|Answer to Quiz #35 - November 11, 2005
What is the earliest year this photo could have been taken?
|Submitted by Sue Edminster and Jan Leonard.
Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
1898, after the Battle of Manilla
|The key to this quiz is the sheet music
propped on the reed organ against the
wall. The picture had to have been
taken after the Battle of Manila in May
Some of our readers have pointed out that the critical date was not the Battle of Manila,
but rather, the publication date of the music. Sue Edminster, one of the contributors of
the photograph, found images of the sheet music on the site:
Title: Battle of Manila. Descriptive.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: By Eduard Holst.
Publication: Howley, Haviland & Co., 1260-1266 Broadway, 1898.: , .
Form of Composition: sectional, with programmatic captions (e.g., "Dewey,
Approaching the Enemy")
Dedicatee: Respectfully Dedicated to Our Hero Admiral Geo. Dewey
Engraver, Lithographer, Artist: H. Carter; unattributed photo of Admiral Dewey
ads on inside bottom margins and on back cover for Howley, Haviland & Co. stock
1Subjects Naval war battles; Portraits; Spanish-American War; Patriotism; Campaigns
& battles Call No.: Box: 086 Item: 008
|The copyright appears at the bottom of the first page, just under the last line of music.
Copyright MDCCCXCVIII by Howley, Haviland & Co. English Copyright Reserved
So the music was copyrighted in 1898, the same year of the battle. So based on either
the battle or the sheet music about the battle, the earliest year the photo could have been
taken was 1898.
Eduard Holst (b. 1843 Copenhagen.- d. 1899
New York, NY) was a playwright who also
managed to find time to compose. According
to accounts of the time, he was a very versatile
man who was an actor, dancer, dance master,
playwright and composer. His compositions
include songs and piano solo works though a
catalog has proven elusive. We have three of
his works in our collection, Bloom & Blossom,
a Waltz (1887) and Autumn Leaf, a Polka for
Children also from 1887 and a part of a six
work series for children titled Shower of
Melodies published by White Smith Music in
Boston. His other work we have is a far cry
from a child's work and is in fact a complex
and fantastic work titled Dance of The Demon (1888). Among his other works are
Marine Band March and Battle of Manila (1898). Holst also composed a comic opera,
Our Flats and a comedy, Hot Water. (Hubbard, Biographies Vol. 1, p. 386) Though we
can only find a few of his works listed in various sources, he was quite prolific and a
1907 biography states he produced over two thousand works.
Bloom and Blossom
Music by: Eduard Holst
Lyrics by: None, piano solo
Published 1887 by White, Smith
& Co. Cover art unsigned
To see the score and to hear a
rendition of Holst's Bloom and
Blossom, click here. (You might
have to download software called
Scorch to hear the music.) To
hear a MIDI version of this tune,
click on here.
Other pieces by Eduard Holst include:
The reed organ was once an important domestic instrument, offering a cheap
alternative to the ever-popular family piano while at the same time providing a suitable
instrument for accompanying family hymns on a Sunday. It was the product of a
world-wide industry which turned out hundreds of thousands of organs a year at its
peak. Reed organs are today the province of collectors and museums. They are often
found neglected in junk shops and furniture stores where their often impressively tall
cases, redolent of the Victorian fondness for decoration and embellishment, immediately
catch the eye of the curious.
Briefly, the reed organ works by a suction bellows drawing air out from within the
action of the organ. When a note is played by depressing a key, air is sucked into the
action through a small chamber containing a free reed. The passing air causes the reed
to vibrate, producing a tone. Stops are used to control which sets of reeds are to be
employed for playing. This is done by either allowing or blocking air to the reed
chambers. To find out more about the physics of the reed organ, there is an excellent
paper on the net titled The Physics of the Pump Organ by Kristina Knupp.
|I could not identify the brand of reed organ that is
in the picture, although I did find this image of it
on the internet. It is the middle of the three
organs. I emailed the owned of the site, but I
have not heard back from him. See
|The Camera Used to Take the Picture
|According to Sue and Jan, the picture measures 4" x 5". In 1898, Eastman Kodak was
by far the largest camera company in the U.S. (maybe in the world) so it is a safe
assumption that the picture was taken with a Kodak camera. According to
http://www.brownie-camera.com/film.shtml, the cameras on the market in 1898 that
could take 4" x 5" photos were:
|No. 4 BULLET Special |
|# 103 film cartridge |
|#109 film with |
Of the two, I vote for the No. 4 Eureka as being the camera that was used to take the
picture, simply because it was less expensive. But I really don't know. Here is a picture
of the No. 2 Eureka. I imagine the No. 4 was similar.
The No. 2 Eureka Camera is a lightweight
wooden box camera which took 3½ x 3½
inch plates or 106 size rollfilm with a
special holder (sold separately).
It was offered for $4.00 in 1898 along
with the 4 x 5 inch No. 4 Eureka Camera
and a No. 2 Eureka Junior (for plates
only). The simple rotary shutter was set
and tripped by the brass knob below the
achromatic lens on the camera's face.
|Congratulations to our winners!
Stan Read Don Schulteis
Jon Fox John Chulick
Robert McKenna James Hodges
Neil Ferguson Shane Somerville
Mel Lomax Dale Neisen
Mary Fraser E-Pop Nienhaus
If I have omitted your name from our list of winners, please let me know. It was unintentional.
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