COLLECTION GUIDES

ca. 1870-1917

Guide to the Photograph Collection


Collection Summary

Abstract

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.

Biographical Sketches

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.

Sources

Davis, Keith F.

"The High-Speed Photographs of Francis Blake,"
The Massachusetts Historical Review 2 (2000): 1-26.

Hall, Elton Wayland. Francis Blake : An Inventor's Life 1850-1913. Boston, Mass.: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2003.

Collection Description

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.

Acquisition Information

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

Arranged alphabetically.

Box 1#39.1
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), ca. 1880. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.2
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), ca. 1882. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.3-4
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), 15 Aug. 1890 . Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).2 duplicate cabinet cards.
Box 1#39.5
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), ca. 1895. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.6
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.7
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.8
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), 26 or 27 June 1907. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.9-13
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), unidentified children of, n.d.Photographer(s) unknown
Box 1#39.14
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), unidentified child of, near barn in Northfield, Mass., Oct. 1910.Photographer(s) unknown.
Box 1#39.15
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941), ca. 1873. Photographer unknown.

Inscription on back of photograph: "I think Papa liked this one best."

Box 1#39.16-17
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941), in canoe, ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.18-20
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941), ca. 1900. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.21
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941), standing on porch next to hammock, ca. 1910. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.22
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941), lying in hammock with parasol, ca. 1910. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.23
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard (1849-1941), ca. 1910. Mounted silhouette.
Box 1#39.24-27
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), ca. 1870. Taken by James Wallace Black (Boston, Mass.). 2 duplicate cartes de visite and 2 duplicate copy photographs.
Box 1#39.28
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), 24 Sep. 1870. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.29
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), ca. 1870. . Taken by the Caro Studio (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.30
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), 1872. . Taken by the Caro Studio (Boston, Mass.).

Inscription on back of photograph: "Alexander Bassano/ 72 Picadilly W./ 1872?"

Box 1#39.31
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), seated on ground outdoors, ca. 1872. Taken by the Caro Studio (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.32-34
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), ca. 1900. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.). 3 copies.
Box 1#39.35
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), seated in chair with vines and plants, ca. 1900. Taken by the Caro Studio (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.36
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), ca. 1900. Taken by A. N. Hardy (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.37
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), ca. 1900. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.38
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), ca. 1900. Taken by the Caro Studio (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.39
Canda, Louisa Sewall (Hubbard) Jackson (b. 1846), ca. 1880. Taken by Nadarz (Paris, France).
Box 1#39.40
Canda, Louisa Sewall (Hubbard) Jackson (b. 1846), on porch with dog, ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.

Inscription on back of photograph: "Aunt Louise/ & Aunt Agnes' dog/ Topsy."

Box 1#39.41
Chapin, A. D., Jr., ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.

Inscription on back of photograph: "A. D. Chapin Jr./ Providence."

Box 1#39.42
Cobb, Laida, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.43
Cobb, Sophia Monroe, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.44
Delano, Florence, n.d. Taken by Shepherd (St. Johnsbury, Vt.).
Box 1#39.45
Field, Joseph W., ca. 1880. Taken by Ruth Field Blake.

Inscription on back of photograph: "by Ruth A. Field/ This is my picture/ R.A.F./ 6 years old."

Box 1#39.46-48
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake (b. 1876), 1876. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.49-50
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake (b. 1876), 29 Apr. 1880. Taken by Allen & Rowell (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.51
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake (b. 1876), ca. 1890. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.52
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake (b. 1876), ca. 1894. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 1#39.53-56
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake (b. 1876), 1904. . Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.57
Flint, Lottie, ca. 1870-1872. Taken by George Kendall Warren (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.58
Flint, Lottie, with dog, n.d. Photographer unknown. Cyanotype.
Box 1#39.59
Holderness, Harold, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.60
Holderness, Molly Cobb, n.d. Taken by Runnels.
Box 1#39.61
Holderness, Molly Cobb, ca, 1880. Taken by Thors (San Francisco, Calif.).
Box 1#39.62
Hubbard, Elizabeth Blair Wells (1822-1890), ca. 1880. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.63
Lange, Mathilde, ca. 1869-1877. Taken by Howard A. Richardson (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.64
Merrian, Carrie, ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.65
Payson, Henry Silas at Payson Farm, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.66
Payson, Henry Silas at Payson Farm, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.67-68
Payson, Henry Robey, Apr. 1888. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.69
Payson, Henry Robey, seated at desk, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.70-71
Rundle, [Miss], n.d. Taken by J. Ludovici (New York and Newport, R.I.).
Box 1#39.72-73
Tudor, Eleanor Lyman Gray with horse, ca. 1905. Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.74
Tudor, Elizabeth Whitwell, ca. 1890.Photographer unknown.
Box 1#39.75
Wells, Louisa Trumbell Blake (1846-1920), ca. 1879-1891. Taken by James Notman (Boston, Mass.).
Box 1#39.76-81
Unidentified men. Various photographers.
Box 1#39.82-89
Unidentified women.Various photographers.
Box 1#39.90-95
Unidentified girls.Various photographers.

B. Group portraits

Arranged alphabetically.

Box 2#39.96
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877) and unidentified boy, 10 Feb. 1889. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.97
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877) and unidentified young man on porch steps, ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.98
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877) and others in front of house, ca. 1900. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.99-105
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877) and 1st Corps Cadets, n.d.Photographer(s) unknown.
Box 2#39.106
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877) and Agnes Blake Fitzgerald (b. 1876), 26 or 27 June 1907. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.107
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877) and Agnes Blake Fitzgerald (b. 1876) and others, ca. 1907. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.108-110
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), children of, n.d. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.111
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877), children of, with Amelia D. Field, Northfield, Mass., Oct. 1910. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.112
Blake, Elizabeth and Ruth, Northfield, Mass., Sept. 1917. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.113-115
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard Blake (1849-1941) and Agnes Blake Fitzgerald (b. 1876), 1876. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).2 cartes de visite and 1 cabinet card.
Box 2#39.116
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard Blake (1849-1941) and Agnes Blake Fitzgerald (b. 1876), ca. 1890. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 2#39.117
Blake, Francis (1850-1913) and family with Henry Silas Payson at Keewaydin, ca. 1882. Possibly taken by Francis Blake.
Box 2#39.118
Carter, Sir Gilbert and lady, 1903. Taken by Notman Photo Co. (Boston, Mass.).
Box 2#39.119
Davis, Bancroft Chandler and family, June 1897. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.120
Dyer, Louisa Sewall Jackson (b. 1869) and Alice Dyer, ca. 1895. Taken by William Gill (Colchester).
Box 2#39.121
Dyer, Jack with Ayah Gungo, 1893. Taken by A. Saché & Co. (Punjaub, India).
Box 2#39.122
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake (b. 1876) with Henry Silas Payson, ca. 1890. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).
Box 2#39.123
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake (b. 1876) and unidentified woman on beach, 1900. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.124-125
Gray, Roland and Eleanor Lyman (Gray) Tudor, ca. 1905.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.126-131
Unidentified groups. Various photographers.

C. Views

Box 2#39.132-146
Snapshots of scenes in the Bahamas, n.d. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.147-148
Racetrack, n.d.Photographer unknown.

Inscription on back of photograph: "Iffezheim."

Box 2#39.149-157
Landscape scenes in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, 1907.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.158-163
Unidentified landscapes, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.164
Cartagena Lagoon, Puerto Rico, 1930. Taken by T. Gilbert Pearson.

D. Objects/Architecture/Art

Box 2#39.165
Young deer in field with tree, n.d. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.166
Pigeons in flight at Keewaydin, 12 Nov. 1888. Taken by Francis Blake.
Box 2#39.167-170
Four views of a silver porringer, n.d. Photographer unknown.

Porringer is engraved "TGE" for Thomas and Elizabeth Green.

Box 2#39.171
Bancroft Chandler Davis's yacht, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.172
Large rowboat rowed by sailors near wharf, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.173-176
Scenes on desk of the ship Kronprinz, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.177-184
Various photographs of buildings in Paris, Munich, Innsbruck, Cologne, and other European locations, n.d. Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.185-186
Views of Keewaydin, n.d.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.187
View of Keewaydin, June 1898.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.188
St, Augustine Cathedral, 1903.Photographer unknown.
Box 2#39.189-196
Unidentified buildings in unidentified locations, n.d. Various photographers.
Box 2#39.197
Photo of painting of an unidentified woman, n.d. Original artist unknown; photographer unknown.

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.

Box 3#39.198-206
Various forms of the Blake Transmitter.
Box 3#39.207
Bell's Centennial Liquid Transmitter.
Box 3#39.208
Magneto Transmitter #1.
Box 3#39.209
Bell's "Figure 7" Transmitter.
Box 3#39.210
Granular Skelton Transmitter.
Box 3#39.211-212
Long Distance Transmitter.
Box 3#39.213
Solid Back Switchboard Transmitter.
Box 3#39.214
Magneto Transmitter #2.
Box 3#39.215
Long Distance Transmitter./ Experimental form with sieve electrode.
Box 3#39.216-219
Bell's Telephone Receiver.
Box 3#39.220
Bell's "Figure 7" Receiver.
Box 3#39.221
Long Distance Receiver.
Box 3#39.222
Police Receiver.
Box 3#39.223
Bell's Double-Pole Membrane Telephone.
Box 3#39.224
Bell's Large Iron Box Telephone.
Box 3#39.225
Bell's Centennial Iron Box Magnet Receiving Telephone.
Box 3#39.226
Bell's First Permanent Magnet Telephone / Used on Long Lines.
Box 3#39.227
Bell's "Figure 5" Apparatus.
Box 3#39.228
Bell's Hand Telephone / Early Form.
Box 3#39.229
Fac-simile of Bell's first hand telephone.
Box 3#39.230-231
Bell's Hand Telephone.
Box 3#39.232-242
Bell's Box Telephone.
Box 3#39.243
Pony Crown Telephone.
Box 3#39.244
Crown Telephone.
Box 3#39.245
Edison Carbon Telephone.
Box 3#39.246
Battery Hand Telephone.
Box 3#39.247
Bi-Polar Hand Telephone.
Box 3#39.248
Compound Head Telephone.
Box 3#39.249
Double Crown Telephone.
Box 3#39.250
Battery Speaking Tube Set.
Box 3#39.251
Spiral Head Telephone.
Box 3#39.252
Single-Pole Membrane Telephone.
Box 3#39.253
Head Telephone.
Box 3#39.254
Edison's Motophone.
Box 3#39.255
Phelps' Duplex Hand Telephone.
Box 3#39.256
Reproduced Telephone of 1875.
Box 3#39.257-263
Photographs of broadsides giving telephone statistics for 1877-1893.

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.

Vol. 1#39.264-354

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.

Vol. 2#39.355-404

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.

Vol. 3#39.405-422

III. OVERSIZE PHOTOGRAPHS

OS Box 1#39.423-424
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), n.d. Taken by the Caro Studio (Boston, Mass.).2 duplicate copies.
OS Box 1#39.425
Blake, Francis (1850-1913), 1914 . Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.).Copy of a photograph originally taken Sept. 1870.
OS Box 1#39.426
Unidentified woman with two girls, ca. 1860. Photographer unknown.
OS Box 1#39.427
Unidentified group of young men, n.d. Taken by Notman (Boston, Mass.).
OS Box 1#39.428
Train on the tracks below Keewaydin, ca. 1888. Taken by Francis Blake.
OS Box 1#39.429-440
Views of Keewaydin, Weston, Mass. Taken by William A. Webster (Waltham, Mass.) and Francis Blake.
OS Box 1#39.441
Blake, Benjamin Sewall (b. 1877) with 1st Corps Cadets, ca. 1911. Taken by Pennell's Studios (Kansas).
OS Box 1#39.442
"Camp of Instruction, Ft. Riley, 1911." Taken by Pennell's Studio (Kansas).

Preferred Citation

Blake family photographs, Photo. Coll. 39, Massachusetts Historical Society Photo Archives.

Access Terms

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.

Persons:

Blake, Benjamin Sewall, b. 1877 --Photographs.
Blake, Elizabeth Livermore Hubbard, 1849-1941 --Photographs.
Blake, Francis, 1850-1913 --Photographs.
Fitzgerald, Agnes Blake, b. 1876 --Photographs.
Blake family--Photograph collections.
Hubbard family--Photograph collections.
Blake, Francis, 1850-1913, photographer.
Webster, William A., photographer.

Organizations:

Massachusetts. Militia. Corps of Cadets, 1st--Photographs.
Caro Studio (Boston, Mass.), photographers.

Subjects:

Blake Transmitter--Photographs.
Inventors--19th century--Photographs.
Telephone--History--Photographs.
Keewaydin (Weston, Mass.)--Photographs.
Woodlands (Weston, Mass.)--Photographs.
Cabinet photographs.
Card photograph albums.
Cartes de visite.
Tintypes.