Pasadena, California

The garden terrace of the Myron Hunt house, 200 North Grand Avenue, Pasadena, California, 1917, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This looks like such a tranquil and comfortable garden space — while at the same time, just a little mysterious. If you look closely, you can see that there is a simple rope and board swing hanging from a tree limb in the center, and at least one of the chairs is a rocking chair.

Hunt was a successful architect in Southern California in the first half of the 20th century. He designed this house and garden for himself in 1905. Today, the house survives, but the garden is gone.

There is another Johnston image of the garden here, looking across an open garden room to the steps and elevated bust shown above.

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.

Ferntree Gully

A forester’s cottage, Ferntree GullyDandenong Ranges, Victoria, Australia, ca. 1900, a glass lantern slide by Archibald James Campbell, via Museums Victoria Collections.

I like the two log pillars at the bottom of the steps, each topped by a potted plant.

During the 19th century, the forests of the Dandenong mountains were a major source of timber for Melbourne.

Corner table, Paris

La rue des Ursins à l'angle de la rue des Chantres, Paris (IVe arr.), France, juillet 1914, (Autochrome, 9 x 12 cm), Stéphane Passet, Département des Hauts-de-Seine, musée Albert-Kahn, Archives de la Planète, A 13 657
La rue des Ursins à l’angle de la rue des Chantres, Paris (IVe arr.), France, July 1914, by Stéphane Passet, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

Was this photo taken at the current corner of rue des Ursins and rue des Chantres in Paris? You can see the location here. I can’t decide.

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 13 657) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.