The major part of the collection, series 1-4, contains nearly 28,000 glass plates, including original stereoscopic negatives, interpositives, and both negative and positive non-stereoscopic plates used to produce lantern slides and paper prints. The photographs were taken all over the world. The majority are from the Underwood & Underwood active files, but plates from other publishers are also included. Series 5 is a small collection of paper stereographs. Series 6 contains 4 Underwood & Underwood descriptive sales catalogs and 1 H. C. White & Co. catalog (numbers on the Underwood plates correspond to the numbers on catalog captions). Series 7 is apparatus--four stereoscopes.
The approximately 28,000 glass plates in this collection have not been completely inspected at this point due to handling problems associated with asbestos contamination of the collection. A preliminary survey, however, indicated that the selections of images cover the full range of subject matter encompassed by the "Underwood Travel System." The subject matter is most easily comprehended by consulting one of the Underwood sales catalogs which accompany the collection. The catalog captions are arranged geographically, for the most part, and generally represent an organized "tour" which could be purchased as a boxed set, complete with maps and guide book, although individual images could be purchased separately. The catalogs indicate that the Underwood files were continually updated, for extensive modifications in some of the sets can be seen from edition to edition, and actual inspection of published stereographs shows that alternate views with identical Underwood catalog numbers were substituted from time to time, and that new subjects (with new catalog numbers) were sometimes introduced into the sets and old subjects were retired. There are glass plate negatives as well as positives
in this collection. The positive images were probably interpositives used for the production of duplicate negatives. Some of the original stereo negatives were cut apart and the images transposed; they were then bound with an additional glass support (in many cases the tape has deteriorated). Half stereo positives also appear in the collection: these probably were intended for use in lantern slide production. Frequently a drawer of plates contains several incarnations of a single image, including the original negative, a copy negative, an interpositive, and a positive lantern slide. In other cases a drawer may contain only a single mode, e.g., original negatives, while corresponding positives and/or lantern slides appear in separate drawers.
A small quantity of the Underwood & Underwood plates are not from the Travel System, but represent humorous and genre subjects which were cataloged and marketed separately. The work of several other publishers, usually without Underwood catalog numbers, is also represented, including H. C. White, American Stereoscopic Company, and J. J. Killela.
The arrangement of the collection seems to reflect a combination of permanent reference storage as well as active use files. The apparent anomalies or inconsistencies probably indicate the pulling of plates from permanent files into temporary work files, and the collection may consist of a combination of permanent storage and temporary working files. As the drawers do not appear to have been renumbered according to any easily discernible pattern, they have become intermixed and rearranged in storage. The contents of each drawer usually have been found in good order, however, and the plates were nearly always arranged numerically,usually with the low numbers at the rear of the drawer and the highest number at the front.
As the plates have been rehoused, the reverse numerical order has been corrected. when all the plates have been rehoused and inventoried, consideration will be given to general collection rearrangement and renumbering of the containers, either strictly in numerical order or topically and/or geographically with a numerical sequence within each group.
The collection is in good condition for the most part, although conservation attention will be required. There is a certain amount of emulsion peeling or frilling at the edges of some plates, but this is a condition to which emulsions on glass frequently are prone. A few plates, bound in a sandwich arrangement between cover glass and acetate facing the emulsion, have suffered severe damage, peeling, and image losses through the apparent ferrotyping and sticking of emulsion to the plastic, probably under conditions of high humidity at some stage. There is surprisingly little glass breakage within the collection.
Most of the stereoscopic negatives and many of the positives are defaced with a double "XI' scratched into the emulsion of either the left or right side, as described above in the historical note. Of particular interest and presumed rarity are cards found interfiled with plates in many of the drawers. These cards, filed by Underwood Ila(@tive" (i.e., catalog) numbers, bear printing'or production dates and notes, along with the unique, chronological accession numbers which the company assigned to each plate, regardless of the "active" number which it might eventually
receive. A check mark on a card usually refers to a plate actually in the collection and with which the card is found physically associated; additional.
accession numbers without check marks listed on the cards possibly refer to variant views which were discarded or may in fact be in the Keystone Mast Collection (pending further research). For ease of handling and in the interest of conservation, the cards have been separated from the plates within each drawer and are arranged as a group at the rear, but can still be located easily. Frequently when a plate and/or its original envelope does not bear both the "active" and accession numbers, the missing number can be located on one of these cards.
Photographers represented include Herbert G. Ponting and Clarence W. White. A photographer and/or publisher named J. J. Killela is also represented.
This collection is arranged in seven series. Series 1, 2, and 3 are each divided into negative and positive subseries. Plates are arranged numerically in groups based on geographical and subject content. Controlled at the series level in the finding aid and at the item level in a computer database.
Series 1, H. C. White glass plates
Series 2, American Stereoscpopic Co. glass plates
Series 3, Underwood & Underwood glass plates
Series 4, Broken glass plates
Series 5, Original company catalogs
Series 6, Paper stereographs
Series 7, stereoscopes (viewers)
Biographical / Historical:
Underwood & Underwood was established at Ottawa, Kansas, by the young brothers Elmer and Bert Underwood in 1882. They initially operated as distributors for eastern photographers' stereographs to new markets in the West. Their activities included door to door canvassing with views by Charles Bierstadt, J. F. Jarvis, and Littleton View Co.(1) Underwood & Underwood, Publishers, opened a branch office in Baltimore in 1887.(2)
Soon Underwood & Underwood and other large stereograph publishers began recruiting college students to work as salesmen during summer months (1890). Underwood and Underwood claimed that their organization alone sent out as many as 3,000 college students in one Summer [sic]. With the other ... big companies each employing more than 1,000, it is easy to understand how the countryside of the Nation literally swarmed with stereograph salesmen throughout the summer months! ... The competition between the salesmen themselves was likewise aggressive, with no holds barred. Many successful business and professional men of today relate with considerable pride that they got their start on their careers in this practical and very effective school of salesmanship.(3)
The company moved its main office from Ottawa, Kansas to New York City (1891),(4) and gradually began to publish its own stereographs. Bert Underwood finally took photography lessons from M. Abel in Mentone, France during the same year.(5) B. L. Singley, erstwhile salesman for the Underwood & Underwood and James M. Davis & Co. firms, in 1892 formed the Keystone View Company of Meadville, Pennsylvania, which was to become Underwood & Underwood's chief competitor and imitator.(6)
Underwood & Underwood entered the education market (1895) by producing packaged sets of 100 or more stereographs with descriptive texts.(7) From 1897 the firm employed full time staff photographers as well as free lancers. By 1901 the Underwoods were publishing 25,000 stereographs per day (i.e.,total number of cards). Increasing production levels led them to gain control of the Jarvis, Bierstadt, and William H. Rau photoprinting facilities in 1897 1898.(8)
The Keystone view Company created its own Educational Department in 1898. This division sustained the Keystone View Company past the period of the stereograph's popularity. In this year Underwood & Underwood reprinted Oliver Wendell Holmes's series on the stereograph and stereoscope which originally appeared in The Atlantic Monthly between 1859 and 1863. This eighty page booklet included testimonials from eminent scholars on the value of the stereograph in education. The company had been test marketing what itlater called "The Underwood Travel System." This consisted of a boxed set of stereo views of a country or region, a guide book describing the significance of the places shown, and a map showing their location and the viewpoints from which the stereographs were taken. Captions on the backs of the stereographs were sometimes printed in six languages.(9) As stereographs began to be used in schools as visual aids, the firm promoted its Travel System with endorsements from prominent educators, citing the usage of the system by various schools and universities.(10)
The H. C. White Company, which had manufactured stereoscopes for several decades, entered the stereo publication field in 1899.(11) Much of its production seemed to imitate Underwood & Underwood cards, including typography and the color of mount stock. Underwood & Underwood expanded into news photography by 1910 and gradually decreased its stereographic work. Few new stereo negatives were added to the file after 1912 except for a flurry of activity during the early war years, 1914 1916. The total number of Underwood & Underwood "titles" in stereo were from 30,000 to 40,000 (there might be a substantially larger number of actual negatives, since the files frequently were updated with newer views for old catalog numbers).(12)
Underwood & Underwood sold a portion of its negative file to the educational division of Keystone View Company in 1912,(13) and between 1921 1923 conveyed to this competitor their remaining stereo stock (presumably both cards and negatives) and rights.(14) In addition to its involvement as a news photographic agency, the company eventually opened portrait studios which flourished during the World war II years. A former Smithsonian employee, Vince Connolly, worked for Underwood & Underwood, which competed with Harris & Ewing in general portrait work during that period: he did portraiture and other photography, but says he was unaware of his employer's earlier stereo publishing activities.
Underwood & Underwood donated approximately 6000 negatives to the Section of Photography of the Division of Graphic Arts (1964). These photographs are primarily 4" x 5", captioned glass plate and film negatives. The subjects are news events and theatrical, sports, and political subjects of the early 20th century. In a letter to the Smithsonian of March 25, 1966 (in accession number 270586), Mrs. John M. Stratton described another collection of Underwood & Underwood photographs, stating that her husband had been a partner in Underwood & Underwood Illustrations and owned Underwood & Underwood News Photos. In November of the same year Mr. and Mrs. Stratton donated this collection of glass plates by Underwood & Underwood and other publishers to the Division of Photographic History (then the Section of Photography of the Division of Graphic Arts) . This material consists of both negative and positive stereographic plates, as well as non stereoscopic plates, chiefly copies made from the stereographs, with some catalogs, stereoscopes, and other material. The donor estimated 12,900 plates, but in 1983 the Smithsonian Institution inventory yielded a total of approximately 28,000 plates.
The Keystone View Company's stereoscopic production continued much later than Underwood & Underwood's. It was not until 1939 when declining interest in stereography led the firm to discontinue stereograph production and enter the field of visual optometrics. The stereoscopic negative collection, including material obtained from Underwood & Underwood and other firms, was placed in storage in concrete vaults. The Mast family of Davenport, Iowa, eventually purchased the collection in 1963, and in 1977 donated the collection to the University of California for its California Museum of Photography in Riverside. The University took physical possession of this vast collection in 1979.(15)
Many of the Underwood & Underwood plates donated by the Strattons (which were transferred to the Archives Center in 1983), in effect have been cancelled by having diagonal lines (double "X" marks) scratched into the emulsion of either the left or right image of each stereo pair (never both sides). These cancellation marks do not appear on the Underwood & Underwood plates in the Keystone Mast Collection in Riverside. This leads to several theories: (a) that these cancellations were in fact the reason that the Smithsonian plates were not purchased by Keystone in either 1912 or 1921, since Keystone clearly intended to use the Underwood material for stereograph production and the defaced plates would be of no value to them for this purpose; or (b), as stereo collector John Waldsmith suggests, that the cancellations were part of an agreement between Underwood & Underwood and Keystone: Keystone may have asked Underwood & Underwood to cancel one side of each stereoscopic plate not being sold to Keystone so that Underwood & Underwood would no longer be able to compete with Keystone in the stereo market. The defaced plates, as well as other material which Keystone did not purchase, apparently remained in Underwood custody and eventually were acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Stratton. The cancellation marks in the Smithsonian's collection are the subject of further conjecture. Edward Earle at Riverside feels that, since Underwood & Underwood sought to abandonded stereograph production much earlier than Keystone's departure from the field in order to enter the non stereoscopic lantern slide market, the cancellation may have served to indicate which side of each sterescopic pair should be converted to lantern slide production use; the existence of the 4" x 5" copy negatives and positives from stereographs in this collection seem to corroborate this. The Underwood & Underwood conversion from stereograph to lantern slide materials seems to coincide with the ascendance of lantern slide projection as visual aids in schools. The company apparently modified the type of photographic product which they published at least partially in recognition of this new educational trend.
1. edward W. Earle, ed., Points of View: The Stereograph in America A Cultural @ Visual 'g . E!Ltory, Rochester, F.Y., Th Studies Workshop ress, 1979, p. 60; William Culp Darrah, The World of Stereographs, Gettysburg, Pa., 1979, p. 46.
2. Tbid., p. 62.
3. George E. Hamilton, Oliver Wendell Holmes, His Pioneer SLtuereoscope and Later Industry, New York, New )men Society, 1949, p. 17, quoted in Points of 1=e w:, 6 4 . P.
4. Points of View., p. 66.
5. Darrah, p. 47.
6. points of View, p. 66.
7. Ibid., p. 68.
8. Darrah, p. 47.
9. Points of View, p. 70.
10. Howard S. Becker, "Steteographs: Local, National, and International Art Worlds," in Points of View, p. 95.
11. points of View, p. 72.
12. Darrah, p. 48.
13. Darrah, p. 48, quoted in Points of View, P. 82.
14. Darrah, p. 48.
15. Chris J. Kenney, introduction to "Perspective and the Past: The Keystone Mast Collection," CMP Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1982.
California Museum of Photography, University of California--Riverside, Riverside, California 92521.
Underwood & Underwood stereographs in this collection and the Smithsonian Underwood & Underwood Collection originally were components of the same company file.
Collection donated by June Stratton (Mrs. John M.) on December 19, 1966.
Researchers should view the positive videodisc image first or locate the image in SIRIS on the World Wide Web. The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center.
A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.,Contact David Haberstich, 633-3721.
Digital image files linked to item-level records in SIRIS Webpac.
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.
Photographic postcards made by Adam Clark Vroman of California Missions and Camulos Ranch, part of "Vroman's Series of Postcards." The depicted mission include San Juan Bautista, Santa Clara, San Luis Rey de Francia, San Juan Capistrano, San Gabriel Arcangel, San Antonio de Pala, San Diego de Alcala, San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, La Purisima Conception, San Luis Obispo de Toloso, San Miguel, San Antonio de Padua, Our Lady of Solitude, Soledad, San Fernando Rey, San Francisco de Asis, Carmel (Monterey), and San Francisco Solano. The photographs of Camulos Ranch relate to Helen Hunt Jackson's book Ramona and have the subtitle "Ramona Haunts" with a notation of related book pages.
Adam Clark Vroman (1856-1916) was a bookstore owner and photographer of Southwest Indians and culture. He and his wife moved to Pasadena, California, in 1892, where he took up photography, mostly documenting pueblos in New Mexico. After his wife's death in 1894, Vroman opened a bookstore in Pasadena, though he continued to make photography excursions to southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. He also made photographs for the Bureau of American Ethnology during two expeditions in 1897 and 1899. Vroman's photographs illustrated the 1913 edition of Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 89-58
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional photographs by Vroman can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 14, Photo Lot 92-3, the records of the Department of Anthropology, and the BAE historical negatives.
Correspondence from Vroman can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in the Otis Tufton Mason papers.
The Smithsonian American Art Musem, University of California-Riverside's Museum of Photography, Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona Libraries hold Vroman photographs.
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 collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
The Tomás Ybarra-Frausto research material is 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.
Tomás Ybarra-Frausto research material, 1965-2004. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Fox, Fred and Frieda (See also Price, Aimée Brown and R - Ratner, Joanne)
Frances (See P - Phyllis)
Friedberg, Herman R. (See L - Lippert, David I.)
Fry, Stephen M. (University of California, Riverside)
Fulton, W. Joseph (Pasadena Art Institute)
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Peter and Rose Krasnow 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.
Peter and Rose Krasnow papers, 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Elevated stereoview of a Turumu village and people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Keystone View Company was established in 1892 in Meadville, Pennsylvania, by B. L. Singley, who served as sole photographer for the company until 1897. In 1898, the company developed an Education Department that produced boxed sets of images and informative text illustrating culture, industry, commerce and politics world-wide. By 1905, Keystone had expanded to become the largest sterographic company in the world. Mast Development Company purchased Keystone in 1963 and closed the Meadville manfacturing site in 1972.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 2000-16
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional Keystone stereographs held in National Anthropological Archives MS 4551, Photo Lot 140, Photo Lot 90-1.
The California Museum of Photography at the University of California, Riverside, holds the Keystone-Mast Collection, 1870-1963, of Keystone's negatives and original prints.