The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera
Henry Francis du Pont
5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware 19735
Telephone: 302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
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.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
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.
LANGUAGE OF MATERIALS
The materials are mostly visual, but the limited text is in English or Latin.
RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS
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.
J. Horace McFarland Company.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
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]
.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 antirrhinum, number 1298
.378 schizanthus, number 19862
.379 centaurea cyanus, number 3x828, with initials JRB
.380 scabiosa, number 19x733
.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.
French slides – good
Hot beds, etc.
Mertensia & daffodils
Solomon seal & mertensia
Iris & pyrethrum
Gypsophila Bristol Fairy
Iris siberica blue
Malricaria golden balls
[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
Demonstration garden, Kenwood
Mrs. Pangborn rock garden
Mrs. Roberts, Nelson
Shrub planting, Syracuse
Shrub planting, Turnbull