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Guide to the Edward Wenzel Photographs
1892-1925
  PR 74

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Lucas Buresch

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 07, 2022
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wenzel, Edward (photographer)
Title: Edward Wenzel photographs
Dates [inclusive]: 1892-1925
Abstract: The collection is comprised of photographs and glass plate negatives of sites associated with the American Revolutionary War, primarily in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Quantity: 3.56 Linear feet (11 boxes)
Language: The material in the collection is photographic, but any text is in English.
Call Phrase: PR 74

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Biographical Note

Edward Wenzel only listed himself as a photographer in the New York City directories for 1896 and 1897, although dates on the photographs indicate his activity spanned at least 1892 to 1925. He also shared an interest in the Revolutionary War era with active Society member and archaeologist William L. Calver. Some of Wenzel's early negatives depict areas of upper Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island at a time period little-represented in the Society's files. Most of the photographs portray buildings and sites associated with the Revolutionary War era in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia regions.

Sources: Zinkham, Helena. A Guide to Print, Photograph, Architecture & Ephemera Collections at the New-York Historical Society. (New York: New-York Historical Society, 1998.)

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Scope and Content Note

The Edward Wenzel Photographs primarily contain photographs and glass plate negatives of sites and buildings associated with the American Revolutionary War in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York City, Westchester County, New York, and Pennsylvania and spans the period from 1892-1925, although the majority are undated. The current glass plate negative jackets are made from photocopies of the original negative jackets and bear N-YHS negative numbers that span from 748-843, 1051-1096, and 1180-1215. Some of the negatives also have numbers given by Wenzel, spanning 1-177. The collection is divided into three series: Photographs; Negatives; and Envelopes.

Arrangement

Arranged by material format and geographic place name.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Cyanotypes
  • Glass negatives.
  • negatives (photographs)
  • Photographic prints.

Subject Topics

  • Farms -- New York (State).
  • Historic buildings -- New York (State).
  • Historic sites -- New York (State).
  • Gangs -- New York (State).
  • Ramapo Mountain people.
  • Streets -- New York (State).

Subject Places

  • Fifth Avenue (New York, N.Y.)
  • Harlem River (N.Y.)
  • Hudson River (N.Y. and N.J.)
  • Inwood (New York, N.Y.)
  • Lakehurst (N.J.)
  • Manhattan (New York, N.Y.)
  • New Jersey.
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
  • Ramapo Mountains (N.Y.)
  • Spuyten Duyvil (New York, N.Y.)
  • Staten Island (New York, N.Y.)
  • United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783.
  • Washington Heights (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

For more information on making arrangements to consult the collection, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

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, rightsandrepro@nyhistory.org. 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: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Edward Wenzel Photographs, PR 74, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.

Related Material at the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

Photographs of the areas and during the same time periods covered in Wenzel's photographs can also be found in the Robert L. Bracklow Photograph Collection (PR 8), the Geographic File (PR 20), the George P. Hall & Son Photograph Collection (PR 24), and the H.N. Tiemann & Co. Photograph Collection (PR 129).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from William L. Calver in 1924, with additions from Edward Wenzel in 1925. Three additional photographs were donated by Corinne Nevelson in 1981.

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Container List

Series I: Photographs

Scope and Contents note

Series I. Photographs contains silver gelatin and cyanotype prints of various historic locations. The series is divided into two subseries: 4 x 5 Inch Prints and 5 x 7 Inch Prints, which are further arranged by location.

Subseries I.A. 4 x 5 Inch Prints contains silver gelatin prints of sites in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Images in Connecticut include several view of General Israel Putnam's Homestead in Greenwich. New Jersey locations include Washington Rock in Plainsfield, Washington's Headquarters in Somerville and Cornwallis' Lodge in Alpine. Pennsylvania images include monuments in Valley Forge, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the Barstram House all in Philadelphia.

The majority of photographs are New York State sites. Historic homes include Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, Hunt Mansion in Hunts Point, Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh and Stone House at West Haverstraw, where General Lafayette stayed during his return visit to the United States.

Along with images of buildings and historic locations in New York State, there are also portraits. These include several images of an unnamed "Ramapo Mountaineer Family," posed beside their primitive log home. There are also two photographs of James Johnson along with his family at their White Plains home. The note on the photograph identifies Johnson, an African American, as a former slave from Florida who, after escaping from his master, enlisted in the Navy and served in the Civil War.

Subseries I.B. 5 x 7 Inch Prints includes both silver gelatin and cyanotype prints that are 5 x 7 inches and larger, as well as 4 x 5 inch prints that are mounted on paper or board. Photographs contain images of sites in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. New Jersey images include the Aviation field at Lakehurst.

Photographs of Manhattan include one image of a shanty town at Fifth Avenue, north of 116th Street, taken in 1893. Other images include High Bridge, the Morris-Jumel House and Hamilton Grange.

Subseries I.A: 4 x 5 Inch Prints

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Connecticut
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Delaware
Box: 1 Folder : 3 New Jersey
Box: 1 Folder : 4 New York - Constitution Island
Box: 1 Folder : 5 New York - Continental Village
Box: 1 Folder : 6 New York - Croton-on-Hudson
Box: 1 Folder : 7 New York - Elmsford
Box: 1 Folder : 8 New York - New York - Bronx
Box: 1 Folder : 9 New York - New York - Bronx - Hunt's Point
Box: 1 Folder : 10 New York - New York - Manhattan
Box: 1 Folder : 11 New York - New York - Queens
Box: 1 Folder : 12 New York - New York - Staten Island
Box: 1 Folder : 13 New York - Newburgh
Box: 1 Folder : 14 New York - Orange County
Box: 1 Folder : 15 New York - Peekskill
Box: 1 Folder : 16 New York - Sleepy Hollow
Box: 1 Folder : 17 New York - Stony Point
Box: 1 Folder : 18 New York - Tappen
Box: 1 Folder : 19 New York - Tarrytown
Box: 1 Folder : 20 New York - Van Cortlandtville
Box: 1 Folder : 21 New York - West Haverstraw
Box: 1 Folder : 22 New York - West Point
Box: 1 Folder : 23 New York - White Plains
Box: 1 Folder : 24 New York - Yonkers
Box: 1 Folder : 25 New York - Miscellaneous
Box: 1 Folder : 26 New York - Portraits
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Pennsylvania

Subseries I.B. 5 x 7 Inch Prints

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 28 New Jersey
Box: 2 Folder : 29 New York - New York - Bronx
Box: 2 Folder : 30 New York - New York - Manhattan
Box: 2 Folder : 31 New York - New York - Staten Island
Box: 2 Folder : 32 Pennsylvania

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Series II: Negatives

Scope and Contents note

Series II. Negatives is arranged into subseries: 4 x 5 Inch Negatives, 5 x 7 Inch Negatives, 5 x 8 Inch Negatives, and 8 x 10 Inch Negatives, each of which is arranged by geographic location.

The subjects covered include historic buildings in New York City such as the Century or Nagel House in Inwood, the Dyckman House in Inwood, Fort Tryon Park, Hamilton Grange and St. Luke's Episcopal Church, the home of the High Rock Gang at Fifth Avenue and 116th Street, the burying ground and Hunt Mansion at Hunts Point, the Morris-Jumel House, the Poe Cottage in Fordham, the Schenk House in Jamaica Queens, Split Rock at Pelham Bay Park, the Van Cortlandt House and Mill at Van Cortlandt Park. Staten Island sites include the Billop House, Cement House, Cubberly House, Fountain House, Gifford House, Guyon-Clark House, Kreutzen-Pelton House, Lake-Tysen House, Latourette Farm, and St. Andrews Church.

The collection also contains a dozen views of the Inwood neighborhood in Manhattan, views of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek and Spuyten Duyvil Ship Canal during construction, High Bridge, and the Washington Bridge.

Photographs of historic buildings outside of New York City include Washington's Headquarters and the Wick House in Morristown, New Jersey, Van Cortlandt Manor House on the Croton River in Harmon, New York, Washington's Headquarters at Newburgh, New York, the Old Dutch Church and Philipsburgh Manor in Sleepy Hollow, New York, the old '76 Stonehouse in Tappan, New York, West Point, Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. Also included are views of the Benedict Arnold House, Carpenters' Hall, and Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Subseries II.A: 4 x 5 Inch Negatives

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 3 Connecticut - Greenwich
Box: 3 Delaware - Wilmington
Box: 3 New Jersey - Alpine
Box: 3 New Jersey - Bound Brook
Box: 3 New Jersey - Dunellen
Box: 3 New Jersey - Hewitt
Box: 3 New Jersey - Plainfield
Box: 3 New Jersey - Somerville
Box: 3 New York - Anthony's Nose
Box: 3 New York - Cold Springs
Box: 3 New York - Constitution Island
Box: 3 New York - Continental Village
Box: 3 New York - Croton
Box: 3 New York - Eastchester
Box: 3 New York - Elmsford
Box: 3 New York - Hessian Lake
Box: 3 New York - Newburgh
Box: 3 New York - New Rochelle
Box: 3 New York - New York
Box: 3 New York - New York - Brooklyn - Sheepshead Bay
Box: 3 New York - New York - Bronx
Box: 3 New York - New York - Bronx - Hunts Point
Box: 3 New York - New York - Bronx - Pelham Bay Park
Box: 3 New York - New York - Bronx - Van Cortlandt Park
Box: 3 New York - New York - Manhattan - Riverside Park
Box: 3 New York - New York - Queens
Box: 3 New York - New York - Staten Island
Box: 3 New York - New York - Staten Island - Tottenville
Box: 4 New York - North White Plains
Box: 4 New York - Orange County - Sterling Lake
Box: 4 New York - Peekskill
Box: 4 New York - Rockland County - Ramapo Mountains
Box: 4 New York - Sleepy Hollow
Box: 4 New York - Stony Point
Box: 4 New York - Storm King Mountain
Box: 4 New York - Tappan
Box: 4 New York - Tarrytown
Box: 4 New York - Valhalla
Box: 4 New York - Van Cortlandtville
Box: 4 New York - Verplanks Point
Box: 4 New York - West Haverstraw
Box: 4 New York - West Point
Box: 4 New York - White Plains
Box: 4 New York - Willets Point
Box: 4 New York - Yonkers
Box: 4 Miscellaneous
Box: 5 Pennsylvania - Philadelphia
Box: 5 Pennsylvania - Valley Forge

Subseries II.B: 5 x 7 Inch Negatives

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 5 Connecticut - New London
Box: 5 Pennsylvania - Germantown
Box: 5 Pennsylvania - Philadelphia
Box: 5 Pennsylvania - Wilkes Barre
Box: 5 New Jersey - Elizabeth
Box: 5 New Jersey - Lakehurst
Box: 6 New Jersey - Maplewood
Box: 6 New Jersey - Morristown
Box: 6 New Jersey - Redbank
Box: 6 New York - Harmon
Box: 6 New York - New York - Bronx - Van Cortlandt Park
Box: 6 New York - New York - Brooklyn
Box: 6 New York - New York - Queens - Jamaica
Box: 6 New York - New York - Spuyten Duyvil

Subseries II.C: 5 x 8 Inch Negatives

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 7 Hudson River - British Convict Ship "Success"
Box: 7 New York - Bronx
Box: 7 New York - Bronx - Pelham Bay Park

Subseries II.D: 8 x 10 Inch Negatives

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 7 New York - New York - Bronx
Box: 7 New York - New York - Bronx - Van Cortlandt Park
Box: 7 New York - New York - Manhattan
Box: 8 New York - New York - Manhattan - Bowery
Box: 8 New York - New York - Manhattan - Harlem
Box: 8 New York - New York - Manhattan - Harlem River
Box: 9 New York - New York - Manhattan - Inwood Valley
Box: 9 New York - New York - Manhattan - Spuyten Duyvil
Box: 9 New York - New York - Queens
Box: 9 New York - New York - Queens - Astoria

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Series III: Envelopes

Scope and Contents note

Series III. Envelopes contains envelopes which once housed the 4 x 5 inch photographs. Each envelope has a handwritten description of the photograph as well as a negative number and a print number, assigned by Wenzel. The information from these envelopes has been transcribed on the reverse of each photograph, when it had not already been written by the photographer. However, in some cases, text on the photograph differs from the envelope. Also, there were several envelopes that did not contain prints. The envelopes were retained to preserve this information. Envelopes are arranged numerically by the photographer assigned print number. There are two negative sleeves, which are housed at the end.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 10 Folder : 33 Prints 1-20
Box: 10 Folder : 34 Prints 21-40
Box: 10 Folder : 35 Prints 41-60
Box: 10 Folder : 36 Prints 61-80
Box: 11 Folder : 37 Prints 81-96
Box: 11 Folder : 38 Prints 116-130
Box: 11 Folder : 39 Prints 131-150
Box: 11 Folder : 40 Prints 151-156
Box: 11 Folder : 41 Negatives 738 & 837

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