The New England family travel photograph album contains approximately 600 photographs that document the domestic life and foreign travels of an unidentified husband and wife couple from suburban Boston during the first decade of the 20th-century.
The New England family travel photograph album contains approximately 600 photographs that document the domestic life and foreign travels of an unidentified husband and wife couple from suburban Boston during the first decade of the 20th-century. The album (28.5 x 36 cm) has pebbled black leather covers with “Photographs” stamped in gold on the front. By and large, images are presented chronologically and many have extensive captions which mainly identify the locations pictured as well as certain individuals. It appears that many image captions were cut and pasted from white paper and added on top of pre-existing faded captions that had been written directly on the album pages. Some images that show people of African descent have subtly derogatory captions. Photographs showcasing the family’s domestic life include pictures of annual spring blooms in their backyard; friends and family; various domestic activities including interacting with pet cats; and regional outings such as visits to Mt. Washington, Point of Pines nature park in Revere, Massachusetts, and poet John Greenleaf Whittier's birthplace in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
In the summer of 1905, the couple travelled to Montreal and up the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City and beyond, resulting in the production of nearly ten pages of photographic highlights (pgs. 7-16). Later that summer, they also took photographs while vacationing in the Lake Sebago region of Maine with friends whom they later visited in Providence, Rhode Island (pgs. 16-20, 22). A visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Beauvoir, Mississippi, in December of 1906 is also documented (pgs. 30-37). In 1907 the couple undertook a period of extensive international travel beginning with a trip to England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, and France (pgs. 38-57). A second visit to Quebec in September 1907 is briefly represented (pgs. 57-58), while a series of pictures from a trip to St. Augustine, Florida, in April 1908 are also included (pgs. 59-62). Photographs related to two separate tours of the Caribbean and Central/South America in July and August of 1908 and March of 1909 make up a substantial portion of the album (pgs. 63-103); images from the first tour mainly include scenes from Caribbean islands such as St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, and Barbados as well as British Guiana, while images from the second trip include scenes from Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Panama, Venezuela, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Also present are several commercially-produced photographs, including a number of panoramic views, showing scenes from Mexico (pgs. 104-111). The majority of images taken during the couple’s travels consist of typical sightseeing photographs showing important cultural landmarks and historic buildings as well as street scenes, methods of transportation, and local people and industries. Throughout the album there are also numerous photographs taken aboard various transport vessels mid-voyage.
A few noteworthy historical events are minimally represented by photographs in this album, such as the January 15 1905 Washington Street Baptist Church fire in Lynn, Massachusetts (pgs. 2 & 3); the Quebec Bridge a few weeks after its collapse on August 29 1907 (pg. 57); the Great Chelsea Fire of 1908 (pg. 59); Panama Canal construction in 1909 (pgs. 87-89); long distance views of the site of the village of St. Pierre, Martinique, which was decimated by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pelée on May 8 1902 (pg. 80); and the wreck of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor (pg. 179). Individuals identified by captions throughout the album include Dr. Robert L. Bartlett (pgs. 4 & 89); “Miss Morse” (pg. 5); Stanley and Donald Clauss of Providence, Rhode Island (pgs. 17, 19 & 22); Hattie English, Lizzie English, “Mrs. Boynton,” and “Miss Lord” (pg. 19); Samuel Pickard (pg. 20); Jessie Pauline Whitney (pg. 21); "Mr. Little" (pgs. 19 & 22); William Rhodes (pg. 26); Maud Burdett (pgs. 38 & 58); George C. Hardin (pg. 74); Dr. Selah Merrill, American Consul in British Guiana (pg. 80); "Mrs. Parker" (pg. 85); and Hermann Ahrensburg (pg. 91). Other images of interest include a couple of photographs showing United States cavalrymen at camp in Lakeville, Massachusetts (pg. 2); a multiple exposure photograph showing the wife and other women (pg. 22); four photos showing a group of women that appear to be associated with a possible Masonic organization with the acronym “O.E.O.T.” (pg. 23); two photos of local boys diving in St. Lucia (pg. 72); a picture of a school for natives in St. Thomas where students were supposedly fined 10 cents a day for being absent (pg. 82); photos from Kingston, Jamaica, showing women working on a railroad and men operating a hand-made sugar mill (pg. 86); a group portrait of a baseball team in Venezuela (pg. 92); photos of the natural asphalt deposit Pitch Lake in Trinidad (pgs. 94 & 95); and photographs showing people with Brownie box cameras (pgs. 82 & 103).