William Babcock photograph album collection, circa 1894-1896  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Collector
Babcock, William, 1851-1918
Title
William Babcock photograph album collection
Dates
circa 1894-1896 (inclusive)
Quantity
176 photographic prints in 2 albums (2 boxes) ; Sizes vary
Collection Number
PH0180
Summary
Photographs of trips to India and Europe
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William Babcock (1851-1918) was a prominent businessman and well known in the financial circles in San Francisco, California. He was president of the Security Savings Bank, as well as a director in several other concerns. He also owned real estate, including his home in San Rafael, California. His estate in San Rafael was built for him and his first wife Helena Bedington. Sadly, Helena, as well as their children, all died before 1895. In addition to his business acumen, William Babcock was widely known as a philanthropist. He was a member of the Pacific Union, Bohemian, University, Olympic and Francisca clubs of San Francisco, and the University Club of New York. His name can be found on Social Registers of both New York and San Francisco of the time. He was an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael. Babcock was keenly interest horticulture. He often searched for interesting specimens to add to his home and greenhouse, some of which he found during his many trips abroad with his 2nd wife, Julia May.

He met his second wife, the widow Mrs. Julia May Bech (Beck) (1865-1954), while traveling abroad. It is said that they met and married on the same trip. Other articles indicate that they married in New London Connecticut on July 20, 1895. They spent the following winter of 1895 and 1896, abroad. It is believed that the photo album Wanderings 1895-1896 is a chronicle of this trip, which may have been their honeymoon.

Julia May Babcock moved with her new husband, William, to his 50 acre Estate, called Edgehill, after their marriage. She is credited with taking his large, but simple original home and turning it into the Queen Anne showcase that has recently been restored to its original grandeur by the Dominican University of California. On the estate were many beloved dachshunds, bloodline horses and greenhouses. While William sought out new specimens for his greenhouse on his trips abroad, Julia brought back antiques, art, and glassware to fill the home. Many of her priceless artifacts are now at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.

Like William, Julia became a prominent figure in San Rafael. She was an active member of the Catholic Church, contributing to the St. Vincent’s School for Boys as well as to St. Raphael’s Church and Dominican College. She was interested in politics, actively campaigned, and was a Democrat. She also enjoyed reading and frequented the San Francisco Public Library. Both William and Julia enjoyed music and were often known to attend the symphony.

Perhaps, however, Julia May Babcock will be most remembered for her final act of philanthropy. Julia inherited her husband’s entire fortune upon his death. Before her death, she worked with advisors to set up and fund the William Babcock Memorial Foundation, explicitly for helping people of Marin County with the cost of health care.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The elite class began taking Grand Tours in the late 16th century. Young aristocrats would tour through cities in Europe, such as Paris, Venice and Rome to enhance their classical education. They would return with souvenirs and a greater understanding of art and architecture. In the beginning these tours were taken by males accompanied by a companion. Later, women also traveled, with female companions, on Grand Tours. Because these trips were costly, and would last months or sometimes years, only the privileged class would participate. As time passed, these Grand Tours grew in scope to include the Holy Land and other exotic places.

In the mid 19th century, the advent of the railroad made leisure travel more accessible to the middle class. During the same time period, Thomas Cook established tourism, creating tours similar to the Grand Tour affordable to many more people.

Also in the mid 19th century, photography had grown into a new and exciting career opportunity. Advancements in photographic processing created the ability to make prints from glass negatives, which, in turn, allowed for the actual development of prints to be a more mobile process. Because of these evolutionary techniques, photographers such as Samuel Bourne, whose photos can be seen in this collection, traveled to exotic locals producing memorable photographs. To help support the photographer’s travels and to promote their business, they sold their photographic prints to the new group of travelers. These same travelers would then create albums of their travels; a souvenir of their “Grand Tour.” Once home, the travelers would display their albums, which both elicited conversation, and stood as a testament to their wealth.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

These two photograph albums, which probably belonged to San Francisco businessman William Babcock, journal two different “Grand Tours”, one to Europe and India, and one to just India. The albums contain commercial photographs of places of interest in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Egypt, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), England, and India. At least thirteen different photographers, or photographic companies, are represented in this collection including Bosetti, Photoglob, ND Phot, Scowen & Co., Bourne & Shepherd (aslo known as Bourne or B&S), Skeen and Co., Schroeder & Co., and J.V.(James Valentine). Some of the many places of interest include The Rock of Gibralter, Lake Como, The Alps, The Champs-Elysees, The Grand Canal in Venice, The Nuremburg Castle, The Szechenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest, The Prague Castle, Monte Carlo Casino, The Suez Canal, The Acharya Jagadish Chandr Base Indian Botanic Garden, elephants in Ceylon, Darjeeling tea plantations, The Amber Fort Palace and Westminster Abbey.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

The majority of the photographs in these albums are commercial, stock photographs taken by a variety of photographers. For several photos, a specific date is known. All other dates are based on the date of the compilation of the photograph album, rather than the actual date the photograph was taken.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View the digital version of the collection

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Album Wanderings, 1895-1896Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box item
1 1-1 1895-1896
1 1-2
 Photograph of a painting of the Steamship Werra at sea
W. Sander and Son Geestemunde (Photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-3 1895-1896
1 1-4 1895-1896
1 1-5 1895-1896
1 1-6 1895-1896
1 1-7 1895-1896
1 1-8
 Panoramic view of Lake Como
Bosetti (photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-9 1895-1896
1 1-10
 View of Menaggio on Lake Como
Bosetti (photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-11 1895-1896
1 1-12
 Bregaglia Valley from Maloja, Italy
Bosetti (photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-13
 Maloya Palace Hotel, Lake Sils, Switzerland
Schroeder & Company, Zurich (Photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-14 1895-1896
1 1-15
 Panorama of San Moritz-Bad und Dorf, Switzerland
Bosetti, Bellagio (Photographer)
San Moritz-Bad und Dorf refers to the spa and village sections of San Moritz.
1895-1896
1 1-16 1895-1896
1 1-17 1895-1896
1 1-18 1895-1896
1 1-19
 View of Lucerne from Villa Dreilinden
Schroeder & Company, Zurich (Photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-20
 The Lion Monument, Lucerne, Switzerland
Schroeder & Company, Zurich (Photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-21 1895-1896
1 1-22 1895-1896
1 1-23 1895-1896
1 1-24
 View of Interlaken, Switzerland
Schroeder & Company, Zurich (Photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-25 1895-1896
1 1-26 1895-1896
1 1-27 1895-1896
1 1-28 1895-1896
1 1-29 1895-1896
1 1-30 1895-1896
1 1-31 1895-1896
1 1-32 1895-1896
1 1-33 1895-1896
1 1-34 1895-1896
1 1-35
 A man and woman with cows on Simplon Road taken from inside the tunnel
PHOTOGLOB (Photographer)
Simplon Road is a high mountain pass between the Pennine Alps and the Lepontine Alps in Switzerland.
1895-1896
1 1-36 1895-1896
1 1-37 1895-1896
1 1-38 1895-1896
1 1-39 1895-1896
1 1-40 1895-1896
1 1-41 1895-1896
1 1-42 1895-1896
1 1-43 1895-1896
1 1-44 1895-1896
1 1-45 1895-1896
1 1-46 1895-1896
1 1-47 1895-1896
1 1-48 1895-1896
1 1-49 1895-1896
1 1-50 1895-1896
1 1-51 1895-1896
1 1-52 1895-1896
1 1-53 1895-1896
1 1-54 1895-1896
1 1-55 1895-1896
1 1-56a-d
 Four views of Berlin, Germany including Palace Bridge, Belle-Alliance Bridge with buildings, City Palace, and the Bradenburg Gate
The Belle-Alliance Bridge goes into the Mehringplatz, which is a round plaza commercial and residental area originally build in the 18th century. Portions of the entry to the plaza were destroyed in WWII.
1895-1896
1 1-57a-d 1895-1896
1 1-58a-d 1895-1896
1 1-59
 Bavaria Statue in front of the Ruhmeshalle in Munich, Germany
The Ruhmeshalle is also known in English as the Hall of Fame.
1895-1896
1 1-60 1895-1896
1 1-61 1895-1896
1 1-62 1895-1896
1 1-63 1895-1896
1 1-64 1895-1896
1 1-65 1895-1896
1 1-66 1895-1896
1 1-67 1895-1896
1 1-68 1895-1896
1 1-69
 View of ships on the Suez Canal, Egypt
G. Lekegian & Co (Photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-70 1895-1896
1 1-71
 Vultures sitting on the Tower of Silence on Malabar Hil in Bombay, India
Probably taken by Bourne (photographer)
The tower is sometimes called the Parsi Zoroastrian Tower of Silence because it is from the Zoroastrian religion. Caption on photo: Parsee Tower of Scilence [sic]. Bombay. This photo is the same as photo number 2-11 in the 2nd album.
1895-1896
1 1-72 1895-1896
1 1-73 1895-1896
1 1-74
 The Qutb Minar tower with the Great Arch in Delhi, India
Bourne (photographer)
The Qutb Minar is also spelled Qutub.
1895-1896
1 1-75 1895-1896
1 1-76
 Statue The Angel of the Resurrection at the memorial in front a stone screen at the Bibighar Well in Cawnpore, India
Bourne (Photographer)
Statue was created by Baron Carlo Marochetti. The statue is surrounded by an octagonal stone screen designed by Sir Henry Yule. Cawnpore is now known as Kanpur.
1895-1896
1 1-77 1895-1896
1 1-78
 Panoramic of Benares, India, including the Alamgir Mosque and the Panchganga Ghat, taken from on the Ganges River
A ghat is a set of steps leading down to the river. Benares is also known as Varanasi.
1895-1896
1 1-79
 Three masted sailing ships and local river boats called dindies in the harbor on the Hooghly River, with the High Court building in the background, Kolkata, India
Bourne and Shepherd (Photographer)
The three masted schooner in the foreground is probably the Glengarry of Liverpool. The Hooghly is also spelled Hugli. Caption on the photo: Shipping on the Hooghly. This photo is the same as photo number 2-18 in the 2nd album.
1895-1896
1 1-80
 The Great Banyan Tree in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Kolkata, India
The picture's caption references Calcutta, which is now known as Kolkata.
1895-1896
1 1-81 1895-1896
1 1-82 1880
1 1-83 1895-1896
1 1-84 1895-1896
1 1-85 1895-1896
1 1-86
 View of the lake in Kandy, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Scowen & Co (Photographer)
1895-1896
1 1-87 1895-1896
1 1-88
 A view of Giant Bamboo at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Scowen & Co, Ceylon (Photographer)
The Giant Bamboo are the botanic species Dendrocalamus Giganteus.
1895-1896
1 1-89
  Assam India Rubber trees at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Scowen & Co, Ceylon (Photographer)
The Assam India Rubber trees are the botanic species Ficus Elastica.
1895-1896
1 1-90
  The Travelers Palm in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Scowen & Co, Ceylon (Photographer)
The Travelers Palm is the botanc species Ravanala Madagascariensis.
1895-1896
1 1-91
  Royal Botanical Gardens' Cabbage Palm Avenue in Peradeniya, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Scowen & Co, Ceylon (Photographer)
Caption on photo: Oreodoxa Regia Avenue of Cabbage Palms Peradeniya Gardens.
1895-1896
1 1-92 1895-1896
1 1-93a-d 1895-1896
1 1-94
Image is missing, but writing on the page says 9' S.S. Sumatra
1895-1896
1 1-95 1895-1896
1 1-96 1895-1896
1 1-97 1895-1896
1 1-98 1895-1896
1 1-99
 The Place del la Concorde, Paris, France
H. Phot (Photographer)
The stone buildings in the background are the Hotel de Crillon and the French Naval Ministry. The oblisk is from the temple of Ramses II at Thebes, the fountain closest is the Elevation of the Maritime and the fountain in the back is La Fontaine des Mers.
1895-1896
1 1-100 1895-1896
1 1-101
 The Houses of Parliament from the Thames River, London, England
J.V. (James Valentine) (photographerJV)
1895-1896
1 1-102 1895-1896
1 1-103
  Liverpool, England taken from the River Mersey with the Oxton ferry in the foreground and the Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas in the background
J.V. (James Valentine) (photographer)
The Oxton was the first luggage boat that could carry vehicles. It was put into service in 1879 and had twin screws fore and aft.
1895-1896
1 1-104
 Possibly the steamship Campania flying international colors
It is possible that this picture is of the steamship Campania. In 1896 the steam ship Campania arrived in New York from Liverpool, England carrying passengers Mr. and Mrs. William Babcock and a maid, Madeline Werchware.
1895-1896

Album - Trip to India Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box item
2 2-1 circa 1894
2 2-2 circa 1894
2 2-3 circa 1894
2 2-4
 Ships at dock in front of bales of cotton at the Cotton Green, Bombay, India
Bourne and Shepherd (photographer)
Bombay is now known as Mumbai
circa 1894
2 2-5
 The Royal Bombay Yacht Club with a small boat in the foreground, Bombay, India
Bourne and Shepherd (photographer)
Mumbai was known as Bombay.
circa 1894
2 2-6 circa 1894
2 2-7 circa 1894
2 2-8 circa 1894
2 2-9
 Crowds at the Coconut Festival, Bombay, India
Mumbai was known as Bombay.
circa 1894
2 2-10 circa 1894
2 2-11
 Vultures sitting on the Tower of Silence on Malabar Hil in Bombay, India
Probably taken by Bourne (photographer)
The tower is sometimes called the Parsi Zoroastrian Tower of Silence because it is from the Zoroastrian religion. Caption on photo: Parsee Tower of Scilence [sic]. Bombay (now known as Mumbai). This photo is the same as photo number 1-71 in the 1st album.
circa 1894
2 2-12 circa 1894
2 2-13 circa 1894
2 2-14 circa 1894
2 2-15 circa 1860
2 2-16
 Clive Steet, Calcutta, India
B. & S. (Bourne and Shepherd) (photographer)
Calcutta is now known as Kolkata. Clive Street is now known as Netaji Subhash Road.
circa 1894
2 2-17 circa 1894
2 2-18
 Three masted sailing ships and local river boats called dindies in the harbor on the Hooghly River, with the High Court building in the background, Kolkata, India
Bourne and Shepherd (photographer)
The three masted schooner in the foreground is probably the Glengarry of Liverpool. The Hooghly is also spelled Hugli. Caption on the photo: Shipping on the Hooghly. This photo is the same as photo number 1-79 in the 1st album.
circa 1894
2 2-19 circa 1894
2 2-20
The Government House, Calcutta, India
Calcutta is now known as Kolkata.
circa 1894
2 2-21 circa 1894
2 2-22
 Local laundreymen, laundry and a cow at the Dhobi Ghat, Calcutta, India
B. & S. (Bourne and Shepherd) (photographer)
The local laundrymen are called Dhobi. Calcutta is now known as Kolkata.
circa 1894
2 2-23
 Two Indians standing near the gate to the Bengal Club, Calcutta, India
Bourne (photographer)
Calcutta is now known as Kolkata.
1865
2 2-24 circa 1894
2 2-25 circa 1894
2 2-26 circa 1894
2 2-27 circa 1894
2 2-28 circa 1894
2 2-29 circa 1894
2 2-30 circa 1894
2 2-31 circa 1894
2 2-32 1863
2 2-33 circa 1894
2 2-34 circa 1894
2 2-35 circa 1894
2 2-36 circa 1894
2 2-37 circa 1894
2 2-38 circa 1894
2 2-39 circa 1894
2 2-40
 Looking down on a village on the Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway into Darjeeling, India
The handwritten note at the bottom of the photo says it is the Ghoom Bazar on the Darjeeling Railway.
circa 1894
2 2-41 circa 1894
2 2-42 circa 1894
2 2-43 circa 1894
2 2-44 circa 1894
2 2-45 circa 1894
2 2-46 circa 1894
2 2-47 circa 1894
2 2-48 circa 1894
2 2-49 circa 1894
2 2-50 circa 1894
2 2-51 circa 1894
2 2-52 circa 1894
2 2-53 circa 1894
2 2-54 circa 1894
2 2-55 circa 1894
2 2-56 circa 1894
2 2-57 circa 1894
2 2-58 circa 1894
2 2-59 circa 1894
2 2-60 circa 1894
2 2-61 circa 1894

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Grand tours (Education)
  • Railroads--India--Photographs
  • Personal Names :
  • Babcock, William, 1851-1918--Archives
  • Geographical Names :
  • Alps--Photographs
  • Gibraltar--Photographs
  • India--Photographs
  • Italy--Photographs
  • Kolkata (India)--Photographs
  • Liverpool (England)--Photographs
  • London (England)--Photographs
  • Mumbai (India)--Photographs
  • Nice (France)--Photographs
  • Sri Lanka--Photographs
  • Suez (Egypt)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographic prints
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Bourne & Shepherd, (photographer)
    • Editions Photoglob, Schroeder & Cie, (photographer)
    • F. Skeen & Co., (photographer)
    • Scowen & Co., (photographer)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)