" or "Sullivan's Cowgirls with Diving Dog". The diving dog was Buddy who did a high dive before each performance in front of the theatre to draw in crowds. They received $100 for seven shows and a midnight performance.

Their show was a vaudeville act consisting of singing, dancing, acrobatic acts, roller skating, and comedy in blackface. The publicity and letter of reference described the act as culture, refined and usually clean. They toured small Southern towns and CCC camps where the commanders gave them good references. In 1937, they played at the Chicago World's Fair. By 1941, Nell Brenizer, the pianist for the act, had become Oscar's second wife. On May 1, 1941, Buddy died at the age of seventeen. He was buried in a Pet Cemetery in Atlanta at a cost for the funeral of $55. The family visited his grave whenever they were in Atlanta.

On May, 1941, Virginia Sullivan appeared in Ripley's "Believe It Or Not". The caption under her drawn picture read: "Virginia balances three lighted lamps while bending backward from a standing position - lies flat on floor - and rises again."

During 1941, Sullivan drove around Georgia trying to book the act into schools and other locations. At the time it was considered a "tent" show with a trailer and a company of three performances.

There is no information concerning the family during the war years although in 1945, Virginia Sullivan received thanks from the Savannah Junior Chamber of Commerce for putting on many "Shows for the Boys".

In 1947, the family played as Eddie's Medicine Show with Virginia and Oscar. On occasional weekends, Laverne and her husband, Ken helped out. Nell played the accordion and Eddie lectured on the human body. They played in vaudeville at movie houses and dance halls, at fairs and expositions, at medicine shows and on empty lots. An incomplete 1951 diary shows income from candy and snow cones. The group still traveled frequently noted that his eyes needed an operation.

In 1955, they were still traveling - generally in small Southern towns. Sometimes they would spend $1 to advertise on the local radio.
Provenance:
Collection donated by William Jerry Eagle, October 15, 1980.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Entertainment -- 1900-1960  Search this
Minstrel shows -- 1900-1960  Search this
Vaudeville  Search this
Racism -- 1900-1960  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Books
Appointment books
Scripts (documents)
Diaries -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
W. Oscar Sullivan Papers, Archives Center, 1900-1960, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0072
See more items in:
W. Oscar Sullivan Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0072
Online Media:

George E. "Mello" and Neva Satterlee McNally Vaudeville Collection

Collector:
McNally, George E.  Search this
McNally, Neva Satterlee, -1909  Search this
Donor:
LaClair, Beatrice M.  Search this
Names:
Browning, Frances H. "Peaches", 1910-1956  Search this
Tovell, Albert  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Sheet music
Photographs
Date:
circa 1889-1964
Summary:
Collection consists of photographs, commercially published sheet music, and original music manuscripts from the McNallys' vaudeville careers. Materials include minstrel show and blackface material; photo of Albert Tovell, once the master of ceremonies for Frances H. "Peaches" Browning; and a photograph of "Gov. Jordan," a blackface female impersonator.
Scope and Contents:
Series 1: Original Music Manuscripts/Arrangements contains original manuscripts used in the Hokem is Hokem act orchestrated by Neva Satterlee Mello. There are parts scores for five musical instruments and various instruments have additional music scores as well for individual selections. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series 2: Commercial Sheet Music contains commercially printed sheet music, mostly from the vaudeville era with a few exceptions such as Hello Dolly and others. The series contains some well worn sheet music selections, some of which were presumably used by Neva's orchestra or the Hokem is Hokem troupe. One piece, Lily of the Valley, has been sewn along its spine by a sewing machine to help keep it together. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series 3: Photographs contains photographs of George Mello and some of the Mello's/McNally's vaudeville contemporaries. Of special interest is one photograph of a man dressed in drag and blackface and a photograph of Albert Tovell, one time master of ceremonies for the somewhat infamous Frances H. Browning aka Peaches Browning (1910-1956). There is also another photograph of two men dressed in blackface.

Series 4: Memorabilia contains the music covers for the Hokem is Hokem act and one publication.
Arrangement:
Collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Original Sheet Music

Series 2: Commercial Sheet Music

Series 3: Photographs

Series 4: Memorabilia
Biographical / Historical:
According to family history, Neva Satterlee at the age of seventeen formed an orchestra and was its leader for many years. At one time she was under contract with Charles Hoyt Productions, probably the same Hoyt of Morgan & Hoyt's who boasted a Ladies Band and Imperial Singing Orchestra on their bill. She was an accomplished musician and actress. Neva married George McNally and they took the stage surname of Mello. Neva did all the musical arrangements as she was the only one of the pair who could read music. Their home base was the town of Fulton, New York. The couple remained on the vaudeville circuit as entertainers until Neva's death during child birth in 1909. The couple had at least one child, Angeline McNally. George continued to work in vaudeville. The act was under the direction of George Mello and Eddie Shaw. The act, titled Hokem is Hokem, was a minstrel, musical revue style show and apparently consisted of at least five musical selections; the opening Hot-Time, followed by He's Goin' to Hab a Hot Time Bye an' Bye termed (the greatest coon song ever published), Tall Girl (arranged by Neva Satterlee Mello), Snaps, and The Man Behind the Plow. The act's band consisted of a piano, violin, cornet, trombone, drums, clarinet, and flute but may have included other instruments. According to family tradition, Mello ceased his vaudeville career by 1928.

The vaudeville tradition began in the aftermath of the Civil War when numerous minstrel companies began touring the country in minstrel shows presenting songs and comedy in an easily accessible format. Vaudeville became the staple American family entertainment during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tony Pastor gave the first big time vaudeville show in New York City in 1881 and by 1919 there were reportedly 900 vaudeville theatres in the country. Featuring a collection of sketches, short plays, popular songs, and simple comedy routines, the show often featured minstrel-type acts presented by actors in blackface. With the influx of immigrants in the latter 19th century, the tradition continued but was changed by European and ethnic influences. Booking agents operated in the major cities of New York, Chicago and San Francisco promoting and developing their own Vaudeville Acircuits. Booking agents booked small troupes of actors, specialty acts and musical performers to tour the circuit traveling from one town's vaudeville house to the next. (Encarta Encyclopedia, IATSE)
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Archives Center by the granddaughter of the McNallys, Beatrice M. LaClair, in 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Rights situation uncertain. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Blackface entertainers  Search this
Female impersonators  Search this
Minstrel shows -- 1900-1960  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Vaudeville  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Sheet music -- Manuscripts -- 19th century
Sheet music
Photographs -- 1890-1900
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1910-1930
Citation:
George E. "Mello" and Neva Satterlee McNally Vaudeville Collection, 1889-1964, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Beatrice M. LaClair.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0760
See more items in:
George E. "Mello" and Neva Satterlee McNally Vaudeville Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0760
Online Media:

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