Saturday, November 21, 2009

Honey Fitz Runs for Mayor

John Fitzgerald Campaign Photo 1905John F. Kennedy's grandfather, John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, ran for mayor of the city of Boston in 1905. The special election had been precipitated by the sudden death of Mayor Patrick Collins in September. Fitzgerald won the Democratic primary eight weeks later, and then defeated his opponent, the highly respected speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Louis Frothingham, in the general election.

This cardboard photograph with his campaign slogan at the bottom, "The People not the Bosses Should Rule," was handed out to voters during the campaign.

One of the new campaigning techniques used by Fitzgerald was the motorcade. The Boston Globe describes the night before the primary when Fitzgerald and his retinue zoomed about the city in the rain in a parade of six automobiles. They stopped in each of the city's 25 wards for the energetic Fitzgerald to say a few words, often to huge crowds.

Fitzgerald won the primary against the candidate of the ward bosses, Ned Donovan. Ned was a close friend of ward boss Martin Lomasney, and when Donovan lost the primary, Lomasney refused to support Fitzgerald in the general election.

On the night before the election, Lomasney called his followers to a meeting where he announced: "I'm not going to lay down and be with the gang that has done such a job on us. Now I am going the put the lights out for two minutes. I haven't had time to check up to see who is here and who is not. If anybody here doesn't want to go through with me, just slide out in the dark and there'll be no hard feelings." Lomasney put out the lights, and two minutes later not a soul had moved. On election day, Lomasney's ward supported Frothingham--the first time it had voted Republican in recent memory.

NOTE: For more information on Martin Lomasney, click here to read my earlier post.

Illustration Credits and References

The campaign photo is part of the collection at the JFK Library in Boston.

The story of Lomasney's election eve speech is recounted in Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Phone in Every Room!

Castle Square Hotel, Boston 1905
Here is an ad from a January, 1905 edition of the Boston Globe, touting the features of the 500-room Castle Square Hotel, at the time the largest hotel in the city.

$1 a day for singles with shared bath, $2 a day for a double with a private bath, and $3 a day for a suite. And. . . a combination house and long distance phone in every room! (I was actually surprised there were fully telecommunicating hotels this early.....)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mary Ware Dennett

Mary Ware DennettWomen artists in 1905 were often on the forefront of movements for social change. Mary Ware Dennett used her own personal experiences as an artist, wife, and mother, to advocate for sex education and birth control at a time when such support was considered extremely controversial.

Mary Ware was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1874, and moved with her family to Boston after the death of her father. She attended the school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts from 1891-1893, and took a position as head of the Department of Design and Decoration at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (now Drexel University) when she was 20. After three years there, she and her sister Clara went to Europe to travel and study. They acquired some samples of Cordovan leather hangings, and revived the craft, teaching themselves how to make these pieces. On their return to Boston, they opened a handicrafts store, which later came part of the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts which Mary helped found. Mary continued to serve as the Artistic Director for the shop.

Mary's goal for the SAC was to help garner financial independence for arts and crafts workers. But the board of the SAC was more interested in guiding consumer tastes, and insisted on taking a commission from the artists who sold their work at the store; this made it difficult for them to make a profit.

In January, 1905, Mary would resign from the Society's Governing Council in protest. (Of course, there are two sides to every story, and the Society apparently needed the money. 1905 also marked the year that sales in the store were large enough, at $37,000, to permit the Society to achieve its own financial independence.)

In 1900, Mary married Hartley Dennett, a Boston architect. They seemed to have an ideal partnership--Mary was an established professional at the time of her marriage, and she and Hartley worked together at first--she focused on the interior decoration of the houses her husband designed. But Mary found herself derailed by pregnancy, bearing three children in the first five years of her marriage, one of whom died as an infant. All three deliveries were difficult, and they took a toll on her health. After the birth of her third child in 1905, she suffered serious internal injuries and her doctors advised her to have no more children. But birth control was never discussed. The Dennetts, both in their early 30s, were educated, well-traveled, and progressive. But Mary later wrote: "I was utterly ignorant of the control of conception, as was my husband also. We had never had anything like normal relations, having approximated almost complete abstinence in the endeavor to space our babies."

Mary felt that the only alternative was to give up sex. Hartley was not about to follow suit, and in 1907, whhile Mary was in New York having surgery to repair the damage suffered after her last child, Hartley had an affair with one of his architectural clients.

When Mary discovered this, she determined to end the marriage, and was able to win custody of her two sons in 1909. The Dennetts were granted a divorce in 1913.

Mary had become involved with the woman suffrage movement in 1908, and in 1910 she took a job with the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and moved to New York City. After resigning from NAWSA in 1915, she joined Jessie Ashley and Clara Gruening Williams in founding the National Birth Control League (which would become the Voluntary Parenthood League in 1919).

Also in 1915, Mary wrote a pamphlet for her adolescent sons entitled "The Sex Side of Life". It explained reproduction in no-nonsense terms, and represented sex as a vital and joyous part of life. After privately distributing copies to friends and acquaintances for several years she published the pamphlet in 1918. Throughout the 1920s it was widely distributed to individuals, youth and church organizations, and state health departments.

In 1922, the Solicitor of the Post Office banned the pamphlet as obscene, and Mary Ware Dennett was put on trial in 1928 under the Comstock Law. (This refers to a law enacted by Congress in 1873, An Act for the Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use. Anthony Comstock was the head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, an organization financed by wealthy and influential New Yorkers. He and his organization lobbied hard for the bill, and, after it was enacted into law, Comstock was appointed special agent of the U.S. Post Office and charged with enforcing it, a position he held for 42 years.)

Mary was convicted and fined, but appealed the decision with the backing of the ACLU.

Two years later, the US Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comstock Law "must not be assumed to have been designed to interfere with serious instruction regarding sex matters." The Dennett case was part of a series of decisions that culminated in a 1936 ruling in United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries. This decision removed all federal bans on birth control materials and information as tools for medical professionals. However, contraception per se was not removed from the prohibitions of the Comstock Law until 1971.

Interestingly enough, the Comstock Law gave rise to George Bernard Shaw's coinage of the word "comstockery" in 1905, when Comstock attacked Shaw's play, Mrs. Warren's Profession, as "one of Bernard Shaw's filthy productions" by "this Irish smut dealer." In a letter to the New York Times on September 26, 1905, Shaw responded: "Comstockery is the world's standing joke at the expense of the United States."

George Bernard Shaw, Comstockery

Illustration Credits and References

Photo of Mary Ware Dennett from album page in the Carrie Chapman Catt Albums, part of the Carrie Chapman Catt Papers at Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections, album 5, “New York State and N.Y. City.”

Other sources for this article included:

Harvard University, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers, 1874-1944: A Finding Aid.

"Powders, Pills, Pessaries, Pamphlets, and the Post Office: The Struggle for Access to Sex Education and Birth Control," News From the Schlesinger Library, Spring 2009.

Christen, Richard S., "Julia Hoffman and the Arts and Crafts Society of Portland: An Aesthetic Response to Industrialization," Oregon Historical Quarterly, Volume 109, No. 4, Winter 2008.

Rengel, Marian, Encyclopedia of Birth Control, Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NECCO, Part 2

In my last post, I talked about the old NECCO factory that was built in 1902 in the Fort Point Channel area in Boston. On September 13, I was in Boston and went exploring with Dave to find the factory (and also to look for the Gillette factory which began operation in 1905).

I knew the factory was somewhere near the intersection of Summer and Melcher Streets, and right behind Melcher are two streets called Necco St. and Necco Ct. We located buildings on three of the four corners of that intersection that looked like the right era. We walked around, took pictures, and left. In the car on our way to find a bathroom and get something to eat, I was trolling the internet on my iPhone (something I seem to do pretty regularly these days!) and found a December 2008 document from the City of Boston entitled "The Fort Point Channel Landmark District Study Report." One of the many exciting facts contained in that report was a detailed description of the architecture of the Necco building, and its street address (253 Summer and 11-37 Melcher). Necco Factory, Boston, Built 1902 It turns out that the original factory building was a gorgeous, curving yellow brick building on Melcher that we had seen on our visit, but immediately rejected as being too elegant for a factory. Who knew? The buildings immediately behind it (which we had guessed were part of the Necco complex on our first visit, located as they were on 5 and 6 Necco Court) were also built for Necco, and connected to each other and to the main building by the four-storey green connectors you see in the photos below. However they were not there in 1905--they were constructed in 1907.
Back of Necco Factory, Built 1902
Back of Necco Factory, Built 1902
Note that the back of the Melcher Street building (which you can see at the right in the above photos) is red brick with smaller windows--not as fancy as the front! None of the buildings is identified with any kind of signage (at least that we could see) to indicate that this was the site of the former Necco factory. And to further complicate the issue, many of the buildings bore a sign identifying the year of construction and a B.W.Co. logo. The photos below are of the sign on the building that turned out to be the 1902 Necco factory.

Boston Wharf Co. Sign on Necco Factory

Boston Wharf Company sign on Necco Factory

It was actually the B.W.Co. sign that led me to the research that led me to the report that led us back to the right building. It turns out that the Boston Wharf Co. was a huge commercial development operation that built most of the buildings in the Fort Point Channel District.

According to the report:

The Fort Point Channel Landmark District (FPCLD) encompasses roughly 55 acres across the Fort Point Channel from downtown Boston. This area, including the land, was entirely developed by a single corporation. . . .The Boston Wharf Company initially specialized in the storage of sugar and molasses, and gradually expanded its interests to become a major developer of industrial and warehouse properties served by ships docking in Boston Harbor, and by the railroad. The Boston Wharf Company laid out and constructed streets which they named for company officers and prominent tenants, parceled out lots, and erected nearly all of the buildings in the FPCLD from the designs of their own staff architects.

Necco Factory and Fort Point ChannelThe last photo in this post is a shot of the Necco factory taken from the Summer Street bridge. It shows the side of the Necco building and Fort Point Channel itself, and you can see the Gillette factory site just behind the smokestack on the right side of the photo. (Gillette is still there today--having surrounded what I think is their original 1906 factory with many additional buildings over the years.)

Necco and Gillette took advantage of their location on the water, and right near the brand new South Station railyard, to ship their products nationally and internationally.

The American Sugar Refining Co. also built a plant in the Fort Point Channel area in 1902 to manufacture Domino sugar. Probably not a coincidence that Necco was located hard by the sugar factory!

Today the Boston HarborWalk runs through the basement of the old Necco building, connecting the waterfront along the more inland part of the channel with the area around the Courthouse Plaza and beyond.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New England Confectionery Company (NECCO)

The New England Confectionery Company was formed in 1901 when three pre-Civil War candy companies merged. Chase & Company, Hayward & Company, and Wright & Moody, all founded in the 1840s and 1850s, joined forces and built a huge manufacturing plant in Boston at the corner of Summer and Melcher, along the Fort Point Channel. (I would imagine it was located somewhere near the intersection of what are now Necco Street and Necco Court--I'll investigate on my next trip to Boston!)

When it was completed in 1902, the new plant was the largest factory devoted exclusively to confectionary manufacture in the US--it occupied four five-story buildings and took up five acres of floor space.

Two of the first products to roll out of the new factory were Sweethearts Conversation Hearts and the newly-rechristened NECCO Wafers. Both were made from the same batter--the wafers (previously called Peerless Wafers) had first been introduced to the public in 1847 by Oliver Chase--whose premier accomplishment was the invention of a lozenge-cutting machine.

Sweethearts (previously known as Motto Hearts) had started out looking more like fortune cookies with a "motto" stuffed into a candy shell. Then Oliver Chase's brother, David, began experimenting with printing the sayings directly on the candies. In the new plant, the candies were rebranded and assumed the shape and size they still retain today.

By 1904, NECCO candies were sold in every U.S. state, as well as in England, Europe, Australia, and South America. And during 1904 and 1905, NECCO began advertising with display cards in magazines.

In 1905, NECCO introduced a new candy known as Peach Blossoms--peanut butter in a crunchy peach-colored shell. Like the conversation hearts and wafers, this product is still available today.

In 1906, NECCO would go on to demonstrate its forward-thinking attitude and caring approach to its employees by introducing a profit-sharing plan for workers. After a quarter-century in their Boston plant, the company would move to Cambridge, where it occupied an iconic location on Massachusetts Avenue from 1927-2003, and then to Revere where it is currently located.

Today, NECCO produces 4 billion NECCO Wafers and 8 billion Sweethearts each year, using plants in Louisiana and Wisconsin in addition to the Revere plant. Other brands under the NECCO umbrella include Mary Janes, Clark Bar, Sky Bar, Haviland chocolate products, Candy Cupboard, and Canada Mints.


Much of the history in this post comes from the NECCO web site.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Paul Revere House

Paul Revere House 1905Sometimes it takes a while for a historical site to get respect! This postcard shows Boston's Paul Revere House in historic North Square in the North End of Boston in 1905. At the time it served as Banca Italiana and a cigar emporium by the name of F.A. Goduti & Co.

The North End of Boston had become a "Little Italy" during the previous couple of decades. Its population of approximately 25,000 had shifted from 4% Italian (and 85% Irish) in 1880 to 60% Italian in 1900 to 80% Italian by 1905.

Banca Italiana was one of many banks that served the growing immigrant community. One of its customers might have been Pietro Pastene's food shop, located right around the corner at 69-75 Fulton Street, which would someday became the giant Pastene Corporation, still today one of the country's oldest continuously operated family businesses.

The house had been built in 1680, and owned by Paul Revere and his family from 1770-1800. Then the house was sold out of the family, and became a tenement with ground floor shops.

In 1902, Revere's great-grandson, John P. Reynolds, Jr., purchased the building to protect it from demolition. Over the next few years, enough money was raised by the newly formed Paul Revere Memorial Association to renovate the building, and it opened as a museum in April, 1908. It was one of the first historic homes so preserved and opened to the public in the United States.

Click on the link in the first paragraph of this post to see the house as it looks today; you'll notice that the third story in the 1905 photo has been removed and replaced with the sloping roof.


I'm currently reading Stephen Puleo's The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, from the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007) which inspired this post.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Popular Music in 1905 - Listen!

Early Gramophone
1905 was an exciting time in the world of American popular music, with new inventions and new styles rapidly changing rules and tastes.

The first gramophone, playing 78 rpm records, was introduced by Emile Berliner in 1887. This machine was a big improvement on Edison's wax cylinder phonograph, since it could play almost four minutes of music.

When the sheet music for After the Ball was published in 1892, it sold a million copies, and this phenomenon is often credited as being the beginning of American commercial "popular music". Billboard Magazine started publishing charts of music sales in 1894.

The sheet music for Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag was published in 1899 and become another million-copy seller--the first piece of instrumental music to achieve this status. The Cakewalk, a syncopated couples' dance, and the first black dance to be adopted by white audiences, became wildly popular in 1900.

Emile Berliner founded the record label Victor Talking Machines in 1901, the same year that the first 88-key player piano was built by Melville Clark.

Meanwhile, improvizational brass bands, and ragtime and honky-tonk blues piano players, were establishing themselves in the streets and clubs of New Orleans in the first decade of the century.

Give My Regards to Broadway Sheet MusicAmerican vaudeville was evolving into the American musical revue and the great American musical theatre. George M. Cohan introduced his first Broadway musical in 1901, and in late 1905 he was putting the finishing touches on Forty Five Minutes from Broadway, which would open on January 1, 1906. Flo Ziegfeld would debut his Follies in 1907.

The "barbershop" quartet was just becoming popular; Sweet Adeline was first recorded by a quartet in 1904.

Irving Berlin was a saloon busker in the Bowery in 1905; he would go on to write Alexander's Ragtime Band in 1911.

In 1900, most Americans who were interested in popular music were interested in buying sheet music, and playing/singing at home. By 1910, Americans wanted to dance! In 1905, both trends were alive.

So what were the top charters in 1905? Here are a few you might still remember; all of these were listed in the Billboard top singles of 1905.

Billy MurrayClick here to hear a 1906 recording of Billy Murray singing Give My Regards to Broadway, from George M. Cohan's 1904 musical Little Johnny Jones. NOTE: You'll have to click once more when you get to the website; this was the only one of all the songs in this post where I couldn't make the "embed" code work.

Click here to hear a 1905 recording of Arthur Collins singing Nobody, with music by Bert Williams and lyrics by Alex Rogers.

Click here to hear a 1912 recording of Billy Murray singing Erie Canal (Low Bridge, Everybody Down) by Thomas Allen. Around 1905, mule-powered barge traffic had converted to steam power and diesel was about to take over.

Click here to hear a 1906 recording of Billy Murray singing In My Merry Oldsmobile by Gus Edwards and Vincent Bryan.

Click here to hear a 1906 recording of Byron G. Harlan singing Wait 'Til the Sun Shines Nellie with music by Harry Von Tilzer and lyrics by Andrew B. Sterling. (Harlan often recorded and performed with Arthur Collins.)

Illustration Credits and References

Helpful data on the origins of various forms of American music can be found on Piero Scaruffi's website. He's authored a number of books on American music, including A History of Popular Music and A History of Jazz Music.

Information on the history of New Orleans music was found at

Wonderful images from the early years of American music can be found here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boston Suffrage Parade - May 2, 1914

British Suffrage Poster, Artists' Suffrage League, 1914NOTE: This event took place a few years off my target dates, but many of the women who marched in Boston in 1914 were already active in the woman suffrage movement, or other social movements, in 1905. What an amazing day this must have been for all involved!

On Saturday, May 2, 1914, American women from all across the country participated in a well-coordinated set of suffrage parades and meetings. A visit to Washington, DC was planned for the following Saturday, May 9, so that the various groups could present to Congress their petitions in support of a Federal suffrage amendment.

Boston was the location for one of the largest parades (and the first suffrage parade that had ever been held in Massachusetts). Various estimates put the number of marchers at somewhere between 9,000-15,000, and the number of spectators at 200,000-300,000. The crowd had been building all day--pouring into the city on trolleys and trains, carrying blankets and picnic lunches, and camping out on Back Bay doorsteps and on the Common until they took up their places all along the parade route by 4 p.m.

Suffrage Poster, World War I era, by Evelyn Rumsey CaryChief Marshal Frances Curtis led the parade on horseback along with eight mounted aides. The mile-long parade was a sea of white dresses adorned with yellow jonquils, narcissus, paper roses, badges and ribbons. Over 800 policemen had been assigned to keep order at the parade, and streetcars were diverted from the parade route.

At 5 p.m., down Beacon Street from Massachusetts Avenue they came, well-known suffragists and college girls, elaborate floats, 13 bands, two hundred automobiles, and contingents of male supporters. The temperature was in the low sixties, and the weather sunny and breezy; the women marched with a noted seriousness of purpose.

They passed in review before Governor Walsh and Lt. Governor Barry, who stood at attention in top hats and overcoats on the State House on Beacon Hill, under the gleaming gold dome. (Former mayor "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, John F. Kennedy's grandfather, was also present on the State House steps.) They then passed before Mayor and Mrs. Curley who awaited them in front of City Hall.

The parade marchers then looped around the business district, and returned to conclude at the Tremont Temple.

Suffrage Poster, New York, 1917The opening division of the parade included well-known suffragists--both local and national. Alice Stone Blackwell, daughter of well-known abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone, and a prominent suffragist in her own right, was one of the leaders.

Local artist and Smith College graduate Blanche Ames, who had worked since 1903 providing beautiful illustrations for her husband's seven-volume study of orchids, marched with the parade committee. (Her husband was Harvard botany professor Oakes Ames who also marched in the parade--but in a different division.) In 1915, Blanche would produce a widely noted series of suffrage cartoons, and the following year, in 1916, she would go on to co-found the Massachusetts Birth Control League.

Thirty ushers marched wearing red and white striped gowns, and blue caps and shoulder capes. Representatives of countries where women already had the vote (or at least partial suffrage) marched in their national costumes; according to the Boston Sunday Globe, the "Finnish and Galician peasants" marched "with their hair unbound and floating free."

The second division included women from 80 Massachusetts cities and towns. The women from Concord and Lexington were accompanied by "Spirit of '76" musicians. Fifty Brookline women rode on horseback. One contingent of women carried a banner that read: "It takes a woman to make a flag."

The third division was headed by the Junior Suffrage League, led by Louis Brandeis' daughter Elizabeth, who would start on the the path to her long and illustrious career in economics and labor law as a Radcliffe student that September. (Her father would be named to the Supreme Court while she was still in college.) Self-supporting women came next, and then the professional women starting with stenographers and business women, then architects and artists, doctors and dentists, lawyers, musicians, nurses, teachers, writers, and actresses. Doctors and lawyers wore caps and gowns.

Suffragette Madonna, Anti-suffrage Postcard, 1909 "Self-supporting women" included Margaret "Maggie" Foley, an outspoken Irish Catholic who'd joined the Hat Trimmers' Union, started organizing women workers in a hat factory, become a well-known labor organizer, and and had started working for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association in 1906. She was known as "The Grand Heckler", and the applause that greeted her appearance, as she stood in the middle of a touring car, holding an immense red rose in her left hand and waving a white scarf with her right, was thunderous. (The red rose was the symbol of the anti-suffragists; she was clearly taunting them!)

Artists marching included sculptor Anne Whitney, whose statue of Sam Adams adorns Statuary Hall at at the Capitol Building in Washington. Anne was 93, and still active in the arts. She had been a well-known abolitionist in the pre-Civil War era, and, like many women abolitionists, had turned her attention to freedom for women after the War. (She would die less than eight months later, leaving $1,000 in her will to Alice Stone Blackwell "for use in the suffrage movement.")

Lawyers included Alice Parker Lesser, who had been admitted to the bar in Massachusetts in 1890--the first year women were allowed entry; click here to read a previous post on what Alice was doing in 1905.

Writers were accompanied by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, George Bernard Shaw's wife.

The fourth division included clubs, unions, and associations, the Massachusetts Men's League for Woman Suffrage, the College Men's Suffrage League (including 500 male Harvard students), college faculty members (women and men) in caps and gowns, and undergraduate women from Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Simmons, Smith, Wellesley, MIT, Tufts, and Boston University. (The last three were coeducational by this time; BU had been the first university in the U.S. to open all of its programs to women.)

The sun set at 6:45 p.m., but still the marchers came; it was past 7 by the time the parade wrapped up. Then many of the marchers headed to the Tremont Temple for sandwiches and a program of speakers and ceremonies.

The write-up in the next day's Boston Sunday Globe, entitled "Women Give Great Parade" was the front-page story. The sub-heads tell it all: "Nearly 12,000 in Striking Appeal for Ballot." "Earnest Marchers Win Favor with Surging Crowds." "Finish at Tremont Temple Rally in Spirit of Exaltation."

Illustration Credits and References

Much of the information in this post comes from the May 3, 1914 front-page story in the Boston Sunday Globe. Photographs accompanied the article but the scan quality was very poor, and I couldn't find other photographs online from the Boston event. I've therefore illustrated with suffrage posters from the era.

The first illustration is a British poster from the Artists' Suffrage League, circa 1914.

The second is an American World War One era poster designed by Evelyn Rumsey Cary, a Buffalo, NY artist.

The third is a poster from a 1917 New York suffrage campaign.

The final illustration is a postcard entitled "Suffragette Madonna" from 1909--it was used by the anti-suffrage folks, who believed (among other things) that woman suffrage would somehow "feminize" men.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sarah Choate Sears and John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Sarah Choate Sears by John Singer SargentPortrait of Sarah Choate Sears by John Singer Sargent, 1889.

I continue to explore women artists; today's post is about Sarah Choate Sears, a wealthy Boston woman, with money on both sides of the family. (On her engagement to Joshua Montgomery Sears at the age of 19 (1877), she received a diamond necklace from him as an engagement gift which had a purported value at the time of $50,000!)

Sarah was a collector and patron of the arts, but also a talented watercolorist and photographer. She had studied with Dennis Miller Bunker at the Cowles Art School, taken private lessons with various Boston artists, and attended the Boston MFA School for several years. She had won prizes for her watercolor portraits at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, and at the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Photograph of Helen Sears by Sarah Choate SearsPortrait of Helen Sears by Sarah Choate Sears, 1895.

She had taken up photography in the 1890s, and used her camera for the same subjects as her watercolor painting--portraits and still lifes. She had produced photo portraits of many Bostonians, including a series of photographs of her daughter, Helen, who had been born in 1889.

Sarah was one of the founders of the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston in 1897, and had shown her photographic work in exhibitions there, as well as at the Boston Camera Club. In the early years of the 20th century, her photographs were exhibited in London and Paris, and in 1904 she was invited to be a fellow in Alfred Stieglitz's Photo-Secession group in New York. (Stieglitz himself owned her photo portrait of Julia Ward Howe.) The stage was set for her to establish herself as one of the most outstanding American photographers of the era, but her husband died after a debilitating illness in June of 1905. Having to take over responsibilities for his estate, and with a daughter still at home, she gave up artistic photography (though she continued to produce portraits of family and friends).

Portrait of Helen Sears by Mary CassattPortrait of Helen Sears by Mary Cassatt, 1907.

She and Helen moved to Paris later in 1905. Sarah had been a long-time friend of Mary Cassatt, who gave Sarah a set of pastels (now owned by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts), and urged her to take up that genre. Sarah did so, and began to create bold, modernist pastels and watercolors of flowers, which she would exhibit well into the 1920s.

Sarah Choate Sears and John Singer Sargent

Photograph of John Singer Sargent by Sarah Choate SearsSarah Sears had most likely met the painter in Boston in the late 1880s. In 1889, he painted her portrait (shown at the beginning of this post), and in 1890 she returned the favor with the photographic portrait of him shown above.

Portrait of Helen Sears by John Singer SargentIn 1895 Sargent painted Sarah's daughter, Helen, in a very similar pose to the one Helen had struck in her mother's photographic portrait the same year, shown above. When Sarah sent Sargent a copy of the photo, he replied:

Many thanks for sending me the photographs. The new one of Helen has a wonderfully fine expression and makes me feel like returning to Boston and puffing my umbrella through my portrait. But how can an unfortunate painter hope to rival a photograph by a mother? Absolute truth combined with absolute feeling. [1]

Charcoal of Helen Sears by John Singer SargentIn 1912, Sargent produced a charcoal sketch of the 23-year-old Helen.


[1] Letter from John Singer Sargent dated August 7, 1895 and quoted in Erica E. Hirshler's A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940, Boston: MFA Publications, 2001.

Much of the information about Sarah Sears that appears in this post was also provided in the Hirshler book referenced above. I saw the exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in 2001 which was the book's companion and inspiration and bought the book there--little knowing I would return to this period with such interest 8 years later!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Kodak Girl

Kodak Girl in Holland, 1905 adKodak Girl in Japan, 1905 adIn 1888, George Eastman had developed the Kodak camera, designed to be both affordable and easy to use. And in 1893, at the Chicago World's Fair, he had introduced the "Kodak Girl" as the icon of the new camera's ad campaign.[1]

The Kodak Girl was young, pretty, energetic--an independent, outdoorsy single girl. (Eastman purportedly borrowed the name and concept from the popular "Gibson Girl" illustrations.) The two ads that accompany this post were from the 1905 campaign, and show the Kodak Girl(s) traveling in Holland and Japan.

Japan was an area of particular interest in the US in 1905 due to the emergence of Japan as a world power with its victory in the Russo-Japanese War. And Boston was no exception! From May 1-4, Isabella Stewart Gardner held a huge Japanese bazaar at Fenway Court, as part of a fundraiser for the Sharon Home for Consumptives. And on June 17, 1905, the closing day of the Country Club’s 24th annual race meeting, Mrs. Gardner “wore a handsome gown of black silk, strapped at the shoulders over a yoke of white lace” and was accompanied by “two Japanese gentlemen” in costume.

Illustration Credits and References

[1] The Kodak Girl image would survive until at least 1972, when Cybill Shepherd modeled for the campaign.

I found the two ad images in Advertising Ephemera Collection - Database #A0160, Emergence of Advertising On-Line Project, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

The Holland ad was drawn by Edward Penfield, and the Japan ad by C. Allan Gilbert.

The quotes describing Mrs. Gardner's wardrobe and companions on June 17th appeared in the Boston Globe on June 18, 1905.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Amy M. Sacker, Artist

Amy M. Sacker book cover for Under the Lilacs, AlcottIn a recent post, I wrote about the Boston 1905 census data on working women. In this and some future posts, I will focus on specific working women from that year.

My first subject is an artist named Amy M. Sacker. She was born in Boston in 1872 and studied at the School at the Museum of Fine Arts (which was then located in the basement of the Museum, in its Copley Square location).

Amy M. Sacker book cover for The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation, JohnstonShe won numerous prizes for her work at the School, and upon graduation began teaching decorative design at the Cowles Art School. When that school closed in 1900, Amy put plans in place to found her own school (The Miss Amy M. Sacker School of Design and Interior Decoration) the following year. She remained affiliated with the school for another 40 years. One measure of her school's appeal is the huge number of society weddings, announced in the pages of The New York Times and other newspapers, that listed the bride as a graduate of Sacker!

When the Society of Arts and Crafts was founded in Boston, Amy showed her book covers, bookplates, and illustrations at their first exhibit in 1897 (what is believed to be the first professional crafts exhibit in the U.S.). She remained affiliated with the SAC throughout her career. (The SAC is still active to this day, with a gallery on Newbury Street in Boston.)

Amy M. Sacker book cover for The Breath of the Gods, McCallAmy was a prolific book cover designer in the golden age of book cover design--the late 1890s and the first decade of the 20th century (after which paper jackets largely superseded the cloth covered bindings as a design element). She designed thousands of book covers during her career, and in 1905 she was designing for Little, Brown and L.C. Page in Boston (though she would move to Houghton Mifflin in 1907). Among her 1905 designs are the book covers shown throughout this post. Amy executed the popular floral designs of the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as heraldic designs, but she was one of the first to put figurative designs on book covers, as in two of these examples.

In 1905, her studio/school were located at 8 Beacon Street in Boston.

In addition to her school, and her book design work, she was also teaching at Simmons College in Boston by 1911, traveling to Europe to study, and creating pieces for exhibits.

She exhibited her work throughout her life; this photo shows her at an exhibit of her portrait work in 1949, when she was 77 years old!Amy M. Sacker portrait exhibit in 1949
Illustration Credits and References

All of the illustrations in this post, and much of the information about Amy Sacker, are courtesy of Mark Schumacher's terrific treasure trove on the website of the library of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, which includes biographical information researched by Anne O'Donnell.

Amy Sacker's designed The Breath of the Gods and Under the Lilacs for Little Brown; and The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation for L. C. Page.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Postscript: Bell and Keller

In a previous post I wrote of a letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Helen Keller in April, 1905. I recently discovered a copy of the actual letter in the Library of Congress collection of the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, and wanted to share it with you!

1905 Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Helen Kelleer

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Diary: July 4, 1905

Long Pond, Brewster, HarwichCynthia had returned from Boston to Cape Cod on June 17 to get the house ready for her parents (who were still at sea). She'd had a busy few weeks unpacking, airing out the house, washing and ironing curtains, and baking beans. There had been a graduation to attend on June 30, and she'd stayed up all night talking to Ben after the reception.

Here is her entry for July 4th, which sounds just like an entry that could have been made today! (Long Pond is the largest pond on the Cape, covering over 740 acres and split between the towns of Brewster and Harwich.)

Went up to Long Pond on picnic. Stayed and saw fireworks at night.

On July 5th, she would make the following entry:

Ben very cool to me now.

Not sure what happened between the pre-dawn hours of July 1, and four days later....

Illustration Credits and References

Photo courtesy of the Long Pond Watershed Association website.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Groton Redux

Theodore Roosevelt and Family in 1903In exploring the history of The Groton School in a recent post, I discovered that there were two well-documented punishments that the 6th form boys (the seniors) would administer to younger boys when they were considered to have broken the Groton code. These punishments were not officially sanctioned by Rector Peabody, but certainly allowed to go on without interference from him or the faculty.

One of these was called "boot boxing", where the offender was forced into his boot locker (a short locker for outdoor boots), and made to stay there, doubled up, for what might be hours.

The second was called "pumping". The miscreant was bent back over the edge of a trough in the laboratory, face up, and water was poured in his face from an open spigot to simulate drowning. There was a 10-second limit to the torture, but it could be conducted more than once on any given occasion.

Little Teddy Roosevelt, Jr., a few weeks before his father was inaugurated as Vice-President, was pumped for being “fresh and swell-headed.” Half-drowned but still spouting defiance after two immersions, he escaped being put under for a third time: the boys admired his pluck. Malcolm Peabody, the rector’s own son, was pumped because the older boys didn’t like his “tone.”[1]

These punishments were certainly still occurring in 1905, and for some years after that. No wonder waterboarding seems like a fine technique to men from the "old families". It was part of their prep school experience. . . .

Illustration Credits and References

The photo of the Roosevelt family was taken in 1903; young Teddy (several years after his "pumping") is standing just behind his father. Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, reproduction number LC-USZ62-113665.

[1]Kintrea, Frank. "'Old Peabo' and the School." American Heritage Magazine. 31.6 (1980).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Groton School and the Foreign Policy of FDR and Truman

Franklin Roosevelt on Horseback, Rhinebeck, New York 1905Early in 1905, Franklin Roosevelt took time away from his law studies at Columbia to pose for this photograph in Rhinebeck, New York. He and Eleanor were married on March 17 (Uncle Ted came up from DC to give the bride away) and after the school year was over the young couple spent the summer honeymooning in Europe. At the same time, many of the teenage boys who would later become instrumental in the formation and execution of American foreign policy during World War Two and its aftermath were studying at The Groton School, 40 miles west of Boston.

FDR was the old man of the group--23 by the date of his wedding. He'd graduated from Harvard in 1904, and Groton in 1900.

Francis Biddle (a senior at Groton in the spring of 1905, and a freshman at Harvard that fall) would go on to become FDR's wartime Attorney General (1941-1945) and was later appointed by Truman to serve as a judge at the Nuremberg Trials.

Dean Acheson arrived at Groton in the fall of 1905 as a twelve-year-old; he would go on to serve as Secretary of State under Truman from 1949-1953. He played a central role in the creation of many important institutions, including Lend Lease, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, NATO, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, and the early organizations that later became the European Union and the World Trade Organization. (HIs Groton claim to fame was finishing last in his class; Groton Rector and Headmaster Endicott Peabody repeatedly criticized Acheson's school performance. Purportedly, Peabody told Acheson's mother that he could not make a "Groton boy" out of her son, and Mrs. Acheson replied, "Dr. Peabody, I didn't send Dean here to have you make a 'Groton boy' out of him. I sent him here to be educated. . . . I will leave him here as long as I think you can succeed, though you give me considerable doubt.")

Sumner Welles was a year ahead of Acheson at Groton, where Eleanor Roosevelt's brother Hall was his roommate. He would take a break from his studies in March of '05 to travel to NYC and carry Eleanor's train at her wedding; Endicott Peabody was the minister at that happy occasion. Welles would become a foreign policy advisor to FDR and serve as under secretary of state from 1937-1943.

Averell Harriman was a year ahead of Welles. He would serve as a special envoy to Europe under FDR, and as Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1943-1946. He would continue to serve future presidents (JFK and LBJ) including a stint as the chief US negotiator at the Paris peace talks on Vietnam. (Harriman is famous at Groton for having, at the age of 13, communicated to his father, rail magnate E.H. Harriman, that Endicott Peabody "would be an awful bully if he weren't such a terrible Christian.")

It's hard not to think that something was in the air in the hills of Massachusetts in those first years of the new century that called all of those young men to public service. "If some Groton boys do not enter political life and do something for our land," said Rector Peabody, "it won't be because they have not been urged." And urge he did. Franklin Roosevelt said of Peabody, "As long as I live his influence will mean more to me than that of any other people next to my father and mother." Peabody would remain Headmaster at Groton until 1940, and live to see Roosevelt win all four presidential elections.

Illustration Credits and References

The photo at the top of this post is from the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

The story about Endicott Peabody and Mrs. Acheson is reported in a number of sources; I have used the version in James Chace's 1998 book, Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World.

The communication from Averell Harriman to his father is quoted in Rudy Abramson's 1992 book Spanning the Century: The Life of W. Averell Harriman 1891-1986.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Working Women, Part 2

Three women in an automobile, Chicago, 1905The employment of Boston women in 1905 was the subject of a recent post, with an emphasis on the broad range of work available to them. There were, however, a number of job categories which included NO women employees, and I've aggregated them below.

Government Mandate

There were obviously no women soldiers, sailors, or marines!

Building Trades

These jobs formed the largest block of professions not available to women in 1905. They included contractors, carpenters, plasterers, paperhangers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, copper workers, and masons. There were six brave women who listed their profession as painter/glazier/varnisher, and 26 women in miscellaneous woodworking jobs (though these could have been artisans rather than builders).

Work Involving Horses

Women on horseback at the Onwentsia Horse Show, Lake Forest, Illinois, 1905Women rode or drove horses in 1905, but apparently work involving horses was not considered appropriate. There were no women grooms, stable workers, livery stable keepers, or harness and saddle makers/repairers.

Seafaring Work

oman flyfishing, Chicago, 1905While women went to sea in this era with their husbands (Cynthia's mother was often at sea with Cynthia's captain-father), and went fishing privately (or canoeing with their boyfriends), they did not work in sea-related jobs. So there were no women fishermen (or oystermen!), boatmen, steamship employees, or vessel builders/repairers. Certainly, the seafaring jobs were subject to the same cultural restraints as military work--with resistance from the men themselves as well as from their wives.

Alcohol-Related Work

Women were apparently too pure and sensitive to work in alchohol-related professions. So there were no women brewers/maltsters or bartenders. (A number of women, however, were restaurant and saloon-keepers--apparently that was OK as long as you didn't get behind the bar!)

Other Work Considered Too Dangerous, Dirty, or Physical for Women

Women at the train station in Chicago 1905In this category I've included heavy duty manufacturing (carriage and wagon factory workers and steam boiler makers), transportation/telecommunications work (railway engineers, street railway employees, telegraph/telephone linemen, wheelwrights), and metal and machine workers (blacksmiths, gunsmiths, locksmiths, bellhangers, machinists, and mechanics). There were no women "porters and helpers (in stores, etc.)", since presumably this involved heavy lifting. There were also no women butchers or coopers (barrel makers).

Cultural Barriers

There were no women working as engineers and surveyors or as model and pattern makers (though there were a handful of women architects, designers, and draughtsmen). This work may have seemed more suited to the male "logical" mind, and certainly there would have been a barrier to the engineering work done as part of the building trades. It's probably also true that relatively few women were prepared mathematically for professions like these (a problem that unfortunately still persists in some forms today).

There were no women piano tuners. This seems surprising because of the large number of women working as musicians and music teachers.

A Modern Footnote

Some of the employment areas discussed above are still the most difficult for women to enter. Only 10-12% of engineers in the US are women. Only 3.5% of telephone linemen in Canada are women (couldn't find a US statistic, but I assume it's comparable). In the building trades, only 3% of jobs are held by women.

Illustration Credits and References

Census data from Census of the the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1905. Volume 2: Occupations and Defective Social and Physical Conditions.

The photographs were all taken in greater Chicago in 1905, and are from the Chicago Daily News Negative Collection. They are part of a wonderful collection of Chicago Daily News photographs that are accessible on the Library of Congress American Memory website. I'm assuming there are comparable Boston area photos--if you're aware of any, please let me know!

FIrst photo: Mrs. F. W. Hedgeland driving a car down a neighborhood street in Chicago with two women in the backseat. Credit: SDN-003345, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Second photo: Women on horses at the Onwentsia Horse Show in Lake Forest, Illinois. Credit: DN-0002809, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Third photo: Full-length portrait of Mrs. E. B. Bartholomew, Michigan, fly fisher, demonstrating casting in a park, in Chicago. Credit: SDN-003372, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Fourth photo: Club women standing in a train station in Chicago. Credit: DN-0002306, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Boston Museum of Fine Arts - John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent - An Artist in His StudioIn May, 1905, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston acquired John Singer Sargent's painting, An Artist in His Studio. The work had been painted the year before in a hotel room in the Italian Alps occupied by Sargent's friend Ambrogio Raffele. Raffele was working on a bucolic landscape in this makeshift "studio". Due to the cramped quarters, Raffele has propped his work-in-progress on the bed and desk, in lieu of an easel. And imagine that Sargent is also in this same small space with his paints and easel--capturing Raffele at work.

This painting was the first non-portrait of Sargent's to be purchased by an American museum. The MFA paid $1,039.53 for it! It would be the first of many, many landscapes and other non-portraits of Sargent's purchased by the Museum. If you're in Boston, you can view it in the Susan Morse Hilles Gallery of American Impressionism.

Illustration Credits and References

The image of the painting, as well as the information on the MFA's purchase, courtesy of the John Singer Sargent Gallery website and the MFA website.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Working Women, Part 1

Stenographers Room at Leland & Faulconer, Detroit, ca. 1905Women were employed in large numbers in Boston in 1905. Mas-sachusetts state census data from that year indicates that 41% of adult women were working, and in many categories of employment--some surprising, some not.

Chicago Nurse, 1905Nearly 40% of working women worked in "Domestic and Personal Service" (and that of course does not count all the women who were "not gainfully employed" as housewives!) It's important to note that this category includes not only household servants, but also nurses, midwives, waiters, launderers, office cleaners, and boarding house keepers--all common women's work of the era.

Another 28% worked in "Manufacturing and Mechanical Pursuits". Women formed the vast majority of sewing machine operators--making everything from men's shirts to ladies' dresses. They were also in the majority in the manufacture of clothing items (buttons, collars, cuffs, hosiery, lace, silk, and ladies' hats) and various household products (brooms and brushes, carpets, paper, paper boxes, books, candy, and canned meats and fruits.)

NCR workers, Dayton, Ohio, 1902
25% were employed in the "Trade and Transportation" category. This included women working throughout Boston's offices. Women constituted 89% of stenographers and typewriters, 71% of telephone and telegraph operators, 60% of bookkeepers and accountants, 20% of messengers and errand/office boys (!), 18% of clerks and copyists, and even 4% of "officials of banks and companies".

NCR Typewriting Department, Dayton, Ohio, 1902
And 7% were employed in "Professional Service" jobs, which included such disparate professions as actress, clergy, doctor, journalist, lawyer, "literary or scientific person", musician, and teacher. Nearly 20% of Boston's doctors were women in 1905, as well as 80% of the city's teachers and professors.

Only a handful of women worked in the two remaining categories. 98 Boston women were engaged in "Agricultural Pursuits", mostly as farm laborers, and 310 women worked as apprentices, primarily in textiles.

Illustration Credits and References

Census data from Census of the the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1905. Volume 2: Occupations and Defective Social and Physical Conditions.

The photograph at the top of this post was taken in the stenographers' room at Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing in Detroit, a company that produced automobile engines and merged with Cadillac in 1905 (shortly after this picture was taken). Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The photograph of the nurse is a Chicago Daily News photograph from 1905. Credit: DN-0002636, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

The two office photographs were taken at National Cash Register in Dayton, Ohio by American landscape photographer WIlliam Henry Jackson in 1902. The first is a scene in the Indicator Department and the second from the Typewriting Department.  Note the design of the workspaces, which featured lots of natural lighting and task lighting. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

NOTE:  NCR was founded in 1884, manufacturing the first mechanical cash registers. In 1906, they would introduce the first electric model. NCR still makes cash registers--among other things--only now they take the form of electronic point of sale systems, ATM machines, and check scanners!

Monday, June 1, 2009

"The Game": Harvard vs. Yale

Harvard Yale Football Game 1905One of the many Boston-area sports highlights that have survived from 1905 to the present day is the annual football game between Harvard and Yale. That year, "The Game" took place at the Harvard Stadium which was a spanking new facility--designed by the well-known architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White, and just completed in 1903. (Today, a venerable ivy-covered horseshoe, it is the nation's oldest stadium, and a National Historic Landmark.) The photo above was taken on November 25, 1905, when 43,000 spectators jammed the stands. (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

During its first 25 years in the game, Yale had lost only 10 times. Harvard had smarted under this dominance, especially after losing to Yale 12-0 in the 1904 game. So in 1905, Harvard hired WIlliam R. Reid to coach the team, and to establish a plan and a process for improving Harvard football so that Harvard could have a good shot at beating Yale--not just in 1905 but every year thereafter.

Bill Reid had played for the Harvard team during his freshman and sophomore years, and had led Harvard to victory over Yale in 1898, scoring two touchdowns. And the last time Harvard had beaten Yale had been when Reid coached the team (uncompensated) during the 1901 season while he was studying for a master of arts degree at the college.

Not surprisingly, Harvard saw Reid as the key to consistent victories over Yale, and hired the California prep school teacher in the spring of 1905 for what the New York Times called a "princely salary"--he was paid more than any other professor and in fact his salary approached that of Harvard President Charles W. Eliot.

Reid set about on a mission, which included a couple of innovations he introduced to the game of football--the development of the hand-off and the idea of a playbook. Reid wrote in his 1905 diary that "next year and hereafter it would be a good scheme . . . after the offense is planned . . . to start off the season with such a book".

Program for 1905 Harvard Yale GameUnfortunately, the Harvard team lost to Yale in 1905 by a score of 6-0, its fourth shut-out loss in a row. Controversy erupted during the game when Harvard player Francis Burr was smashed in the face by Yale tackler Jack Quill.

1905 was a tough year in U.S. football--by the end of the season three college players had been killed due to the violence of the game (mass formations and gang tackling were commonplace), and scores more seriously injured. During October, US President Theodore Roosevelt (Harvard '80) had called together the coaches of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to help figure out a way to decrease the body count. "Brutality and foul play should receive the same summary punishment given to a man who cheats at cards," opined Roosevelt.

And the Harvard Overseers agreed--threatening to abolish football at the school. Reid was named to head up a committee at Harvard which drafted 19 rules to improve the safety of the game. In December, a New York meeting of 68 football-playing colleges was convened, and the group determined to form a new rules committee. Early in January, 1906, the new rules committee was merged with the old rules committee, and Reid became secretary of the new group. In putting forth the Harvard-developed rules, Reid announced: "Either these 19 rules go through or there will be no more football at Harvard; and if Harvard throws out the game, many other colleges will follow Harvard's lead." Harvard had the clout to make that threat, the rules were adopted, and the Harvard Overseers agreed to let football continue.

Among the new rules drafted by Reid and adopted by the new committee were those changing the first-down yardage from 5 to 10 yards, creating a neutral zone at the line of scrimmage, and permitting the forward pass.  In addition, the participants voted to get together annually to consider football issues. Thus emerged the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the body which still governs collegiate sports today. (It was originally constituted as the International Athletic Association of the U.S., and would be renamed the NCAA in 1910.)

Reid retired from college coaching at the end of the 1906 season (with a 30-3-1 record, but two 6-0 losses to Yale). But he is credited as the man who saved Harvard football and helped invent the modern game, and in 1970 he was ushered into the Football Hall of Fame for his achievements. Bill Reid died at the age of 97 in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Illustration Credits and References

Photograph of the 1905 Harvard Yale game courtesy of The Library of Congress.

Photograph of the game program from 1905 courtesy of the Antique Athlete website.

Grinold, Jack. "Review of Big-Time Football at Harvard, 1905: The Diary of Coach Bill Reid by Ronald A. Smith", The New England Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4, (Dec., 1994), pp. 679-682.

Powers, John. "Landmark Celebration After 100 Years: Harvard Stadium Still Standing the Test of Time." Boston Globe. Boston, Mass.: Nov 14, 2003. pg. E.1

Smith, Ronald A., "Harvard and Columbia and a Reconsideration of the 1905-06 Football Crisis", Journal of Sport History, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Winter, 1981).

"Princely Salary to Coach: Harvard Will Give 'Bill' Reid $3,500 a Year for Football", New York Times, February 24, 1905.