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Finding Aid for Tyler-Montgomery-Scott Family Album, ca. 1870-1938

approximately 275 items in 1 album

The Tyler-Montgomery-Scott family album chronicles multiple generations of the Tyler, Montgomery, and Scott families of the Philadelphia area from the 1860s through the 1930s. It includes approximately 275 items including studio portrait photographs, informal snapshots, newspaper clippings, postcards, letters, and other ephemera.

The Tyler-Montgomery-Scott family album chronicles multiple generations of the Tyler, Montgomery, and Scott families of the Philadelphia area from the 1860s through the 1930s. It includes approximately 275 items including studio portrait photographs, informal snapshots, newspaper clippings, postcards, letters, and other ephemera.

The album (33 x 25.5 cm) is string-bound with grey cloth covers. Most photographs in the album have detailed handwritten captions identifying people, often with their middle or maiden names as well as the location and date. The presentation of the album is not strictly chronological, especially in the latter half. The early generations of Tylers are represented in photographic formats such as cartes-de-visite, tintypes and cabinet cards, while later generations are represented in snapshots and postcards. When the album reaches the mid-twentieth century, it begins to resemble the modern family album with various forms of ephemera (newspaper clippings, drawings, letters, Christmas cards, etc.) supplementing the photographs of family and friends.

The album begins with a portrait of Frederick Tyler, his daughter Sarah Sophia Cowen, granddaughter Kate “Gwen” Cowen Pratt, and great-granddaughter Kate Pratt. George F. and Louisa R. Tyler as well as their children (including Sidney F. and Helen Beach Tyler) are also featured in the initial section of the album, along with many extended family members, friends, nurses, and pets. Among the family friends pictured are painter Frederick Church, writer Bret Harte, Leonor Ruiz de Apodaca y Garcia-Tienza, Gen. William Buel Franklin, patent lawyer and historian Woodbury Lowery, and the Duke and Duchess of Arcos (Jose Ambrosio Brunetti and Virginia Woodbury Lowery Brunetti). Several interior views of rooms in George F. and Louisa R. Tyler’s home on 201 South 15th St. taken in 1896 are also present, including a photograph of the “Children’s play room” that features their granddaughter Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery holding a doll. Hope, her parents Mary W. and Sidney F. Tyler, her husband Robert “Bob” L. Montgomery, and their children Mary, Ives, and Alexander are well-represented in the album.

Of particular interest are a number of photographs in different sections of the album that depict Theodore Roosevelt and his family. Some of these images are formal studio portraits, while others are more candid snapshots of Roosevelt with other people. One snapshot shows the family at play on the grounds of Sagamore Hill in 1897. Two photos taken at the White House including Helen Beach Tyler, daughter of George F. and Louisa R. Tyler and second cousin to Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt, are labelled “taken by Ted Roosevelt,” possibly referring to President Roosevelt’s son Theodore Roosevelt III. Helen Beach Tyler may be the “Nellie” who was the recipient of a partial letter included in the album which describes conditions at a wartime hospital (most likely in Italy) in 1915. Only the first two pages of this letter are included, and there is no indication of the identity of the writer. Helen Beach Tyler may also have been the principal compiler of this album. Supporting this possibility is the presence of an interior view of a bedroom at 201 South 15th St. (George F. and Louisa R. Tyler’s home) captioned as “Mother’s bedroom,” a signed portrait of Englishman Lytton Sothern captioned “Given to me by Mr. Sothern June 1872. Mr. Edward Sothern & his son Lytton Sothern sat at our table on ‘Oceanic’ my first trip to Europe,” and a portrait of Sara Schott von Schottenstein, Baronin von Prittwitz-Gaffron, bearing the inscription “to her friend Helen Tyler 1880.”

Other items of interest include portraits of Col. August Cleveland Tyler; several portraits of Brig. Gen. Robert Ogden Tyler; a portrait of French pianist Antoine Marmontel captioned “Mr. Marmontel Professor au Conservatoire gave us music lessons in Paris 1873-74”; a group portrait of Helen Beach Tyler, Mary L. Tyler, Alice Seward, Kitty Seward, and Ida Vinton posing with a silhouette of Sidney F. Tyler; photographs of painted portraits of George F. Tyler and Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery; a series of photos taken at the Spanish Embassy in Mexico City, some of which include the Duke and Duchess of Arcos, Woodbury Lowery, and Archibald Lowery; portraits of the Prittwitz-Gaffron family in Germany; photos taken around the world in various locations including Egypt, India, Germany, and Italy; images taken during an exhibition of sculpture by Stella Elkins Tyler (wife of George Frederick Tyler, Jr.), as well as a program from the event; and photos showing the family of Helen Hope and Edgar Scott.


Mildred Drury photograph album, ca. 1910

1 volume

The Mildred Drury photograph album contains 175 photographs of young men and women taken while traveling throughout Europe and the United States ca. 1910.

The Mildred Drury photograph album contains 175 photographs of young men and women taken while traveling throughout Europe and the United States ca. 1910. The images consist primarily of informal snapshots of family, friends, and travel. There are no captions or notations beyond an inscription on the front inside cover which reads, "Mildred W Drury."

The first pages of the album include photographs taken in New York City. On a few of these pages, Columbia University's Low Memorial Library can be seen. On page 15, a woman sculpting a bust and a sculptor's studio are shown. The next few pages show various views from the grounds of Château de Versailles. In particular, Hameau de la Reine can be seen in the background on page 20. Also taken in France, photographs on pages 68 through 70 show views from the Eiffel Tower. On page 21 are photographs of Ely Cathedral. The next series of photographs were likely taken in the Netherlands. Images show canals, canal boats, towpaths, and traditional dress and architecture of the region. Following, are five pages of the Alps, traveling through the mountains, and hotels. Photographs on pages 48 through 52 were taken in Italy and show Amalfi, Amalfi Drive (Strada Statale 163), Piazza San Marco, gondolas, and women doing laundry. The last portion of the album includes photographs likely taken in the United States. These photographs show family gatherings, snowshoeing, golfing, and canoeing.

The album is 20.25 x 14.75 cm with green cloth covers.


Ott family letters, 1911-1914

20 items

The Ott family letters are made up of correspondence between Emil and Ida Ott of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and their son Harvey, who lived in Madison, Wisconsin, in the early 1910s. Most of the letters concern Emil and Ida Ott's travels to Egypt and Central Europe in 1911.

The Ott family letters (20 items) are made up of correspondence between Emil and Ida Ott of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and their son Harvey. Emil and Ida Ott wrote the first 17 letters about their voyage to, and travels in, Egypt and Central Europe between January 29, 1911, and May 11, 1911. The Otts visited the Azores and Gibraltar during their outbound journey on the SS Celtic and then traveled to Egypt, where they described Cairo and, after a trip up the Nile River on the SS Ramses II, cities such as Luxor. They later wrote of their travels in Sicily, mainland Italy, Austria, and southern Germany. Their letters are written on illustrated stationery from the SS Celtic, which advertises the White Star Line's new liners Olympic and Titanic; the Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo; the SS Ramses II, operated by Cook's Nile Service; the Hotel Bristol in Vienna; the Hotel Sommer Zähringerhof in Freiburg; and the Hotel Messmer in Baden-Baden.

The collection also contains 3 letters that Harvey Ott wrote to his parents after their return to the United States. In a letter written around 1912, he commented on the assassination attempt on Theodore Roosevelt in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In this letter and in his letter of April 26, 1913, he commented on his parents' health and encouraged them to rest and to consider a return to Europe, where he wished to join them. By the time Harvey wrote his final letter (July 14, 1914), Emil and Ida Ott had returned to Switzerland, along with Harvey's grandmother.


Vera and Gene Foreman Photograph Albums, 1942-1951

approximately 917 photographs in 4 volumes

The Vera and Gene Foreman photograph albums consist of four volumes containing approximately 917 photographs and miscellaneous ephemera that document the experiences of Vera Irene Masuch and her husband-to-be Charles Eugene “Gene” Foreman in post-World War II Europe both before and after they first met as well as earlier trips taken by Vera and friends to various places in the United States.

Volume 1 (1942-1943)

This album (25.5 x 33 cm) has brown faux-leather covers and contains approximately 159 photographs as well as some postcards. Images include numerous snapshots of young men and women (including Vera) on a ranch in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado; coverage of visits to Pike's Peak, Denver as well as an unidentified tropical location; and photographs showing young men in military uniforms.

Volume 2 (1949)

This album (32 x 38 cm) has decorative dark blue faux-leather covers and white plastic ring binding and contains 50 photographs as well as some ephemera. Only five pages near the front of the album and two pages towards the back contain any photographs, most of which show American GIs (including Gene) in training camp settings primarily near the town of Friedburg, Germany, and engaging in social activities. Some but not all images have captions. Also present towards the back of the album are several loose images including real photo postcards showing travel scenes to European locations such as Paris, Naples, Rome, and Venice as well as a group portrait of a football team, a program dated December 2 1950 for a USAREUR football game between the 2nd RCT "Dragoons" and 16th Infantry Regiment "Rangers," and a souvenir from the Casa Blanca cocktail bar in Newark, New Jersey bearing Gene Foreman's signature.

Volume 3 (1949-1950)

This album (32 x 38 cm) has decorative black faux-leather covers and white plastic ring binding and contains approximately 580 photographs as well as some ephemera. Images include photographs (including football games) from the U.S. military base near Augsburg from 1949 to 1950; recreational visits to Augsburg, Berchtesgaden (including the Eagle's Nest), Garmisch, Bonn, Heidelberg, and Frankfurt am Main in Germany, Salzburg and Vienna in Austria, and locations in the Netherlands, France, and Italy; wounded American soldiers encountered during a visit to a hospital in Munich; and 24 views of the former concentration camp in Dachau. Other images of note include photographs of a wedding between Vera's friends Mary and John and sporadic images unrelated to post-war Europe that were taken during past vacations including trips to Colorado, Utah, and El Paso, Texas.

Volume 4 (1950-1951)

This album (34.5 x 28 cm) has red leather covers and red satin lining and contains approximately 125 photographs as well as some ephemera. The first page bears the inscription "Merry Christmas! Gene, 1951, Augsburg, Germany" as well as a photograph of Vera and Gene seated together at a table. Images include numerous snapshots of friends and soldiers engaged in social activities taken on the Augsburg military base as well as photographs (including real photo postcards) taken in other European locations such as Venice, Pisa, Florence, Cannes, Amiens, and Paris. Numerous individuals are identified through captions. Also present is a tissue with lipstick kisses and a tuft of blonde hair, while several photographs and ephemeral items are stored loose towards the back of the album.

The individual captioned as "me" in a number of photographs in Volume 3 appears to be Vera. She also appears regularly in the pictures of Volume 1 (also identified as "me" in captions) as well as Volume 4, but does not appear at all in Volume 2. Gene appears for the first time outside of Volume 2 in the final few pages of Volume 3, where he is initially introduced in a portrait with the caption "Gene Forman - Eibsee Hotel, June 1950"; this portrait is followed by a full page of photos of Gene. Given that Volume 2 seems to portray Gene's time in Friedburg and most of Volume 3 seems to represent Vera's personal experiences in Augsburg and traveling elsewhere in Europe, it appears that they may have been unacquainted prior to June 1950. By October 1950 the two appear to be acting as a couple, as documented in a travel bureau itinerary present at the end of Volume 3 that details a four-day program in Naples for "Miss Masuch and Mr. Forman." The couple also appears together in Volume 4, though in this instance the "me" captions refer to Gene and not Vera, suggesting that he was the primary creator of that album.


William Rohrer papers, 1944-1945

59 items

The William Rohrer papers contain letters that friends and family members sent to Rohrer while he served in the United States Army during World War II. Rohrer's correspondents discussed family and social news and commented on topics such as rationing, the military, and a Philadelphia transportation strike.

The William Rohrer papers (59 items) contain 45 letters that friends and family members sent to Rohrer while he served in the United States Army during World War II. Other items include a postcard, 7 pamphlets, and a news article.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of Rohrer's incoming correspondence from acquaintances and family members such as his wife, a sister, and a niece. His wife Florrie wrote about their daughter Eileen and about her social life in Westmont, New Jersey. On one occasion, she mentioned an African American woman she had hired to do some work (August 9, 1944). She occasionally interacted with Florence Madjeska, the Rohrers' acquaintance, and both women commented on the health of Florence's husband, Joe Masjeska, a member of the United States Navy. Joan Withers, the Rohrers' niece, wrote letters to her uncle about her daily life; she jokingly indicated that the envelopes she sent contained love letters or "sweetheart" letters. On June 14, 1945, Eileen Rohrer (through her mother) sent her father an unsigned Father's Day card. Hazel C. Southwick, an occasional correspondent, wrote to Rohrer about their mutual interest in collecting military patches, and others shared religious or philosophical reflections. Many wrote about Rohrer's military service, rating, and possible furloughs.

A few letters pertain to current events, such as the Philadelphia transportation strike of August 1944. In separate letters dated August 2, 1944, James A. Perdikis and Bernadette Cleary mentioned fighting between African Americans and whites, damage to buildings in African American neighborhoods, white workers' refusal to work alongside African Americans, the declaration of martial law, and the possibility of military intervention. Cleary also discussed the black market for gasoline (August 23, 1944), and Betty Sherrane described cigarette rationing policies (April 6, 1945). Later correspondents included discharged servicemen who had served with Rohrer. The postcard has a painting of a bridge over a canal in Venice, Italy.

Other items include a humorous mock army memorandum with advice for soldiers adapting to civilian life in the United States after serving in Europe and copies of 3 religious pamphlets by Daniel A. Lord (5 items). The pamphlets, published by The Queen's Work, encourage Catholics to abstain from alcohol and "dirty stories." Two additional pamphlets intended for soldiers pertain to fatigue and sexual health. The collection also has an undated article about the use of an Austrian factory to winterize American vehicles and 4 wartime ration books issued to members of the Woudenberg family of Grand Rapids, Michigan.