Chaplin, West Virginia

Back garden and porch of Hungarian-American coal miner’s home, Chaplin, West Virginia, September 1938, by Marion Post Wolcott, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all three photos).

The miner’s wife and their back gate and fence. (Cropped slightly by me.)

Wolcott was on assignment for the U.S. Farm Security Administration.


Her neighbor — top left, in the straw hat — seems to have had a good flower garden, as well.

Englewood, New Jersey

“Beechgate,” Englewood, New Jersey, 1918, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Some mid-week prettiness. . . . The four-acre garden was designed by Anna Gilman Hill about 1911.

Hill and her husband also owned “Grey Gardens,” the East Hampton estate later famously inhabited by Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little Edie.” She was Director of the Garden Club of America for six years in the 1920s, and, in 1938, she wrote a book about her gardening life, called Forty Years of Gardening. You can read it online here.

The Hague, Netherlands


Palace Garden, The Hague, Netherlands, August 1929, by Stéphane Passet, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

The autochrome above is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker, 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 above photo (A 61 978 X) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.