Item #617 [Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear]. NORTH AMERICA - CALIFORNIA - SAN FRANCISCO, Isaiah West TABER, Walter T. BAKER, Walter CATHCART, others.
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].
Rare Early Photos of San Francisco
[NORTH AMERICA - CALIFORNIA - SAN FRANCISCO] TABER, Isaiah West (1830-1912); BAKER, Walter T. & CATHCART, Walter, & others.

[Album with Nineteen Early Original Albumen Photographs from the Collection of Samuel Parsons - a San Francisco Resident and Employee of a Local Wall Paper Dealer “George W. Clark & Co,” Including a Series of Parson’s Portraits, Views of His Residences and a Street of San Francisco, the Storefront of “George W. Clark & Co” on Market Street with Staff Members, Most likely Including Parsons, Scenes from an Outing in the Redwood Forest, &c.; with a Later Gelatin Silver Portrait of a Young Girl at the Rear].

Ca. 1880s. Oblong Folio album ca. 28,5x36 cm (11 ¼ x 14 ¼ in). 14 thick paper and card stock leaves. With nineteen mounted albumen photos, including six partly hand-coloured cabinet portrait photos ca. 12x19 cm (4 ¾ x 7 ½ in), first mounted on the original card ca. 13x21 cm (5 x 8 ¼ in); all card with printed photographer’s credentials on the lower margins. Seven photos from ca. 20x24 cm (7 ¾ x 9 ½ in) to ca. 12x17 cm (4 ¾ x 6 ¾ in) are mounted on the original card from ca. 25,5x30 cm (10 x 11 ¾ in) to ca. 13x19 cm (5 x 7 ½ in); two cards are with the photographers’ printed or embossed credentials on the lower margins. With six albumen photos ca. 18x23,5 cm (7 x 9 ¼ in). No captions. Period brown morocco album with gilt-lettered name “Samuel Parsons” on the front board and elaborate gilt-tooled decorative borders on both boards. Decorative endpapers; all edges gilt. Binding expertly repaired on hinges and extremities, but overall a very good album of strong interesting rare photos.

Historically significant collection of rare early photos of San Francisco and its environs, originating from an affluent local family. As follows from the gilt-lettered name on the front board, the album was compiled by, for of in the memory of one Samuel Parsons. According to the U.S. Federal Censuses of 1870 and 1880, Samuel Parsons was born in ca. 1868 in San Francisco in the family of a Boston native, Charles Allen Parsons (1831-1893) and a Maine native, Elizabeth L. Parsons (1836-1892, née Green). In 1880, Samuel Parsons, then twelve years old, lived with his family at 14 Hill Street. “Langley’s San Francisco Directory for the year commencing April 1886” lists Samuel Parsons (then about eighteen years old) as a clerk at the shop of a San Francisco wallpaper and window shade seller, “G.W. Clark & Co.;” Parson’s residence is still indicated as “14 Hill Street” (Langley’s San Francisco Directory for the year commencing April 1886. P. 936; archive.org).

The album opens with six partly hand-coloured cabinet portrait photos, evidently of Samuel Parsons, showing him from the baby age to his early twenties. All portraits are mounted on the official card of a pioneer San Francisco photographer, Isaiah Taber, known for producing portraits of noted Californians, a series of stereoscopic views of the West Coast and a collection of views and scenes of Hawaii (including portraits of King Kalakaua). Then follow two early photos of San Francisco private residences; the one on the right is Parson’s house at 14 Hill Street (see number “14” above the front door). The other residence with the number “405” above the front door was not identified. Another excellent early photo on the official card of “Tobey & McCullough” depicts a San Francisco street (possibly Hill Street looking from the crossing with Valencia Street). The photo features wooden pavements and a dirt central part, street lamps and a leaving passenger cart, as well as the crossing with a cobblestone street. The album also contains a large, well-preserved view of the storefront of “Geo. W. Clark & Co.,” featuring the company’s elaborate advertising posters (“Paper hangings and window shades”) and the house number – “645” (the shop was located at 645 Market Street). The shop’s staff is posing at the front, with Samuel Parsons most likely standing first from right. The photo is mounted on the official card with printed credentials of the photographers (“Baker & Cathcart”) and their address (“Room 21, St. Ann’s building, Cor. Powell & Eddy Sts., S.F.”) on the lower margin. Another early interesting photo depicts a scene of a public gathering in a rural locality (most likely in California), possibly during the foundation of a building.

The other photos include portraits of the Parsons family and friends during leisure trips in the countryside. Five photos depict a party in a redwood forest and at a river, where they arrived by a small steam train. The other images portray Samuel, his father and two young women posing at a countryside cottage and a group hiking near a mountain stream. A large photo at the rear, with the credentials of the “Seely Studio” from Eureka, shows a young girl, possibly a relative.

Overall, an interesting collection of rare early photos of San Francisco and its residents.

Not much is known about the fate of Samuel Parsons. His father, Charles Allen Parsons, died under uncertain circumstances during a sea voyage to Tahiti in 1893. The newspaper articles dedicated to the incident mentioned as his remaining children only Samuel’s younger brother, James A. Parsons (1869 – after 1927) and half-sister Grace B. Mattoon (1858-1920, née Baker) - “both wealthy and well-known residents of this city” (Death in South Seas: The Mysterious Taking Off of a Wealthy San Franciscan// The San Francisco Examiner. 10 August 1893. P. 12; See also: His Death at Sea. The Strange End of Charles Parsons. An Old Man’s Plunge from the Galilee// San Francisco Chronicle. 10 August 1893. P. 12). Possibly, by the time of Charles Parsons’ death, his son Samuel had already passed away. Stock id: PB61.

Item #617

Price: $3,250.00 USD