Normandy courtyard


The courtyard of Le Normandy Hotel, Deauville, France, August 8, 1920, an autochrome by Georges Chevalier, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

Such pretty little green chairs; here’s another photo. . .

Inside the Cour Normande, ca. 1925, a postcard by Levy et Neurdein Reunis, via pellethepoet on flickr, under CC license.

The 5-star hotel was built in an Anglo-Norman style in 1912.  It appeared in the 1996 “The Murder on the Links” episode of Agatha Christies’ Poirot with David Suchet. Today, the courtyard looks much the same as it did in the 1920s, although the chairs and tables have been replaced with more little trees.

The image at the top is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the photo at the top (A 23 019) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

Salem, Massachusetts

View of garden, looking south, Leverett Saltonstall Place, 41 Chestnut Street, Salem, Massachusetts, June 1940, by Frank O. Branzetti for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (both photos).

In 1808 (or maybe 1810), Thomas Saunders built a double house for his two daughters, Caroline and Mary Elizabeth, and their husbands, brothers Nathaniel and Leverett Salstonstall.

The Leverett Salstonstalls lived in the no. 41 side, shown here.

Looking north.

The garden was also laid out about 1810. Its arrangement was reportedly the same as when this drawing was made in 1937.

Drawing by Louise Rowell, 1937, for the same HABS. Click to enlarge.

Mary and Leverett’s granddaughter, Mary Saltonstall Parker, also lived in the house in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She wrote several little books of sentimental verse that fed into the Colonial Revival movement of that period. During WWI, her needlework art was published in House Beautiful and other publications.

The Sunday porch: wedding party

Sanders-Eckles wedding party, Lincolnville, Florida, ca. 1925, from the Richard Twine Collectionvia Florida Memory (State Archives and Library of Florida) Commons on flickr.

Lincolnville is an historically African-American neighborhood of St. Augustine. It was established after the Civil War, in 1866, by several freedmen and women who leased the land for $1 a year.  By the 1880s, it had begun to grow and “was characterized by narrow streets, small lots, and houses built close to the street line, similar to the colonial St. Augustine style and land-use pattern,” according to Wikipedia. By the 1930s, it was an important subdivision of the city in size and in political participation of its residents, and by the 1960s, it drew national attention for its role in the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1991, Lincolnville was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its many late Victorian Era buildings and its place in African-American history. It is now known as the Lincolnville Historic District.

Bowling, 1861


“Group of people bowling on a wooden lane erected in a yard,” July 4, 1861, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I just found this photo. It was taken exactly one year before yesterday’s picture, probably by James Hunter,* who would host the 1862 picnic.

The Library’s online catalogue says that “Mrs. H. Bowling and Coleman Sellers, Jr.,” have been identified in this image, although it doesn’t say where they are — probably the woman bowling (Mrs. H., bowling†) and perhaps the boy in charge of setting up the pins.

The full stereograph. I do hope they removed the baby from the lane before she bowled.

“By the mid-1800s, the game of ninepins was so popular that wealthy families installed bowling lanes at their estates. . . , ” according to American Profile. “When some states outlawed ninepins [in the 1830s and 40s] because it encouraged gambling, the modern game of tenpins evolved to skirt the laws.” I’m not sure if there are nine pins in this picture or ten. What looks like one middle pin may be two pins lined up.

The image is part of the Charles F. Himes collection of stereographs by amateur photographers, primarily members of the Pennsylvania Photographic Society (1860-61) and the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club (1861-63).


*James Hunter may have been co-owner of the Print and Dye Works in Hestonville, Pennsylvania.

†H. for Hunter? Coleman Junior’s father was Coleman Sellers II, a prominent engineer and inventor from Philadelphia. — as well as an amateur photographer.