Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 232

Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(NEW YORK CITY.) Photo album kept by a young teacher at New York's Labor Temple. 62 photographs, about 4 x 5 inches and smaller, plus 3 postcards, mostly inserted into mounting corners on 22 album leaves. Oblong 8vo, original limp gilt "Souvenir of New York" wrappers, bound with cord, minimal wear; almost all photos captioned neatly in manuscript. New York and various places, circa 1950

Additional Details

The Labor Temple at 242 East 14th Street was a left-leaning institution founded by the Presbyterian Home Mission Board in 1910. In its early years, at least, it was a gathering spot for socialists and anarchists. It closed in 1957. This album was kept by a young woman who apparently spent a summer as a teacher there. 11 of the photographs show staff and students at the Labor Temple, including groups of preschool "Sky Campers" on the "Play Roof." 8 others show Labor Temple staff on outings to Sailors' Snug Harbor on Staten Island; Bear Mountain State Park north of the city; and Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill estate in Dutchess County, NY. Two of the Val-Kill photographs show the visitors gathered around Eleanor Roosevelt, who came out to speak with them while they ate lunch on her lawn. Perhaps a dozen Labor Temple colleagues are named in the captions, including a young Haitian woman named Carmel Sicard who is shown greeting the former First Lady.

The remainder of the album consists mostly of tourist shots: views of New York, visits to Mount Vernon and the White House, and one showing the Mississippi River as the compiler headed westward from New York to her home. The compiler appears in several of the pictures, and one shot shows her visit to an Aunt Edith in Mount Solon, VA. These are the only clues we have regarding her identity.