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.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

3-picket-fences-nantucket-ma-habs-library-of-congressWhitewashed picket fence, Pleasant Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1969, by Jack E. Boucher for Nantucket Historical Study, HABS, via  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (both photos).

Fence on Upper Main Street, Nantucket.

Is there a name for this style of picket fence — with three to four saw-tooths (saw-teeth?) on each wide board?  I feel like there must be, but I can’t find it.

The Sunday porch: Cherry Spring, Texas

North (back) side of Rode-Kothe House, Cherry Spring, Gillespie County, Texas, May 29, 1936, by Richard MacAllister for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all three photos).

South (front) side of house.

The HABS says the limestone house was at least partly built in 1855 by German immigrant Dietrich Rode. (He completed it in 1879.) Rode was one of the founders of nearby Fredericksburg, as well as Cherry Spring.  He was also a lay Lutheran minister and a teacher, first in his students’ homes at night and then on the second floor of his ranchhouse shown here.

Detail of front porch.

The house may still stand near Christ Lutheran Church, which Rode helped found, but I cannot find a current picture of it.

The HABS says the building was “[s]ited to dominate its surroundings.”