Guide to the Photograph Collection
This collection contains portraits of Francis Blake, his wife Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard Blake, and their children, Benjamin Sewall Blake and Agnes Blake Fitzgerald, as well as friends, other family, and unidentified individuals. Also included are photographs of early telephone technology (including Francis Blake's own invention, the Blake Transmitter), and photographs of Keewaydin, Francis Blake's estate in Weston, Mass.
Francis Blake (1812-1879) married in 1842 Caroline Burling Trumbull (1820-1880), and together they had five children: Francis Arthur Blake (1843-1845); Elizabeth Chandler Blake (1845-1845); Louisa Trumbull Blake (1846-1920), who married Charles Bartlett Wells and had a daughter, Louisa Wells (b. 1869); Charles Henry Mills Blake (1848-1921), who married in 1871 Margaret Swasey and had William Swasey Blake (b. 1878) and Charles Blake (b. 1881); and Francis Blake (1850-1913).
Charles Townsend Hubbard (1817-1887) married 1st in 1845 Louisa Bowman Sewall (1821-1853), and together they had four children: Louisa Sewall Hubbard (b. 1846), who married 1st John Cotton Jackson (and 2nd in 1901 Ferdinand Eugene Canda) and had Louisa Sewall Jackson (b. 1869), Rossiter Cotton Jackson (b. 1873), and Henry Hubbard Jackson (b. 1877); Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941); Mary Hubbard (1848-1849); Charlotte Wright Hubbard (b. 1851), who married Benjamin Loring Young and had Margaret Young (b. 1876), Charlotte Young (b. 1878), and Benjamin Loring Young (b. 1885). Charles Townsend Hubbard married 2nd in 1855 Elizabeth Blair Wells, and together they had two children: Charles Wells Hubbard (b. 1856), who married in1889 Anne Laurens Swann, and had Charles Wells Hubbard (b. 1890) and Elizabeth Blair Hubbard (b. 1894); and Anne Hubbard (b. 1858), who married Bancroft Chandler Davis, and had Mabel and Martha Davis.
Francis Blake (1850-1913) was born in 1850 at Needham, Mass., the son of Caroline Burling (Trumbull) and Francis Blake, Sr. Known widely as the inventor of the Blake Transmitter for telephone communications, Blake was also a respected physicist and experimental photographer, worked on the United States Coast Survey from his teenage years through early adulthood (1866-1878), and was responsible for the design of his elaborate family estate, Keewaydin, in Weston, Mass. He married in 1874 Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941), and together they had two children: Agnes Blake (b. 1876), who married in 1906 Stephen Salisbury Fitzgerald; and Benjamin Sewall Blake (b. 1877), who married in 1908 Ruth Field, and had Francis, Ruth, Benjamin, and Elizabeth Blake.
Davis, Keith F.
Hall, Elton Wayland. Francis Blake : An Inventor's Life 1850-1913. Boston, Mass.: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2003.
The Blake family photographs consist of three boxes, three cased volumes, and one oversize box. Most of the photographs in this collection are portraits of the Francis Blake (1850-1913) family, as well as photographs of family homes, all taken between ca. 1870-1910.
Two boxes contain portraits of Francis Blake, his wife Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard Blake, and their children, Benjamin Sewall Blake and Agnes Blake Fitzgerald, as well as friends, other family, and unidentified individuals. Included in these photographs are images of Benjamin Sewall Blake and the 1st Corps Cadets of the Massachusetts Militia, among other subjects. A third box also contains photographs of early telephone technology (including Francis Blake's own invention, the Blake Transmitter), and one oversize box contains photographs of Keewaydin, Francis Blake's estate in Weston, Mass.
There are also three cased photograph albums in the collection: two contain portraits of the Hubbard family and friends; and the third contains photos of Woodlands, the Hubbard' family estate in Weston, Mass.
Photographers represented in this collection include Francis Blake, William A. Webster of Waltham, Mass., and Caro Studio of Boston, Mass., among others. The collection includes cabinet cards, cartes de visite, card photograph albums, tintypes, and paper-based photographs.
This collection was removed from the Blake family papers (OFFSITE). Photos. 39.198-263 were given to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Jan. 2001 with the Blake family papers by Benjamin Oliver Blake in Jan. 2001. Part of this collection was acquired by purchase in Feb. 2001; another part was given to the Massachusetts Historical Society by the descendents of Francis Blake, Jr.
Detailed Description of the Collection
I. LOOSE PHOTOGRAPHS
A. Individual portraits
Inscription on back of photograph: "I think Papa liked this one best."
Inscription on back of photograph: "Alexander Bassano/ 72 Picadilly W./ 1872?"
Inscription on back of photograph: "Aunt Louise/ & Aunt Agnes' dog/ Topsy."
Inscription on back of photograph: "A. D. Chapin Jr./ Providence."
Inscription on back of photograph: "by Ruth A. Field/ This is my picture/ R.A.F./ 6 years old."
B. Group portraits
Inscription on back of photograph: "Iffezheim."
Porringer is engraved "TGE" for Thomas and Elizabeth Green.
E. Telephone technology photographs
All images in this subseries are platinotype photographs of drawings with black ink additions; all are labeled on the verso. None of the photographers are identified.
II. PHOTOGRAPHS IN ALBUMS
All photographs in this series are arranged and numbered in the order in which they appear in the photograph albums.
A. Vol. 1. Hubbard family carte de visite album, ca. 1860-1891
This volume contains carte de visite portraits of various members of the Hubbard, Sewall, Payson, Jackson, Tudor, Young, and Cobb families, taken ca. 1860-1891. Subjects include Charles Townsend Hubbard, Henry Silas Payson, Francis Blake (1850-1913), Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard Blake, and Agnes Blake Fitzgerald. There are also some cartes de visite of artwork in this volume. Most of the photographs are identified. Photographers include Jeremiah Gurney of New York, N.Y., as well as John Adams Whipple, James Wallace Black, and Antoine Sonrel, all of Boston, Mass., among many others.
B. Vol. 2. Hubbard family photograph album, ca. 1860-1880
This volume contains carte de visite and tintype (both hand-colored and black-and-white) portraits of various members of the Hubbard family, as well as prominent American and European figures. Some of the photographs are identified. Photographers include Henry Franklin Warren of Waltham, Mass., as well as John Adams Whipple and James Wallace Black of Boston, Mass., among many others. It is likely that the photographs in this album were collected by Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard Blake.
C. Vol. 3. "Woodlands" estate photograph album, ca. 1890s
This volume contains photographs of Woodlands, the Hubbard family estate in Weston, Mass. There are interior and exterior views of the houses, including Keewaydin, and outbuildings on the property, as well as views of the grounds of the estate. The photographer is unknown; these photographs may have been taken by William A. Webster of Waltham, Mass.
III. OVERSIZE PHOTOGRAPHS
Blake family photographs, Photo. Coll. 39, Massachusetts Historical Society Photo Archives.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.