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Guide to the Carl W. Schmidt Jr. Photographs
circa 1930s–1940s

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Kelly McAnnaney (2008); migrated to ArchivesSpace by Joseph Ditta (2020)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 16, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Schmidt, Carl W., Jr., 1916-1996
Title: Carl W. Schmidt Jr. photographs
Dates [inclusive]: circa 1930s–1940s
Abstract: Photographs taken throughout New York State—in the Adirondacks, at Montauk, Jones Beach, and Roosevelt Field on Long Island—and in New York City, where the bulk of the collection centers on the construction and completed attractions of the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. Includes views of George Washington's Mount Vernon, and a number of images of ships at sea.
Quantity: 0.71 Linear feet in 1 box (123 photoprints: gelatin silver; 7 x 10 inches or smaller).
Language: The documents in the collection are in English.
Call Phrase: PR-275

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Biographical note

Carl W. Schmidt Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1916. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1936 and served until 1957. After retiring from the Coast Guard he moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he lived with his wife Rita and their seven children. In Florida Schmidt worked as a carpenter into his sixties. Along with photography, he had passions for model trains and planes, which are evident in his photographs. Schmidt died in Florida in 1996.

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Scope and Contents

The Carl W. Schmidt Jr. Photographs span from the 1930s through the 1940s. The collection contains snapshots primarily of transportation, planes, trains, and ships, as well as photographs of the 1939 World's Fair. The collection contains 123 gelatin silver prints ranging in size from 2 3/4 x 4 inches to 7 x 10 inches.

Photographs of New York State include images of St. Regis Mountain and Whiteface Mountain, part of the Adirondack Mountains. Long Island images include the Jones Beach water tower and East Bathhouse, and Montauk Point beach and lighthouse. A large number of Long Island photographs were taken at Roosevelt Field and feature a variety of airplanes at the airfield. Manhattan images show the city viewed from the Empire State Building as well as an image of the Empire State building from the street. One image of Jamaica, Queens shows a snow-covered house. Mount Vernon images show George Washington's home and burial site.

The bulk of the images in this collection were taken at the 1939 World's Fair. Two photographs show the location as construction of the fair site had just begun. Included in general views of the fair is a small panorama, made from three photographs, showing the entire fair site. Other photos show many of the pavilions, the Trylon and Perisphere, and several night views. Also included are many of the railroad engines on display.

Unidentified locations contain mainly images of ships at sea. One particularly interesting image shows the U.S.S. Dirigible Akron moored to the U.S.S. Patoka. This folder also contains an image of an oil derrick.


Photographs are grouped alphabetically by location.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Gelatin silver prints.
  • Photographic prints.

Subject Organizations

  • Floyd Bennett Field (New York, N.Y.) -- Photographs
  • New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.) [111] -- Photographs
  • Roosevelt Field (Airport : Garden City, N.Y.) -- Photographs

Subject Topics

  • Airplanes -- Photographs
  • Locomotives -- Photographs
  • Transportation -- Photographs

Subject Places

  • Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.) -- Photographs.
  • Jamaica (New York, N.Y.) -- Photographs
  • Jones Beach State Park (N.Y.) -- Photographs
  • Montauk Point (N.Y.) -- Photographs
  • Mount Vernon (Va. : Estate) -- Photographs
  • New York (N.Y.) -- Photographs.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, contact the Print Room Librarian at

Use Restrictions

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to 20 exposures of stable, unbound material per day. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

The collection should be cited as: Carl W. Schmidt Jr. Photographs, PR-275, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Claire Griswold and Tom Schmidt, 2008.

Processing Information

Kelly McAnnaney processed this collection in September 2008. Joseph Ditta migrated her WORD-document finding aid to ArchivesSpace in July 2020.

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Container List

Photographic prints

Scope and Contents

123 prints, 7 x 10 inches or smaller.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 New York State—Adirondack Mountains

Scope and Contents

Includes St. Regis Mountain and Whiteface Mountain.

Box: 1 Folder : 2 New York State—Long Island—Jones Beach

Scope and Contents

Includes images of the Jones Beach water tower and East Bathhouse.

Box: 1 Folder : 3 New York State—Long Island—Montauk Point

Scope and Contents

Includes images of the beach and lighthouse.

Box: 1 Folder : 4 New York State—Long Island—Roosevelt Field

Scope and Contents

Includes images of a variety of planes at the airfield.

Box: 1 Folder : 5 New York City—Brooklyn—Floyd Bennett Field
Box: 1 Folder : 6 New York City—Manhattan

Scope and Contents

Includes views taken from the Empire State Building as well as an image of the Empire State Building from the street.

Box: 1 Folder : 7 New York City—Queens—Flushing—World's Fair, construction
Box: 1 Folder : 8-9 New York City—Queens—Flushing—World's Fair, general

Scope and Contents

Includes a small panorama, made from three photographs, showing the entire fair site.

Box: 1 Folder : 10 New York City—Queens—Flushing—World's Fair, railroads

Scope and Contents

Includes shots of railroad engines on display at the fair.

Box: 1 Folder : 11 New York City—Queens—Jamaica


Includes one view of a snow-covered house.

Box: 1 Folder : 9 [12?] Virginia—Mount Vernon

Scope and Contents

Images of George Washington's home and burial site.

Box: 1 Folder : 10 [13?] Unidentified locations

Scope and Contents

Contains mainly images of ships at sea, one of which shows the U.S.S. Dirigible Akron moored to the U.S.S. Patoka. Another shows an oil derrick.

[circa 1930s], undated

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