A Small Peek Into the Autrey Scrapbook, 1912

Last week I wrote about the images in the Autrey’s scrapbook that were taken at Girard College in Philadelphia, the only plausible Rice connection I could think of. Today I unapologetically offer just a wee taste of other wonders contained on those pages that have nothing at all to do with Rice history. The scrapbook documents a 1912 family trip to the cities of the northeast. Someone brought along a pretty good camera and put it to good use, photographing many places and scenes that are still well known today. The combination of familiarity and strangeness is arresting and my reaction to seeing them the first time was something like shock.

The Atlantic City boardwalk:

Boston Garden:

The Hotel Astor, Times Square area. I don’t know what’s there now, but I do know this is long gone:

It looks like the Autreys left the northeast by ship, sailing down to Key West (I somehow neglected to scan any images taken there) and from there to Cuba before heading home to Galveston. There are several pages of pictures taken in Havana, mostly unlabeled. This looks to be Havana Cathedral:

This is my favorite of the whole bunch –the first game of the 1912 World Series at the Polo Grounds! If I recall correctly this would have been a brand new stadium, the earlier iteration having burned in, I think, 1911. It was a great series, maybe one of the greatest. This looks like the ceremonial first pitch–but there’s someone in the batter’s box:

Bonus: Signs of life.

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6 Responses to A Small Peek Into the Autrey Scrapbook, 1912

  1. Robert Brazile says:

    Generally referred to as the “Public Garden” around here, the “Boston Garden” being reserved for the former home of the Bruins and Celtics.

  2. Don H. Johnson says:

    I’ll bet the picture shows batting practice.

  3. almadenmike says:

    In the old days, a ceremonial first pitch was made from the front row of the grandstand, where the honored notable seat was located.

    This article contains a photo from the 1912 World Series captioned: “For Game One, Mayor William Jay Gaynor threw out the first pitch, sitting alongside the mustachioed Massachusetts governor Eugene Foss.” (https://www.boweryboyshistory.com/2012/10/panic-at-polo-grounds-first-boston-new.html)

    The home-plate umpire is not in position in the posted photo, so possibly this photo shows some pre-game warmup tosses, with one of the pitcher’s teammates standing at the plate to simulate realistic conditions?

    In the Oct 9, 1912, New York Times, a reporter noted that “It seemed as though all the photographers east of the Mississippi River were present. They delayed the game seven minutes taking pictures of players and notables.” (https://www.newspapers.com/image/22204674)

    The Giant’s manager surprised its fans by starting rookie pitcher Charles Monroe “Jeff” Tesreau. At 6-2, the New York Times reporter dubbed him “the Ozark Colossus.” One news report said his first pitch of the game sailed over the head of Boston’s leadoff batter, future Hall of Famer Harry Hooper. (He was a left-handed batter, however, so that’s not Hooper at the plate in the posted photo.)

    1912 was the first full year of play at the fourth version of the Polo Grounds. The third version had burned down on April 14, 1911, and the Giants resumed play there with partially complete grandstands on June 28. (https://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/ballparks/polo-grounds)

  4. almadenmike says:

    The Hotel Astor was in operation from 1904 through 1967 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Astor_(New_York_City))

    Its former site — the block bounded by Broadway, Astor Plaza, West 44th St., and West 45th St. — is now occupied by the 54-story office tower, One Astor Plaza, which was completed in 1972. (https://goo.gl/maps/Du12VazMkJGEams47)

  5. Steve Lukingbeal, Hsnszen ‘76 says:

    So cool.

  6. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    Those are wonderfully preserved photographs. Please show some more.

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