An album of photographs of Panama and the Panama Canal, circa 1904-1914.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of a disbound album of photographs relating to the Panama Canal, including a few construction scenes, vessels traveling through the Canal, urban and rural street scenes, housing, hospital scenes, historic buildings, and people. The three inch by three inch photographic prints are mounted on black album paper and most are badly faded and unidentified. Most of the photographs are informal and have the feel of snapshots taken by an amateur photographer. There are a few larger format photographs. Also included is the Official Handbook of the Panama Council, 1913.
This collection is arranged in one series.
Series 1, Photograph Album, circa 1904-1914
Biographical / Historical:
On November 18, 1903, the United States and Panama negotiated the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, which granted the United States. permission to construct a canal that would join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Construction for the Panama Canal began on May 4, 1904. The large workforce -- at its highest population in 1913 it numbered 44,733 men, not including those sick, on leave, or otherwise absent -- had a great impact on Panama. As there were not enough amenities to accommodate them when they arrived, the workers built entire communities, paved streets, improved communication systems, and installed water and sewage systems. Likewise, the railroad was improved for more efficient transportation of supplies, labor, food, and equipment. Much to the credit of Chief Sanitary Officer Dr. William Crawford Gorgas, yellow fever was completely eradicated on the isthmus and malaria cases greatly reduced. Native villages and towns along the planned construction route were required to relocate.
The first self-propelled, ocean-bound vessel traveled on the canal on January 7, 1914, and the canal was formally opened in August of that year. The Panama Canal construction project was the most expensive construction project in United States history to that date, costing $375,000,000.
Materials in the Archives Center
William Currie Photograph Album (AC1043)
John Frances Little Panama Canal Scrapbook (AC0708)
Roland A. McCrady Photograph Collection (AC0710)
Robert Dearborn Panama Canal Photonegatives (AC1111)
W.A. Fishbaugh Panama Canal Photograph Album (AC1021)
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History's Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (now Division of Work and Industry) by Katherine Kingsford in1982. It was transferred to the Archives Center in 2007.
The collection is open for research use.
Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Levy, Beatrice S. (Beatrice Sophia), 1892-1974 Search this
1.9 Linear feet
Scope and Contents:
The Beatrice S. Levy papers measure 1.9 linear feet and date from 1890-1974. Included are biographical material, correspondence, writings, works of art, photographs, and printed material.
Biographical material includes awards, a confirmation certificate, and a diploma. Correspondence is with Levy's family and art organizations. Writings consist of numerous diaries by Levy. Works of art include a sketchbook, sketches and etches. Loose photographs and three photograph albums contain images of Levy, family, friends, and travels. Also included is a picto-viewer with images of her works. Printed material relates to Art News and Levy's work.
Biographical / Historical:
Beatrice Levy was an etcher in Chicago, Ill. and La Jolla, Calif. Levy studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under Ralph Clarkson and with Charles W. Hawthorne in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She had a studio in Chicago's 57th Street Art Colony. Her work was exhibited at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition (1915), the Century of Progress in Chicago (1933-1934), and the New York's World's Fair (1939). Levy was President of the Chicago Society of Artists, Supervisor of the Works Progress Administration Art Project Gallery, and Supervisor of the Easel Painting Division in 1936 for the Federal Art Project. In 1950 she moved to California, where she taught at the La Jolla Museum School of Arts and Crafts (1961-1962) and continued to exhibit her work.
Donated 2018 by Heather Peck, granddaughter of Dorothy Stratton, a friend of Beatrice Levy. Material microfilmed on reel 4190 (frames 773-1023) was originally part of a larger collection of material given to the University of Louisville (Kentucky) by Samuel Steinfeld, a cousin of Beatrice Levy. The University of Louisville transferred this group of papers to the Art Institute of Chicago, who in turn donated them to the Archives of American Art in 1986. Samuel Steinfeld donated additional material on reel 4190 (frames1024-1311) in 1986.
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Illinois -- Chicago Search this
Original documents and papers generated by William J. Hammer and by various companies and individuals with whom he was associated. Includes material related to the research and inventions of Edison, Bell, Tesla, the Curies, etc.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes original documents and papers generated by Hammer and by various companies and individuals and various secondary sources assembled by Hammer between 1874 and 1934. Hammer's lifelong association with the foremost scientists of his day -- Edison, Bell, Maxim, the Curies, the Wright brothers, and others - afforded him a unique opportunity to collect materials about the development of science along many lines.
This collection, which includes rare historical, scientific, and research materials, was donated by the International Business Machine Corporation to the Museum of History and Technology in 1962 and held by the Division of Electricity. In 1983 it was transferred to the -Archives Center. The collection was badly disorganized when received and contained many fragile documents in poor condition. The collection was organized and arranged as reflected in this register.
The collection documents in photographs, manuscripts, notes, books, pamphlets, and excerpts, the beginnings of electrical technology. In its present state, it comprises four series: Series 1 contains twenty-two boxes of the William J. Hammer Papers, containing both biographical and autobiographical material; Series 2 has twenty boxes of material on Edison; Series 3 consists of thirty-three boxes of reference material; and Series 4 holds twenty-one boxes of photographs and portraits. See the container list beginning on page 39 for more detailed information on the contents of the collection.
Most of the material in the collection is chronologically arranged. However, in some cases alphabetical arrangement has been employed, for example, in the arrangement of portraits of eminent men of electrical science (Series 4, Boxes 78-80, 100-101), and the arrangement of publications (by authors' last names).
Hammer did original laboratory work upon selenium, radium, cathode rays, x-rays, ultra-violet rays, phosphorescence, fluorescence, cold light, and wireless. These aspects of his career are reflected in many parts of the collection: in Series 1 there are articles, notes, diagrams, sketches, graphs,, and correspondence; in Series 3 articles, magazines, news clippings, and bound pamphlets. Tie contributed many technical writings, some of which are found in Series 1.
Papers detailing Hammer's aeronautical activities were transferred to the National Air and Space Museum. They consist of two scrapbooks and one cubic foot of aeronautical photographs of balloons, airplanes, and gliders and one-half cubic foot of correspondence. For further information contact the National Air and Space Museum Archives at (202) 357-3133.
The collection is divided into four series.
Series 1: William J. Hammer Papers
Series 2: Edisonia
Series 3: Reference Materials
Series 4: Photographs
Biography of William J. Hammer:
William Joseph Hammer, assistant to Thomas Edison and a consulting electrical engineer, was born at Cressona, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1858, and died March 24, 1934. His parents were Martha Augusta Bech (1827-1861) and William Alexander Hammer (1827-1895). He attended private and public schools in Newark, New Jersey, and university and technical school lectures abroad.
On January 3, 1894, Hammer married Alice Maud White in Cleveland, Ohio. They had one daughter, Mabel (Mrs. Thomas Cleveland Asheton). Alice Hammer died in 1906.
In 1878 Hammer became an assistant to Edward Weston of the Weston Malleable Nickel Company. In December 1879 he began his duties as laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey. He assisted in experiments on the telephone, phonograph, electric railway, ore separator, electric lighting, and other developing inventions. However, he worked primarily on the incandescent electric lamp and was put in charge of tests and records on that device. In 1880 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. In this first year, the plant under general manager Francis Upton, turned out 50,000 lamps. According to Edison, Hammer was "a pioneer of Incandescent Electric Lighting"! (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2).
In 1881 Edison sent Hammer to London as Chief Engineer of the English Electric Light Co. In association with E. H. Johnson, general manager, Hammer constructed the Holborn Viaduct Central Electric Light Station in London. This plant included three, thirty-ton "Jumbo" steam-powered dynamos (generators), and operated 3,000 incandescent lamps. Holborn was the first central station ever constructed for incandescent electric lighting. Hammer began its operation on January 12, 1882, by lighting the Holborn Viaduct.
In 1882 Hammer also installed a large isolated lighting plant containing twelve Edison dynamos at the Crystal Palace Electric Exposition and the Edison Exhibit at the Paris Electrical Exposition.
At this time Hammer also designed and built the first electric sign. The sign spelled the name "Edison" in electric lights, and was operated by a hand controlled commutator and a large lever snap switch. It was erected over the organ in the Crystal Palace concert hall.
In 1883 Hammer became Chief Engineer for the German Edison Company (Deutsche Edison Gesellschaft), later known as Allegemeine Elektricitaets Gesellschaft. Hammer laid out and supervised the installations of all Edison plants in Germany. While in Berlin he invented the automatic motor-driven "flashing" electric lamp sign. The sign, which flashed "Edison" letter by letter and as a whole, was placed on the Edison Pavilion at the Berlin Health Exposition in 1883.
On his return to the United States in 1884, Hammer took charge of some of Edison's exhibits, including Edison's personal exhibit, at the International Electrical Exhibition held under the authority of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. There he built the first flashing "Column of Light." He also became confidential assistant to E. R. Johnson, president of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. Together with Johnson and Frank J. Sprague, he became an incorporator of the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor company. He also was elected a trustee and the company's first secretary.
Hammer installed an all-electric house at Newark, New Jersey in 1884 and he devised various electrical devices and contrivances for an unusual party for friends and colleagues. (See "Electrical Diablerie" beginning on page 6).
At the end of 1884 Hammer became chief inspector of central stations of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. For over two years he made financial, mechanical, and electrical reports on the various stations throughout the United States. During 1886-87 he was chief engineer and general manager of the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company. He also acted as contractor for the company. He laid $140,000 of underground tubing and installed Sprague Electric Motors.
In 1888, acting as an independent engineer, he was placed in charge of completing the 8,000 light plant of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St.Augustine Florida. At the time this was the largest isolated incandescent lighting plant ever constructed. Also in 1888 Hammer was appointed consulting electrical engineer to the Cincinati Centennial Expostition, and as a contractor designed and installed over $40,000 worth of electrical effects.
Hammer was appointed Edison's personal representative remarked, "There are a lot of crowned heads in the Edison business. How many of them am I subservient to?" Mr. Edison answered "You take no instructions except from Thomas A. Edison." Hammer asked "What are your instructions?" Mr. Edison replied, 'Hammer, I haven't any. Go and make a success of it.' In Paris he set up and operated all of Edison's inventions, which embraced nineteen departments and covered 9,800 square feet of space. He also built a huge Edison lamp forty-five feet high employing 20,000 lamps. Edison remarked, 'He had entire charge of my exhibit at the Paris Exposition, which was very successful." This was the largest individual exhibit at the Exposition, costing $100,000. Mr. Edison replied, "I want you to go right out and have a card engraved William J. Hammer, Representative of Thomas A. Edison. You are the only representative I have here," and he complimented him on his work adding, "The French government will do something handsome for you for your work." Hammer replied that he would not raise his hand to get it and did not believe in giving such honors to people who seek them. Mr. Edison said, "You are wrong. You are a young man and such things are valuable. At any rate if there's anyone in this exhibition who deserves recognition, you do, and I'm going to see you get it' (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2). Thirty-four years later, in 1925, through the personal influence of Edison, Hammer was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government.
In 1890 Hammer returned to the United States and opened an office as a consulting electrical engineer. He was in private practice until 1925, making reports, conducting tests, and giving expert testimony in patent suits.
On January 31, 1890, Hammer formed the Franklin Experimental Club of Newark where boys could come and carry on experiments, build apparatus, and listen to lectures. Hammer equipped the laboratory at his own expense. One side was an electrical laboratory and the other a chemical laboratory. About forty-five boys joined. Each boy had a key to the club and a section of a bench with his own drawer for keeping notes, tools, and other equipment. In 1892 the structure was destroyed by fire from a saloon next door, ending Hammer's plans for a large and useful institution.
In 1896 Hammer was elected president of the National Conference of Standard Electrical Rules, which prepared and promulgated the "National Electric Code."
In 1902 in Paris, Hammer visited Pierre and Marie Curie, the discoverers of radium and polonium. They gave him nine tubes of radium and one of polonium to bring back to the United States. He also acquired some sulphide of zinc, with which he mixed radium carbonates, producing a beautifully luminous powder. This was the first radium-luminous material ever made. By mixing the powder with Damar varnish he produced the first radium-luminous paint. He was also the first person to make colored (and white) luminous materials. In 1907 he invented and patented a process for producing colored phosphorescent materials by combining phosphorescent and fluorescent substances.
Back in the United States in the fall of 1902 and into 1903, Hammer applied his radium-luminous materials to thirty different objects: luminous dials for clocks and watches, toys, artificial flowers, radium luminous gun sights, taps and pulls for lamp sockets, switches, keyholes, push buttons, telephone transmitters, poison bottle labels, a small plaster figure, push pins, and writing implements among others. He did not patent the invention due to the scarcity and high cost of radium, but later in an important suit involving foreign and American patents of radium-luminous materials, his testimony and that of other noted scientists and professionals of the day who had visited his home and laboratory proved that his work completely anticipated that of all inventors both in the United States and abroad. In 1902 he was one of the first persons to be burned with radium.
Hammer gave eighty-eight lectures on the Curies' work and on radium and radioactive substances. He wrote the first book published on radium, Radium and other Radioactive Substances, 1903. Hammer proposed and used radium for cancer and tumor treatment, successfully treating and curing a tumor on his own hand in July 1903. Tie also supplied several hospitals with radioactive water he had made and conducted extensive experiments with x-rays, cathode-rays, radium-rays, ultraviolet lights, phosphorescence, fluorescence, and cold-light. He was probably the first to suggest many wartime uses for radium-luminous materials, such as airplanes, instruments, markers, barbed-wire, and landing fields.
Hammer also did important work with selenium, a nonmetallic element that resembles sulphur and tellurium chemically. It is obtained chiefly as a by-product in copper refining, and occurs in allotropic forms. A grey stable form varies in electrical conductivity depending on the intensity of its illumination and is used in electronic devices. Hammer invented selenium cells and apparatus, and suggested industrial uses for selenium and other light-sensitive cells.
In 1886 Hammer devised a system for automatically controlling street and other lights by use of a selenium cell. In 1892 he designed a torpedo that could be steered by searchlight and selenium cell. In the early 1900s he suggested many other uses for "light" cells, including burglar alarms, dynamo control, buoy, railroad signaling, automatic gun firing, transmission of music, stethoscope recorder, automatic operating shutters, automatic boiler feed, snow recorder, and electric motor control.
At the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 Hammer was Chairman of the Jury for Telegraphy, Telephony, and Wireless. He was also a member of the "Departmental" Jury ("Applied Science: Electricity") and of the committee appointed to organize the International Electrical Congress at St. Louis in 1904.
In 1906 Hammer received the "Elliott Cresson" gold medal from the Franklin Institute for his "Historical Collection of Incandescent Electric Lamps," accumulated over thirty-four years. This collection received a special silver medal at the International Electrical Exposition at the Crystal Palace, London, England, in 1882, and "the Grand Prize" at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904.
During the First World war Hammer served as a major on the General Staff of the, Army War College, Washington, D.C., where he was attached to the Inventions Section of the War Plans Division and later to the operations Division at the war Department in charge of electrical and aeronautical war inventions. He did special work at the U.S. Patent office, marking and delaying patents that might be useful to the enemy and served on the Advisory Board of Experts attached to the Alien Property Commission. He was elected Historian general of the Military order of the World War (1926-1928) and was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers.
Hammer was an early aeronautics enthusiast and became the owner of one of the first airplanes sold in the United States to an individual. Even in his last few years of his life, Hammer's interest in airplanes did not wane. In 1931, by the permission of the Secretary of the -Navy, Hammer made a twelve-hour flight in the Los Angeles dirigible from the Lakehurst, New Jersey airdrome along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to New York, flying over New York City at night.
Hammer served on numerous committees. In 1916 he was a member of a special committee, appointed by the Aeronautical Society of America. one of his responsibilities on this committee was to recommend methods for the formation of a reserve force of civilian aviators for the Army. At the start of World War I, Hammer was appointed chairman of a committee on camouflage by the Aeronautical Society. During the war, he flew airplanes and tested sound devices and was also among the first five selected out of thousands for the dissemination of propaganda into many countries. He also examined documents and papers captured from spies and prisoners of war to see if these material contained any technical matter of value to the U. S. Army.
Hammer traveled extensively as a delegate of the Military Order of World War I. For example, in 1922 he attended the aeronautical Congress and Flying Meet in Detroit, Michigan. In the same year he also attended Immigration Conferences of the National Civic Federation in New York.
Between 1922 and 1928 Hammer intensified his efforts in collecting and organizing autographed portraits of eminent scientific men, a project he had been working on for over forty-five years. Tie displayed many of these portraits with his Historical Collection of Incandescent Electrical Lamps in -his New York home. At this time he also prepared an elaborate bibliography on selenium and its industrial and scientific applications.
Major William Joseph Hammer, described by Edison as "my most valuable assistant at Menlo Park" died of pneumonia March 24, 1934.
N.Y. World, January 3, 1885 and Newark, N.J. Daily Advertiser and Journal, January 3, 1885
Some years ago, (1884) on New Year's eve, an entertainment was given at the home of Mr. William J. Hammer, in Newark, N.J., which, for the display of the powers of electricity has seldom, if ever, been equaled. Mr. Hammer, who has for years been associated with Mr. Edison, both in this country and in Europe, desiring to give his old classmates, the "Society of Seventy-Seven," a lively and interesting time, invited them to "an electrical dinner" at his home.
The invitations which were sent out were written upon Western Union telegram blanks with an Edison electric pen. When the guests arrived and entered the gate, the house appeared dark, but as they placed foot upon the lower step of the veranda a row of tiny electric lights over the door blazed out, and the number of the house appeared in bright relief. The next step taken rang the front door bell automatically, the third threw open the door, and at the same time made a connection which lit the gas in the hall by electricity.
Upon entering the house the visitor was invited to divest himself of his coat and hat, and by placing his foot upon an odd little foot-rest near the door, and pressing a pear-shaped pendant hanging from the wall by a silken cord, revolving brushes attached to an electric motor brushed the mud and snow from his shoes and polished them by electricity. As he was about to let go of the switch or button, a contact in it connected with a shocking coil, caused him to drop it like a hot potato. Up-stairs was a bedroom which would be a fortune to a lazy man; he had only to step on the door sill and the gas was instantly lighted. The ceiling was found to be covered with luminous stars, arranged to represent the principal constellations in the heavens-while comets, moons, etc., shone beautifully in the dark. By placing one's head on the pillow, the gas, fifteen feet away, would be extinguished and the phosphorescent stars on the ceiling would shine forth weirdly, and a phosphorescent moon rose from behind a cloud over the mantel and slowly describing a huge arch disappeared behind a bank of phosphorescent clouds on the other side of the room; by pressing the toe to the foot-board of the bed the gas could again be relit.
Pouring a teacup of water into the water clock on the mantel and setting the indicator would assure the awakening of the sleeper at whatever hour he might desire. There was also in the hall outside the room a large drum, which could be set to beat by electricity at the hour when the family wished to arise. The whole house was fitted throughout with electric bells, burglar alarms, fire alarms, telephones, electric cigar lighters, medical coils, phonographs, electric fans, thermostats, heat regulating devices, some seven musical instruments, operated by electricity, etc.
Upon the evening referred to nearly every. piece of furniture in the parlor was arranged to play its part. Sit on one chair and out went the gas, take another seat and it would light again; sitting on an ottoman produced a mysterious rapping under the floor; pressure on some chairs started off drums, triangles, tambourines, cymbals, chimes and other musical instruments; in fact, it seemed unsafe to sit down anywhere. The quests stood about in groups and whispered, each hoping to see his neighbor or a new comer caught napping.
One visitor (Brown) secured an apparently safe seat, and was telling a funny story--he had left electricity far behind--but just as he reached the climax, a pretty funnel-shaped Japanese affair like a big dunce cap, that seemed but a ceiling ornament which was held in place by an electromagnet, dropped from overhead and quietly covered him up, thus silently extinguishing the story and the story-teller.
A big easy chair placed invitingly between the folding doors joining the double, parlors sent the unwary sitter flying out of its recesses by the sudden deafening clamor of twenty-one electric bells hidden in the folds of the draperies hanging in the doorway. In a convenient position stood the silver lemonade pitcher and cup, the former was filled with the tempting beverage, but no matter how much a guest might desire to imbibe one touch convinced him that the pitcher and cup were so heavily charged with electricity as to render it impossible for him to pour out a drink or even to let go until the electricity was switched off from the hidden induction coil.
Some one proposed music, and half a selection had been enjoyed when something seemed to give way inside the piano, and suddenly there emanated from that bewitched instrument a conglomeration of sounds that drowned the voices of the singers, and the keys seemed to beat upon a horrible jangle of drums, gongs and various noise-producing implements which were fastened inside of and underneath the piano.
After the guest were treated to a beautiful display of electrical experiments, under the direction of Mr. Hammer, and Professor George C. Sonn, they were escorted to the dining-room, where an electrical dinner had been prepared and was presided over by 'Jupiter," who was in full dress, and sat at the head of the table, where by means of a small phonograph inside of his anatomy he shouted, "Welcome, society of Seventy-Seven and their friends to Jove's festive board." The menu was as follows: "Electric Toast," "Wizard Pie," "Sheol Pudding," "Magnetic Cake," "Telegraph Cake," "Telephone Pie," "Ohm-made Electric Current Pie," "Menlo Park Fruit," "Incandescent Lemonade," "'Electric Coffee" and "Cigars," etc., and music by Prof. Mephistopheles' Electric Orchestra.
About the table were pretty bouquets, and among the flowers shone tiny incandescent lamps, while near the center of the table was placed an electric fan which kept the air cool and pure, and at each end was a tiny Christmas tree lighted with small incandescent lamps, planted in a huge dish of assorted nuts and raisins. Each lamp had a dainty piece of ribbon attached to it upon which the initials of the Society and the date were printed, and each guest received a lamp to take away with him as a souvenir of the occasion. Plates of iced cakes made in the form of telephones, switches, bells, electric lamps, batteries, etc., stood on each side of the center piece.
Promptly at 12 o'clock, as the chimes of the distant churches came softly to the ears of the assembled quests, pandemonium seemed to change places with the modest dining-room. A cannon on the porch, just outside the door, and another inside the chimney, were unexpectedly discharged; and at this sudden roar, every man sprang back from the table; the lights disappeared; huge fire-gongs, under each chair beat a tattoo. The concussion produced by the cannon in the fireplace caused several bricks to come crashing down the chimney, and as the year of 1884 faded away, the table seemed bewitched. The "Sheol Pudding" blazed forth green and red flames illuminating the room, tiny tin boxes containing 'Greek" fire which had been placed over each window and door were electrically ignited by spirals of platinum iridium wire heated by a storage battery and blazed up suddenly; the "Telegraph Cake" clicked forth messages said to be press reports of the proceedings (it was also utilized to count the guests and click off the answers to various questions put to it); bells rang inside the pastry; incandescent lamps burned underneath the colored lemonade; the thunderbolt pudding discharged its long black bolts all over the room (long steel spiral springs covered with black cloth) and loud spirit rapping occurred under the table. The silver knives, forks and spoons were charged with electricity from a shocking coil and could not be touched, while the coffee and toast (made by electricity) were made rapidly absorbed; the "Magnetic Cake' disappeared; the "Wizard" and "Current Pies' vanished, and 'Jupiter" raising a glass to his lips began to imbibe.
The effect was astonishing! The gas instantly went out, a gigantic skeleton painted with luminous paint appeared and paraded about the room, while Jupiter's nose assumed the color of a genuine toper! His green eyes twinkled, the electric diamonds in his shirt front (tiny lamps) blazed forth and twinkled like stars, as he phonographically shouted "Happy New Year'. Happy New Year!" This "Master of Cererionies' now becoming more gentle, the guests turned their attention to the beautiful fruit piece, over four feet high, that stood in the center of the table. From the fruit hung tiny electric lamps, and the whole was surmounted by a bronze figure of Bartholdils "Statue of Liberty;" uplifted in "Miss Liberty's" right hand burned an Edison lamp no larger than a bean.
The dinner finished, and there was much that was good to eat, notwithstanding the "magical" dishes which they were first invited to partake of, speeches were delivered by Messrs. Hammer, Rutan, McDougall, 'Brown, Duneka, and Dawson, and an original poem was read by Mr. Van Wyck. Upon repairing to the parlors the guest saw Mr. Hammer's little sister, May, dressed in white and mounted upon a pedestal, representing the "Goddess of Electricity:" tiny electric lamps hung in her hair, and were also suspended as earrings, while she held a wand surmounted by a star, and containing a very small electric lamp.
Not the least interesting display of electricity took place in front of the house, where a fine display of bombs, rockets, Roman candles, Greek fire and other fireworks were set off by electricity, which was by the way, the first time this had been accomplished. The guests were requested to press button switches ranged along the front veranda railing thus causing electricity from a storage battery to heat to a red heat tiny platinum iridium spirals attached to each fuse of the various pieces of fireworks thus sending up rocket after rocket, as well as igniting the other pieces which had been placed in the roadway in front of the house.
An attempt was made to send up a large hot air balloon to which was attached a tiny storage battery and an incandescent signal lamp but a sudden gust of wind caused the ballon to take fire as it rose fr(xn the ground. This constituted the only experiment made during the evening which was not an unqualified success. The innumerable electrical devices shown during the progress of the dinner were all operated by Mr. Hammer, who controlled various switches fastened to the under side of the table and attached to a switchboard, which rested on his lap, while the two cannons were fired by lever switches on the floor, which he operated by the pressure of the foot. Electricity was supplied by primary and storage batteries placed under the table. After an exhibition of electrical apparatus and experiments with a large phonograph, the guests departed with a bewildered feeling that somehow they had been living half a century ahead of the new year."
Expositions and Exhibitions:
The many Expositions held at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries were important for the Edison Electric Company's future business. In particular the Paris Electrical Exposition, 1881, and the Crystal Palace Exposition in London in 1892 were introductions for the company's international business enterprises. Edison, therefore, sent his ablest men from the Menlo Park staff (Batchelor, Hammer, Jehl, Johnson) to Europe to oversee the installation and promotion of the company's exhibits.
THE INTERNATIONAL PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1881
The International Paris Electrical Exposition was held during the summer of 1881. Many of Edison's electric lighting systems, ranging from arc lights to incandescent devices, were exhibited. A model of the Edison central-station lighting system showed an arrangement of incandescent lights within a complete electrical distributing system, including novel appliances and controls of the Edison system. "The completeness of its conception made a profound impression on the foremost European electrical engineers of that era." (Josephson, Matthew. Edison, A Biography. p. 252). Edison also exhibited his first "Jumbon generator. It was "direct-connected" to its driving engine, another area in which Edison pioneered. Edison improved upon the original design of William Wallace's "Telemachon' - a generator coupled to a water-powered turbine. Wallace had earlier in the decade produced the first dynamo in America.
Charles Batchelor headed the Edison exhibits within Paris. Edison received many gold medals and diplomas and was awarded the ribbon of the Legion of Honor.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains various reports and catalogues exhibited at the International Exposition of Electricity. (Series 3, Box 44, Folders 1-4)
THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1882
At the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1882 in London, Edison displayed a great many of his inventions, including: the steam dynamo; specimens of street pipes and service boxes used in the Edison underground system of conductors, and the system of house conductors with devices for preventing abnormal increase of energy in house circuits; apparatus for measuring the resistance of his lamps, for measuring the energy consumed in lamps, and rheostats for restoring currents; also thermogalvano-meters, carbon rheostats, dynamometers, photometers, carbon regulators, Weber meters,, current regulators, and circuit breakers for controlling electric light circuits; the carbon relay, the pressure relay, and the expansion relay; the telegraph system in Morse characters; and the Roman character automatic telegraph.
Thomas Edison also exhibited the carbon telephone, the musical telephonograph, telephone repeater, and numerous apparatus for demonstrating the method of varying the resistance of a closed circuit by contact with carbon, illustrative of the experimental factors of the Edison carbon transmitter. Incandescent lamps, the process of the manufacture of lamps, and various designs of electric light chandeliers were also on display.
Hammer won the silver medal at the exposition for the first complete development of the incandescent electric lamp from its initial stages to date. At the exhibition the first hand-operated flashing electric lamp sign was displayed, which was invented and built by Hammer.
The collection contains photographs of the Edison dynamo, and the Edison Electric Lighting Plant of 1882 erected by Hammer. The official Catalogue of the International Electric and Gas Exhibition, and various articles from the Daily Telegraph, Daily Chronicle, and Daily News are also included within the collection (Series 4, Box 99 and Series 3, Box 42, Folder 1-2).
THE BERLIN EXPOSITION OF 1883.
The Berlin Exposition of 1883 had the first motored flashing electric sign designed, built and operated by Hammer. The electric sign spelled out the word "Edison" letter by letter and was used on the Edison pavilion in the Health Exposition. It has most features of today's flashing sign.
The collection contains two photographs of the first flashing sign (Series 4, Box 99).
THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION OF 1884
The Franklin Institute International Electrical Exhibition was held in Philadelphia from September 2 to October 14, 1884. Many of Edison's companies had display booths at the exhibition. The Edison Electric Light Company showed in operation their system of house lighting as supplied from a central station. The Edison Company for Isolated Lighting exhibited their system of lighting factories, hotels, hospitals, and other places situated beyond the reach of a central lighting station. A full assortment of Edison lamps and dynamos also made up parts of other exhibits. Also displayed at the exhibition was the first flashing column of light, which Hammer designed and built.
Included within the collection are a variety of photographs of the exhibitions. Four pamphlets also are contained in the collection (Series 3, Box 1, Folder 3), (Series 4, Box 99).
THE EXPOSITION OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND THE CENTRAL STATES OF 1888
The Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States, in Cincinnati from July 4 to October 27, was in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Cincinnati. The exposition showed the progress and ramifications of the first hundred years of this settlement.
The space occupied by permanent buildings was greater than that covered by any building for exhibiting purposes on the Western continent. T',ie exposition developed the Electric Light Plant to make a special feature of electric lighting in the evening. Several companies used this opportunity to make exhibits of their apparatus and for their equipment to be used for illumination. The Edison Lamps were used for displays in showcases and pavilions of exhibitors of the Park Building.
The collection contains photographs of the halls of the exposition and a poster which is a souvenir of the electrical display of the exposition. An official Guide of the Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States is included within the collection. (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 4).
THE SUMMER CARNIVAL AND ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION, ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK, 1889
The Summer Carnival and Electric Exhibition held at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada was to celebrate the opening of the Canadian Pacific Short Line to St. John and Portland. The Electrical Exhibition was the most popular of the displays present, containing the Monster Edison Lanm, the Mysterious Electric Fountain, and many other inventions.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains a poster that illustrates some of the leading exhibits at the Electrical Exhibition (Series 4, Box 99).
PARIS UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION OF 1889
The Universal Exposition of 1889 held in Paris was larger than all previous expositions held there. The famous Eiffel Tower was its principal attraction.
A large portion of the exhibit hall within the Palace of Mechanical Industries contained Thomas Edison's electrical inventions, including various electric lamps for use in houses. Variations of the telephone also were shown. During the Paris Exposition Europeans were exposed to the phonograph for the first time. Hammer represented Edison's interests at the Paris Exhibition.
The collection contains articles from New York World, New York Herald and Electrical World on Edison's exhibits at the Paris Exposition (Series 3, Box 44, folder 6). A scrapbook of photographs from the exhibition showing exhibit buildings and halls and loose photographs showing Edison's exhibits are included in the collection (Series 4, Box 98).
THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1892
The Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1892 was held in London. Hammer displayed a great variety of products in the machine room of the Electrical Exhibition. Sockets for controlling individual incandescent lamps on alternating currents and the Ward Arc Lamp for use on incandescent circuits were just a few of the items displayed. Edison's companies displayed specimens of all types of incandescent electric lamps for public and private illumination. They also displayed primary batteries for use in telegraphy, telephony, household work, and engines.
The William, J. Hammer Collection contains a variety of photographs of the electrical exhibition. The Official Catalogue and Guide of the Electrical Exhibition is also contained within the collection (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Folder 2, Box 42).
LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION, 1904
The Louisiana Purchase Expostition of 1904, held in St. Louis, Missouri from April 30 to December 1, celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The nineteen million people who attended made it the largest exposition ever. The year 1904 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Edison's invention of the carbon filament lamp and central power station system.
F.J.V. Skiff, the exhibits classifier for the fair, developed a twofold classificatory arrangement. He organized exhibits in a sequential synopsis corresponding to the sixteen different departments of the exposition. The principal exhibition buildings were built in the shape of a fan. The departments of education, art, liberal arts, and applied sciences-including electricity - headed the classification, Skiff noted, because they "equip man for the battle and prepare him for the enjoyments of life.' Departments devoted to displays of raw materials such as agriculture, horticulture, !inning, forestry, fish and game came next. Anthropology, social economy, and physical culture concluded the classification.
The Hammer collection contains photographs of Hammer with other Chairmen of Domestic and Foreign Jurors of the Electricity Section of the International Jury of Awards of the Louisiana Exposition and Hammer as chairman of the jury on telegraphy, telephony, and wireless. (Series 4, Box 102). A pamphlet by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company on the exhibit of the Radiophone at the Department of Applied Science is also part of the collection (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 5).
THE PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION OF 1915
The Panama Pacific Exposition celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and the four hundredth anniversary of the European discovery of the Pacific Ocean. It was held in San Francisco from February 20 to December 4, 1915. Approximately nineteen million people attended the exposition.
The eleven main buildings of the exposition were grouped around a central court of the Sun and Stars at the entrance of which was the famous Tower of Jewels. The main group of exhibits comprised the Palaces of Education, Liberal Arts, Manufactures, Varied Industries, Mines,
Transportation, Agriculture, Horticulture and all kinds of food products. During the exposition special days were set aside to honor industrialists Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company provided a large searchlight to flash out a Morse code greeting on the nighttime sky for their arrival.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains a pamphlet on the "Illumination of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition." The pamphlet describes the lighting of the exposition, and the use of arc lamps ' searchlights, incandescent electric lamps, and gas lamps (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 43).
Collection donated by IBM, 1962.
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.
Collection consists of lantern slides and stereographs produced by several companies: Keystone View Company, Better America Lecture Service, Incorporated, American Press Association, J. Stanley-Brown, William H. Rau, and J. F. Maertz Department Store. The lantern slides were primarily intended to be used for educational presentations about the United States, other countries, history, and society. Many of the slides and stereographs are accompanied by descriptive text and in some instances by small cards--one card for each slide--and in other instances directly on the back of a stereoview. The majority of images were taken from 1900 to 1930.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of lantern slides and stereographs primarily designed for use in audio-visual educational presentations about the United States, other countries, history, and society. Many of the slides and stereographs are accompanied by descriptive text. In some instances on small cards--one card for each slide-- and in other instances printed directly on the back of a stereoview. A few of the lantern slides, particularly the ones of the J. F. Maertz Department Store of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are advertisements for consumer products. The majority were taken from 1890 through 1930. While the collection as a whole is in good general condition, some lantern slides, stereographs, and text cards are missing, and some of the lantern slides are cracked.
The collection will appeal to researchers examining the course of nineteenth-century social history broadly, especially how lantern slides were marketed to educators to teach geography, social studies, science, history and reading. The lantern slides as artifacts will be of interest to those who study material culture.
Series 1, Keystone View Company Lantern Slides and Stereographs, undated, is divided into seven subseries: Subseries 1, #1-#600, undated; Subseries 2, H-1 to H-300; Subseries 3, Biblical, undated; Subseries 4, Santa Barbara, California, undated; Subseries 5, Roads, undated; and Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, undated.
The series depicts scenes from around the United States and the rest of the world. Each image is intended to be characteristic of its location and in most cases is accompanied by a text card that describes the scene and gives the geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) of the location. Many of the glass lantern slides have corresponding stereoviews and in these instances two box numbers are given.
Subseries 1, #1-#600, undated, is arranged in order by the numbers on the image. Views #1-261 are arranged in a rough geographic order beginning in Maine and proceeding down the Atlantic Coast, through the former Confederate states, into the Midwest and Plains states, the mountain West states and the West coast, and ending in the territories of Alaska and Hawaii and the Panama Canal. Views #262-346 begin in eastern Canada, proceed across Canada and move through Mexico and Central America into the Caribbean, thence the length of South America and the Antarctic. Views #347-554 begin in the British Isles and move through Northern and Southern Europe and into Central Europe and then Russia, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East. Views #556-592 begin in North Africa and cover the length of the continent and a few areas in the Pacific. The series concludes with views of several planets, President McKinley reviewing Civil War heroes (1899), and the work of a Mexican artist (1900).
Subseries 2, H-1 to H-300, undated, is arranged in order by the numbers on the image. H-1 to H-258 depict scenes and sites of American history beginning with several images of indigenous peoples and proceeding, roughly chronologically, through major events and locations to about 1925. Images H-259 to H-300 document a range of localities and activities across the country in the mid-1920s, including major buildings in Washington, D.C., industrial activities, and modern agricultural practices.
Subseries 3, Biblical, undated, shows religious art works and rural scenes.
Subseries 4, Santa Barbara, California, undated, contains two images. One is pastoral with a Franscican friar, the other a fountain.
Subseries 5, Roads, undated, includes three images of roads, one with a person on horseback, the other two depicting wagons.
Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, undated, contains lithoprint stereographs, each with a short description, depicting scenes such as landmarks in the United States; news events in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; warfare; domestic scenes and scenes of foreign countries.
This series consists of lantern slides produced by Newell Dwight Hillis' Better America Lecture Service Incorporated. Newell Dwight Hillis (1858-1929), was a noted clergyman, lecturer and author. The Better American Lecture Service sought to make better Americans and to inspire greater loyalty to American institutions. Better America Lecture Service rented the lecture manuscript and slides to churches, societies, schools, and patriotic organizations. Slides were sent in a tin box and contained suggestions for publicity arrangements. (Nevada Educational Bulletin, December 1920).
Hillis published more than twenty volumes including collections of his sermons, inspirational works, and a novel. In addition, many of Hillis addresses were published and distributed as pamphlets. The slides were intended to be used for lectures on subjects such as socialism and equality. The slides generally consist of text, drawings, images of persons, paintings, and landscapes. A few slides in each set are missing, and there is no text accompanying any of the slides. The series is arranged into twelve subseries alphabetically by topic.
Series 3, American Press Association lantern slides, undated, is divided into ten subseries: Subseries 1, General Images, undated; Subseries 2, Coffins and soliders, undated; Subseries 3, Mexican War, undated; Subseries 4, Niagara Falls Conference, undated; Subseries 5, Pancho Villa and Major Gonzales, undated; Subseries 6, Parade, undated; Subseries 7, Refugees, undated; Subseries 8, Warships, undated; Subseries 9, West Virginia Mine Explosion, undated; and Subseries 10, Women March for Votes (Suffrage), undated.
The series consists of lantern slides from the American Press Association depicting news events from early twentieth century history (e.g., Mexican War; Ludlow Colorado strike; suffragettes; Gettysburg veterans; various ship disasters). Each slide has a caption with a brief description of the scene. Many slides are cracked; one is completely broken and is in a folded paper. There are also approximately fifty slides with scenes of events associated with the Mexican-American War, most with short captions identifying the scenes. Many of these slides are cracked.
Series 4, J. F. Maertz Department Stores advertisement lantern slides, early 1920s, is divided into thirteen subseries: Subseries 1, Bathrooms, undated; Subseries 2, Children's shoes and clothing, undated; Subseries 3, Dress goods, undated; Subseries 4, Dress patterns, undated; Subseries 5, Hosiery, undated; Subseries 6, House furnishings, undated; Subseries 7, House wares, undated; Subseries 8, Ladies' Home Journal, undated; Subseries 9, Shoes, undated; Subseries 10, Store advertising, undated; Subseries 11, Underwear, undated; Subseries 12, Women's clothing, undated; and Subseries 13, Miscellaneous, undated.
The series consists of lantern slides showing advertisements used in J.F. Maertz Department Store catalogs for consumer goods. Slides are categorized by type of goods, including children's shoes and clothes, bathroom needs, dress patterns, men's wear, shoes, house furnishings, house wares, Ladies' Home Journal, and underwear.
Series 5, J. Stanley-Brown and E. H. Harriman lantern slides, undated, is divided into nineteen subseries: Subseries 1, Alaska-California scenes, undated; Subseries 2, Animal life, undated; Subseries 3, Artifacts, undated; Subseries 4, California/Franciscan life, undated; Subseries 5, California Indians, undated; Subseries 6, California mission exteriors, undated; Subseries 7, California mission interiors, undated; Subseries 8, Eskimos,undated; Subseries 9, Franciscans, undated; Subseries 10, Indians, undated; Subseries 11, Landscapes, undated; Subseries 12, Maps, undated; Subseries 13, Mission interiors, undated; Subseries 14, Seascapes, undated; Subseries 15, General images (#1-7;10), undated; Subseries 16, General images (#11-14; 16-17; 19-20), undated; Subseries 17, General images (#21-30), undated; Subseries 18, General images (#31-33; 36-40), undated; and Subseries 19, General images (#42; 45-50), undated.
The series contains lantern slides, each labeled with the names of distributors, "J. Stanley-Brown, 1318 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C. and E.H. Harriman, 1 East, 55th Street, New York." The slides, some with captions, depict maps; landscapes; seascapes; Eskimos; animal life; Franciscan dwellings; Indians of California; California missions and Franciscan life. There are slides depicting various scenes of California missions and scenes of indigenous Alaskans. Some slides are cracked.
The series consists of lantern slides and stereoviews from distributors that include the American Series; Griffith and Griffith; Pesko Binocular Company; William H. Rau Publisher; and the Universal Photo Art Company.
The stereographs related to domestic and military issues and geography are dated circa 1905, and copyrighted by H. C. White, and distrbuted by World Series.
The stereo views produced by William H. Rau, a publisher in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, show parades and other ceremonies at Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) encampments and Elks conventions held in Philadelphia. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War.
The collection is divided into six series.
Series 1: Keystone View Company Lantern Slides and Stereographs, undated
Subseries 1, #1-#600, undated
Subseries 2, H-1 to H-300, undated
Subseries 3, Biblical, undated
Subseries 4, Santa Barbara, California, undated
Subseries 5, Roads, undated
Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, undated
Series 2, Hillis Better America Lecture Service Lantern Slides, undated
Series 3, American Press Association Lantern Slides, undated
Subseries 1, General Images, undated
Subseries 2, Coffins and Soliders, undated
Subseries 3, Mexican War, undated
Subseries 4, Niagara Falls Conference, undated
Subseries 5, Pancho Villa and Major Gonzales, undated
Subseries 6, Parade, undated
Subseries 7, Refugees, undated
Subseries 8, Warships, undated
Subseries 9, West Virginia Mine Explosion, undated
Subseries 10, Women March for Votes (Suffrage), undated
Series 4, J. F. Maertz Department Store Advertisement Lantern Slides, early 1920s
Subseries 1, Bathrooms, undated
Subseries 2, Children's shoes and clothing, undated
Subseries 3, Dress goods, undated
Subseries 4, Dress patterns, undated
Subseries 5, Hosiery, undated
Subseries 6, House furnishings, undated
Subseries 7, House wares, undated
Subseries 8, Ladies' Home Journal, undated
Subseries 9, Shoes, undated
Subseries 10, Store advertising, undated
Subseries 11, Underwear, undated
Subseries 12, Women's clothing, undated
Subseries 13, Miscellaneous, undated
Series 5, J. Stanley-Brown and E.H. Harriman lantern slides, undated
Subseries 1, Alaska-California scenes, undated
Subseries 2, Animal life, undated
Subseries 3, Artifacts, undated
Subseries 4, California/Franciscan life, undated
Subseries 5, California Indians, undated
Subseries 6, California mission exteriors, undated
Subseries 7, California mission interiors, undated
Subseries 8, Eskimos, undated
Subseries 9, Franciscans, undated
Subseries 10, Indians, undated
Subseries 11, Landscapes, undated
Subseries 12, Maps, undated
Subseries 13, Mission interiors, undated
Subseries 14, Seascapes, undated
Subseries 15, General images (#1-7;10), undated
Subseries 16, General images (#11-14; 16-17; 19-20), undated
Subseries 17, General images (#21-30), undated
Subseries 18, General images (#31-33; 36-40), undated
Subseries 19, General images (#42; 45-50), undated
Series 6, Miscellaneous Stereographs, 1887-1907
Subseries 1, American Series, 1887
Subseries 2, C.H. Graves Publisher, 1907
Subseries 3, Griffith and Griffith, 1894
Subseries 4, Pesko Binocular Company, 1907
Subseries 5, William H. Rau Publisher, undated
Subseries 6, Domestic scenes, undated
Subseries 7, Military, undated
Subseries 8, Places-Asia, undated
Subseries 9, Places-Cuba, undated
Subseries 10, Places-Egypt, undated
Subseries 11, Places-France, undated
Subseries 12, Places-Germany, undated
Subseries 13, Places-Italy, undated
Subseries 14, Places-Monte Carlo, undated
Subseries 6.15, Palestine, undated
Subseries 6.16, Places-United States, undated
Subseries 6.17: Miscellaneous, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Lantern slides are two nearly identical photographs or photomechanical prints, paired to produce the illusion of a single three-dimensional image; usually viewed with a stereoscope. Typically, they are photographic prints on card mounts, but may also be daguerreotypes, glass negatives, or other processes. The card mounts are commonly 3.5 x 7 in. (9 x 18 cm.) or up to 5 x 7 in. (12 x 18 cm.). Popular in the United States 1859-1920s lantern slides were typically used for presentations, lectures, and educational purposes and were narrated. Thesaurus of Graphic Materials
Stereographs consist of two nearly identical photographs or photomechanicl prints, paired to produce the illusion of a single three-dimensional image, usually when viewed through a sterescope. Typically, the images are on card mounts, but they take the form of daguerreotypes, glass negatives, or other processes. Stereographs were first made inthe 1850s and are still made today. They were most popular between 1870 and 1920.
In 1851 stereo daguerreotypes were exhibited for the first time to the general public at the London International Exhibition (Crystal Palace). Shortly thereafter, American photographers began making stereographs. One of the first American photographic firms to produce stereographs was the team of William and Frederick Langenheim. The Library owns a set of their early stereoviews of American cities on the East Coast.
By 1860 both amateur photographers and publishing firms were making stereographs. The major stereo publishers sold their views by mail order, door-to-door salesmen, and in stores. Stereographs were sold individually and in boxed sets.
Stereographs are usually mounted. They were typically published with caption information printed under the image or on the back of the mount. The mount also provided information about the publisher, photographer, and sometimes the series or a list of views available from the photographer or publisher.
Stereographs were collected by many middle-class families in the late 19th century. People acquired stereographs of tourist sites they had visited, as well as exotic locales that they would only experience through the wonder of the stereoscope. Viewing stereographs was a common activity, much like watching television or going to the movies today. Stereoviews were also used as an education tool in classrooms.
(Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, Stereograph Format)
The Division of Cultural History at the National Museum of American History assembled a collection of miscellaneous lantern slides and stereographs beginning in 1943. Other collection contents were acquired over many years in unrecorded transactions.
Several distributors and publishers of stereographic images are represented in the collection. One of the most prominent was the Keystone View Company of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Founded by Benneville Lloyd Singley (d.1938), a former Underwood & Underwood salesman, Keystone became a major distributor of stereographic images. From 1892 through 1963 it produced and distributed both educational and comic/sentimental stereoviews and stereoscopes used to see the images in 3-D. By 1905 it was the world's largest stereographic company. In 1963 Department A (stereoviews sold to individual families) and the education departments were closed, but Keystone continued to manufacture eye-training stereographic products as a subsidiary of Mast Development Company. In 1972 Mast closed the Meadville manufacturing site.
All of Keystone's manufacturing was done in Meadville, but branch offices were in New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Toronto, Canada and London, England. Salesmen and photographers were scattered around the world, and the company offered 20,000 different views.
Selling stereoviews and lantern slides to schools was a field pioneered by Underwood & Underwood, and for several years Underwood & Underwood and Keystone were competitors for the growing educational market. According to the 1953 Keystone Sales Manual the more aggressive sales methods and the more progressive editorial policies of the Keystone View Company soon made it the acknowledged leader in the industry, and Underwood & Underwood decided to give up the contest.
Between 1915 and 1921 Keystone View Company purchased the negatives of nearly all of its competitors. They also continued to have staff photographers travel the world, so that by 1935 Keystone had approximately two million stereoscopic negatives.
Keystone View Company produced stereographic sets up through the mid-twentieth century, and had a stereoscopic photographer on staff until at least 1955.
Thesaurus of Graphic Materials, (2007), http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/tgm1/ (accessed February 10, 2011).
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, Stereograph Format, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/stereo/background.html (accessed February 14, 2011).
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
University of California, Riverside/California Museum of Photography
George Eastman House
Brooklyn Historical Society
Donated to the Department of Anthropology, United States National Museum by Mrs. Joseph Stanley-Brown, through Mrs. Herbert Feis, in 1943.
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected lantern slides and stereographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.
Scope and Contents:
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.
Biographical material consists of biographical notes, identification cards, and a membership certificate.
Project files contain correspondence, financial records, notes, drawings and plans, research materials, printed matter, and photographs that document commissions for sculpture, medals and coins, monuments, and Beach's own projects. Among the most thoroughly documented projects are a fountain sculpture for the grounds of the Cleveland Museum of Art (Sun, Earth, Fountain of the Waters, and Zodiac) and the Edward W. Bok Memorial in Mountain Lake, Florida; both commissions were executed in conjunction with the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted.
Business records include Chester Beach's general business correspondence and correspondence concerning consignments. An address book records names, addresses, and occasionally indicates prices of services and supplies used by the sculptor. Other record books detail expenses and income of the studio building Beach owned, with a list of the effects of the former owner, sculptor William Couper; bronzes cast; sales, with titles, prices, and buyers; names and addresses of clients, dealers, and suppliers; and instructions for cleaning and bronzing plaster.
Family correspondence consists mainly of letters, many mentioning Chester Beach, and addressed to Mrs. Chester Beach and daughter Eleanor Beach Fitchen. Estate correspondence and related documents concern efforts to exhibit, sell, and research Beach's remaining work. These records, for the most part, were created by Mrs. Fitchen who acted as sales agent, ran the Chester Beach Memorial Studio, and maintained the Beach archive. Of particular interest is a series of letters from Brenda Kuhn that relate what she learned from handling the estate of her father, Walt Kuhn; in addition, she offered ideas and advice about exhibitions, the Memorial Studio, and the Beach Centennial.
Beach designed his family's annual Christmas cards, most of which incorporate images of their three daughters. A complete set, preserved in an album, includes a few later cards that reproduce artwork by his widow. Many of the cards received - some with original artwork - are from artist friends, among them: Ernest Blumenschein, Edward W. Greacen, Hazel Brill Jackson, Paul Jennewein, Bonnie Leibig, F. Luis Mora, Robert Nisbet, and Ezra Winter. Also of note are a card from Walker Hancock bearing a photograph of his studio; a painting of Beach's Sylvan at Brookgreen Gardens, reproduced on Anna Hyatt Huntington's card; and a card from Beach patron Mary Jester Allen containing a brief note about the Frontier Art Colony she had established near Cody, Wyoming.
Among the drawings and sketches by Chester Beach are student work, designs for some of his Christmas cards, and a sketchbook containing drawings of sculpture. Work by other artists consists of prints, including one by Ezra Winter.
Three scrapbooks, largely comprised of newspaper clippings and other printed material, contain a variety of other items, including: letters from the American Academy in Rome, Architectural League of New York, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Daniel Chester French, Hazel Brill Jackson, Frederick MacMonnies, National Academy of Design, National Sculpture Society, Jessica B. Piexotto, and Salon d'Autome. There are also awards and certificates from the National Academy of Design, Panama-Pacific International Exposition; bookplates and a place card Beach etched for Mr. and Mrs. George Davison; and an unfinished poem by FitzRoy Carrington. Photographs within the scrapbooks are of a night school class Beach attended at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco, Beach at work in his studio, and a portrait of him painted by G. Laurance Nelson.
Printed material includes Panama-Pacific International Exposition guide books, brochures about the Chester Beach Memorial Studio in Brewster, New York, and catalogs for solo and group exhibitions.
Photographs and glass plate negatives of artwork are mainly of Chester Beach's sculpture and include views of work in progress. Also found are photographs of drawings and sculpture from his student years in California and Paris. Pictures of work by other artists are portraits of Chester Beach painted by G. Laurance Nelson and by his daughter, Natalie Beach McLaury. Among the photographs of Chester Beach are several by Gertrude Kasebier, circa 1910. Other pictures show Beach in his studio, Beach with family and friends, and a "Dinner tendered to Edmund W. Greacen by Samuel T. Shaw, Salmagundi Club, March 2, 1922." Places documented are Beach's boyhood home in San Francisco, the interiors of his studios, and Brookgreen Gardens. Miscellaneous subjects are nude models.
The collection is arranged as 10 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1910-1947 (4 folders; Box 1)
Series 2: Project Files, 1846-1999 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 11, OV 12-13)
Series 3: Business Records, circa 1900-1958 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)
Series 4: Writings, 1913-1935 (2 folders; Box 3)
Series 5: Correspondence, 1875, 1933-1996 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3)
Series 6: Christmas Cards, 1909-1961 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)
Series 7: Artwork, circa 1900-1955 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 4, 11)
Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1903-1972 (0.3 linear feet; Box 10)
Series 9: Printed Material, 1910-1997 (0.4 linear feet; Box 4)
Series 10: Photographs, circa 1885-circa 1960s (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 4-9, 11, 14)
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) was known for portrait busts, allegorical and mythological figures, coins and medallic art in the Beaux-Arts tradition. He lived and worked in New York City and Brewster, New York.
Chester Beach, son of Chilion Beach and Elizabeth Ferris Beach, was born in San Francisco on May 23, 1881. Beach initially studied at the California School of Mechanical Arts in 1899. He remained in San Francisco and between 1900 and 1902 continued his art training at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art while working as a jewelry designer. To further his career and exposure to artistic trends, Beach moved to New York City in 1903. The following year, he went to Paris, enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and also studied with Raoul Verlet at the Académie Julian.
Upon his return to New York in 1907, Beach established a studio on Tenth Street. He won the National Academy of Design's Barnett Prize for sculpture in 1907 and the Academy elected him an Associate Artist the following year. His increased stature resulted in numerous portrait commissions and eventually led to commissions for monuments and architectural sculpture. In 1910, Chester Beach married Eleanor Hollis Murdock, a painter he met when both were art students in Paris. The couple spent the next two years in Rome; for several years after returning, Beach continued to spend time in Italy and maintained a studio in Rome.
Solo exhibitions of Beach's work were presented at Macbeth Gallery (1912), Pratt Institute (1913), Cincinnati Art Museum (1916), John Herron Art Institute (1916), and Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester (1917). In addition to frequent participation in annual exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Beach was represented in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), and in group shows at venues including: Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Art Club, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and National Arts Club.
The gold medal presented by Académie Julian (1905), Beach's first award, was followed by many other prizes, among them: American Numismatic Society prize for a medal commemorating the Peace of Versailles (1919) and its Saltus Medal for distinguished medallic art (1946); Architectural League of New York gold medal (1924); National Academy of Design Barnett Prize (1907) and Watrous gold medal (1926); National Arts Club medal and prizes (1923, 1926, 1932); and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition silver medal (1915).
Beach was an Academician of the National Academy of Design, a member of the American Numismatic Society, Architectural League of New York, National Arts Club, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Sculpture Society (President, 1927-1928).
For more than 40 years, Beach lived and worked at 207 East 17th Street. The brownstone, purchased in 1913, was large enough for the family's home, his studio, and additional studios that were rented to other artists. Through barter, Beach acquired land in Brewster, New York, and in 1917 hired Italian stonemasons to build a studio. Later, they erected a summer house for the family. Many old stone walls on the site provided material for both buildings and Beach named the property Oldwalls.
After a long illness, Chester Beach died at Oldwalls on August 6, 1956. The funeral service was held at his Brewster, New York, studio and he is buried in Cold Spring Cemetery, Cold Spring, New York.
Also in the Archives of American Art is microfilm of papers lent for microfilming (reels N727-N729 and N68-11) including passports, genealogical materials, photograph albums, travel sketches, travel diaries of Mrs. Beach, and business and family correspondence. While the obituary letters on reel N68-11 are referenced in a scrapbook in Series 8, all other loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Chester Beach's daughter, Eleanor Beach Fitchen, lent materials for microfilming in 1967 and 1967. Subsequent papers were donated in 2009 by the estate of Eleanor Beach Fitchen, through her grandson and executor, John Fitchen.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
The Chester Beach papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Sculptors, American -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
A letter from Karl Bitter with a sketch of a male figure (1908) praises Zimm's relief sculpture at "the League room". Photographs show Zimm, his studio, home, and works of art (ca. 1923-1940), and Hasbrouck Zimm (ca. 1946). Other materials consist of a biographical account written by Zimm's son (1985) and 3 clippings (1907-1982).
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor. Zimm studied art in Paris around 1900, and in New York City with Karl Bitter, later establishing a studio on 59th Street. About 1910, Zimm moved to the Lewis Hollow district of Woodstock, New York. In 1919, he married his second wife, novelist Louise Seymour Hasbrouck. Zimm's sculpture of SACAJAWEA appeared in the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904) and a frieze was exhibited in the 1913 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.
The donor, Bruno Hasbrouck Zimm, is Bruno Louis Zimm's son.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.