The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware  19735

Telephone: 302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883





Creator:         Van Altena, Edward, 1873-1968                                          

Title:               Lantern slides of gardens

Dates:             circa 1920-1940

Call No.:         Col. 916

Acc. No.:        13x39

Quantity:        413 slides

Location:        40 A 6-7






Edward Van Altena created many, but not all, the slides in this collection. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1873, but his family moved to Brooklyn, New York, when he was five years old.  In 1888, he began working for a photography studio.  In 1904, he entered into partnership with John Duer Scott; they produced hand colored slides.  Van Altena did the photography work, and Scott the coloring.  They are best known for producing song slides which were used in nickelodeons.  The partnership ended in 1919.   Van Altena died in 1968. 


Other slides were produced by the J. Horace McFarland Co. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  McFarland (1859-1948) was active in the City Beautiful movement of the early 20th century and he promoted wildlife preservation.  His company published magazines, including gardening magazines, plus books and seed catalogs.  McFarland helped establish the National Park Service and the American Rose Society.


The slides may have been collected by a Professor Finley (Findlay or Finlay) from Cazenovia, New York; he may have been affiliated with Cornell University.





Glass lantern slides, most of which are hand colored, of gardens, flowers, and garden plans.  A very few are captioned with the name of the owner of the garden being pictured.  Others were in sections designated “California,” “Winter Park,” French gardens,” “rock gardens,” “bulbs,” etc.   In some of the slides, parts of houses or garden structures (fountains, trellis, statues, walls, etc.) are visible.  People visiting the gardens appear in some slides; it is possible that these depict members of the Garden Club of America, which organization sponsored garden tours.   Most of the slides have the label of Edward Van Altena of New York, while a few were made by the J. Horace McFarland Co. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.   Some do not have the name of the maker, but many of these may also be by Van Altena. 





Where possible, the slides are grouped by location.  Slides of gardens whose owners are known are arranged alphabetically by surname of owner.





The materials are mostly visual, but the limited text is in English or Latin.





Collection is open to the public.  Copyright restrictions may apply.





Purchased from Joshua Heller Books, Pittsford, New York.





The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation holds a collection of lantern slides by Edward Van Altena.


The Harriet Stryker-Rodda collection at the Brooklyn Historical Society contains more information about Edward Van Altena.


Papers of J. Horace McFarland are held by the Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pa.  Additional papers and publications are held by the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens, the Smithsonian Botany and Horticulture Branch Library, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Library.






            Garden Club of America.

Flowers - Photographs.

Gardens, American - Photographs.

            Gardens - Atlantic states - Photographs.

Gardens - California - Photographs.

Gardens - Design.      

            Gardens - Europe - Photographs.

Gardens - Florida - Photographs.

            Gardens - France - Photographs.

            Gardens - New York (State) - Photographs.

            Gardens - Pennsylvania \x Photographs.

            Gardens - Photographs.

            Gardens - United States - Photographs.

Photography of gardens.

Lantern slides.


            Additional author:

J. Horace McFarland Company.        





Location: 40 A 6-7


Note: all accession numbers begin with 13x39:



Box 1:  (Van Altena slides, .1-.52)


.1         Sloan Colt, Tuxedo, NY, 1936

                        Shed in garden, lake in background


.2-4      Henry Flagler, Millbrook, NY, 1936

                        .2         stone well, balustrade in background

                        .3         stone archway

                        .4         paved path; woman in background


.5-.6     Mrs. Henry Flagler, Millbrook, NY

                        .5         stone wall, with women

                        .6         path, brick wall, building, with women



.7-.11   Mrs. Paulding Fosdick, Tuxedo, NY, 1936

                        .7-.8     stone steps in garden, with house in background

                        .9         different stone steps in garden, with house in background

                        .10       shrubs in bloom around fountain and sundial

                        .11       fountain in front of terrace flanked by urns


.12       Mrs. John Gilpin, Chestnut Hill, Pa., 1938

                        Border in bloom


.13-.18             Mrs. Robert Hill, Englewood, NJ, 1936

                                    .13-.15 views of pergola

                                    .16       stone wall with door

                                    .17       blooming borders, with stone wall in background

                                    .18       flowers, birdbath, building in background


.19       Mrs. Edward Ingersoll, Pennlyn, Pa., 1938

                        Stone wall with fountain


.20       Franklin Pepper, Chestnut Hill, [Pa.], 1938

                        Classical building in garden


.21       Mrs. Franklin Pepper, Chestnut Hill, Pa., 1938

                        Garden leading to house


.22       Willis Reese, New Hamburg, NY      

                        Large urn in garden


.23-.25             Pendleton Rogers, Tuxedo, NY

                                    .23       people on walk leading to house

                                    .24       women on garden walk [labeled P. Rogers]

                                    .25       specimen conifer in garden


.26       Mrs. Pendleton Rogers, Tuxedo, NY

                        Walkway in garden


.27-.28             Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hyde Park, NY, 1936

                                    .27       lawn and house, with group of people

                                    .28       “view from terrace,” hills and distant river


.29       School of Horticulture [i.e. Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women], Ambler, Pa., 1938

                        Fountain with statue, pergola behind


.30-.31             Sinkler, Chestnut Hill, 1938 [Wharton Sinkler?]

                                    .30       pergola and shrubs

                                    .31       brick wall and borders [tape is detached – do not remove slide from sleeve]


.32-.38             Mrs. Oakleigh Thorne, Millbrook, NY, 1936

                                    .32       wide grassy walk, with view to summer house

                                    .33       bridge over pond bordered with flowers

                                    .34       large pond

                                    .35       shady path

                                    .36       brick wall, trellis work, statue

                                    .37       walk leading to brick wall, trellis work, statue

                                    .38       brick walkway through flowering shrubs


.39-.41             Henry Tiflord, Tuxedo, NY

                                    Three views of fountains (2 of which are probably the same)


.42       Mrs. Vanderbilt Webb, Garrison, NY

                        Part of house, birdbath, people in the garden


.43-.44             Cedar Cove, [Cazenovia, NY?] 1937

                                    .43       garden [tape is detached – do not remove slide from sleeve]

                                    .44       rose garden


.45a-b-.52        flowers, slides numbered A4-A6, A11-17

[set continues in next box]




Box 2: (Van Altena slides, .53-.105)


.53-.70             flowers and gardens, slides numbered A18-A22, A25-A28, A30-A32, A51, A54, A58, A59, A75-A77  

[note: A64, A66-A67 are in box 7, with photos of pools and rock gardens]

[set continued from previous box]

                        .54-.63             flowers

                        .64       A51 – stone path leading to house, with people

                        .65       A54 – brick walk in garden

                        .66       A58 – wall with trellis [no tape – do not remove slide from sleeve]

                        .67       A59 - steps leading to house

                        .68       A75 – garden, with houses and barn in background

                        .69       A76 – garden and field

                        .70       A77 – garden, with side of house; came with note: “Syracuse garden, 1930s”


.71-.105           flowers, not numbered, not identified

                                    .105 is a flowering shrub



Box 3: (Van Altena slides, .106-.165)


.106-.134         Houses with gardens


.135-.140         Winter Park, [Fla.], Feb. 1939

                                    These were in a small box which had two labels inside, one reading “res. Barbour-Andrews,” the other “Alabama Hotel, Lake Maitland, Mrs. La Chance, JRB, W.S.E. Mrs. W.S. Edg”


.141-.165         California gardens and Cypress Gardens, Charleston, (so the box was labeled, but probably all are California)

(continued in next box)

                                    Some views include houses.


Box 4: (Van Altena slides, .166-.217)


.166-.167         California gardens and Cypress Gardens, Charleston, (so the box was labeled, but probably all are California)

(continued from previous box)

                                    Some views include houses.


.168-.178         French gardens, 1924 [so labeled in box]

                                    Slides are numbered 66-67, 69-70, 72-78, but not otherwise identified.  Buildings are seen in many of the views.


.179-.217         European gardens, 1920s

Slides are numbered 1-5, 7-20, 22-27, 29-38, 40-43. [continues in next box]

Slide 1 (.179) shows a group of people; slide 2 (.180) shows 2 men; slide 20 (.197) shows a canal; buildings are seen in some slides; includes some town scenes.



Box 5: (Van Altena slides, .218-.268)


.218-.2 23        European gardens, 1920s

Slides are numbered 44-48, 51 [continued from previous box]

buildings are seen in some slides.


.224     view of an unnamed European village


.225-268          Gardens, not identified  [continues in next box]

                                    Buildings and other garden structures appear in some photographs



Box 6: (Van Altena slides, .269-.322)


.269-.300         Gardens, not identified  [continued from previous box]

                                    Buildings, other garden structures, and people appear in these photographs; one of the photos is black and white


.301-.305         Colored drawings of garden plans


.306-.319         planting plans

                                    .307-.309 are numbered A1-A3, but do not belong with the rest of the slides which bear numbers beginning with the letter A (in boxes 1-2)



.320-.322         garden miscellanea: [continues in next box]

                                    .320     garden tools and pots

.321     wrong and right ways of mulching

                                    .322     compost heap




Box 7: (Van Altena slides [.323-.346] and unmarked slides [.347-.374])


.323-.325         garden miscellanea: [continued from previous box]

                                    .323     bulbs in pots

                                    .324     someone planting seeds

                                    .325     plants growing in boxes



.326-.346         rock gardens, pools, ponds

                                    .326-.329         labeled A64, 65, A66-A67: various pools and ponds


.347-.357         planting plans and lists of flowers [slides not marked with maker’s name]

                                    .347     planting plan, labeled T14, Cornell University, Dept. of Flor. and Orn. Hort.

                                    .348-.355         planting plans

                                    .356-.357         lists of plants, on stationery of Francis Hendricks Co., Inc., art and motion picture supply store, Syracuse, N.Y.


.358-.364         Flowers [slides not marked with maker’s name]

                                    .358     water lilies, labeled with initials F.W. (black and white)

                                    .359     labeled thalictrum

                                    .360     labeled 4264, dianthus mixed

                                    .361     trilliums, most of label torn off; also numbered 1.31, 18, copy 2

                                    .362-.364         assorted flowers (not labeled), including roses and lilies


.365-.371         Gardens [slides not marked with maker’s name]

                                    .365 in color; remainder are black and white


.372     House [slide not marked with maker’s name]


.373     Woman with snake (black and white) [slide not marked with maker’s name]


.374     Man, head only, labeled Bill [slide not marked with maker’s name]




Box 8: J. Horace McFarland Co. slides (.375-.409)


.375-.376         Cold frames, numbered 3249, 3xx607 (black and white)


.377-.380         Annuals

                                    .377     antirrhinum, number 1298

                                    .378     schizanthus, number 19862

                                    .379     centaurea cyanus, number 3x828, with initials JRB

                                    .380     scabiosa, number 19x733


.381-.387         Bulbs

                                    .381     gladiolus, number 7598

                                    .382     lilium speciosum rebrum, no. 12186, initialed JRB

                                    .383     lilium speciosum album, no. 12328, initialed JRB

                                    .384     lilium speciosum rebrum, no. 12879, initialed JRB

                                    .385     lilium candidum, no. 12884

                                    .386     narcissus emperor, no. 14182

                                    .387     tulips, no. 20596



                                    .388     anemone japonica, no. 1547

                                    .389     ageratum, no. 1847

                                    .390     dianthus, no. 4078, initialed JRB

                                    .391     diceutra spectablilia, no. 4108

                                    .392     dictammus fratinella[?], no. 4203

                                    .393     erigeron philadelphus, no. 5248, initialed JRB

                                    .394     gypsophila paniculata, no. 7427, initialed JRB

                                    .395     gypsophila paniculata, no. 7886

                                    .396     nigella, no. 14299

                                    .397     oenothera, no. 15380, initialed JRB

                                    .398     peony edulis superba, no. 16932

                                    .399     veronica, no. 22261

                                    .400     veronica, phlox, no. 22323

                                    .401     achillea ptarnica, no. 1x270, initialed JRB

                                    .402     achillea ptarnica, “The Pearl,” no. 1x272, initialed JRB

                                    .403     coreopsis grandiflora, no. 3x291

                                    .404     campanula medium, no. 3x329

                                    .405     hollyhocks, 8x470

                                    .406     peony, 16xx335

                                    .407     paeony, albiflora – The Bride, no. 16x852

                                    .408     pyrethrum, no. 16x892

                                    .409     papever, no. 16xx1294

The slides came in lantern slide storage boxes which could not be saved.  Some of the boxes had indexes to the contents, although by the time the slides were received by the Downs Collection, the contents of the boxes did not match the indexes.  Nevertheless, the indexes have been transcribed below since they provide some additional information about the collection.


Box A:

French slides – good

English slides


Shrub planting

Garden design

Hot beds, etc.

Garden furniture

Lily pools

Rock garden


Box B:

California gardens

Grand Canyon


Cypress Garden



Box C:


Sweet rocket

Mertensia & daffodils


Anchusa myosotidiflora

Erigeron speciosa


Solomon seal & mertensia

Centaurea Montana


Lupine perennial

Iris & pyrethrum

Gypsophila Bristol Fairy

Thalicthrum glaucum

Iris siberica blue

Tulip Sirene

Yucca filamentosa

Delphinium Wrexham

Regal lilies

Fraxinella white

Delphinium Belladonna

Penstemon Digitalis

Malricaria golden balls

Campanula carpatica


Cam. Lactiflora

Sedalea[?] rosea

Cam. Macrantha

Cam. Carpatica






[these next entries have been crossed out:]

Mrs. Brown’s garden

Mrs. Shipman’s garden, Plainfield

Mrs. C. Platt’s garden, Plainfield

High Court, Plainfield

Cedar Cove, 1930

Mrs. Eddy’s garden, Bennington

S. Van Santvoord’s[?] garden, Bennington

Pool & garden

Mrs. Shipman, pool, Plainfield

Lily pool


Demonstration garden, Kenwood

Mrs. Pangborn rock garden

Mrs. Roberts, Nelson

Shrub planting, Syracuse

Shrub planting, Turnbull