William B. Elmendorf
Papers, 1875-1931

Quantity: 6 boxes (2.0 cubic ft.) and 5 extra-large documents
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift of Alice Elmendorf, July 1949; an accretion of approximately 25 items was purchased and subsequently collated with the original group of papers, October 1995.
Processed by: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, January 2007

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Scope and Content Note:

This group of papers is related primarily to William B. Elmendorf’s interest in the history of travel and transportation on the Hudson River via steamboats, especially the Hudson River Day Line Company.  Elmendorf became the principle agent of Day Line operations at Albany in 1884, and served in that position well into the 1930s. The position came to be titled general agent and was broad in scope in terms of tasks and responsibilities.  The papers include correspondence and research notes along with photographs, timetables, tickets, and other memorabilia.  These papers also include some items related to Elmendorf’s involvement in various clubs and societies in Albany, particularly, the Albany Curling Club.

Box and Folder List:

Box Folder Description
1 1 Correspondence, 1885-1929, regarding the history of navigation and steamboats on the Hudson River
1 2 Historical notes and data on Hudson River steamboat lines
1 3 Sketches of steamboat Victory and railroad trains.
1 4 Passenger list for steamboat Victory, April 15, 1828; lists for gentlemen’s, ladies’ and salon cabins
1 5 Timetables: Hudson River Day Line, various dates, 1875-1899; steamers Albany, Daniel Drew, Chauncey Vibbard, and New York
1 6 Timetables: Hudson River Day Line, various dates, 1900-1918; steamers Mary Powell, Albany, New York, Hendrick Hudson, Robert Fulton, and Washington Irving (Items were removed from scrapbook found in box 5)
1 7 Broadsides, printed circulars, etc. ca. 1906-1918, related to steamers Hendrick Hudson, and Washington Irving

Timetables: Troy Evening Line, and Catskill Evening Line, 1915.
1 8 News clippings, ca. 1890s-1920s, regarding history of Hudson River steamers
1 9 Steamboat travel passes and tickets issued for agents, ca. 1890-1899
1 10 Railroad travel passes and tickets issued for agents, ca. 1885-1899
2 1 Notebook: Contains historical data on named Hudson River steamers, including information on when boats were built, tenure of captains, change of ownership, record travel times, names of royal guests and other prominent passengers, river closings due to ice, disasters, and changes to docks and other infrastructure.
2 2 Notes relative to the cost of maintaining and operating various Hudson River steamers, 1875
2 3 Calling cards and membership cards for various clubs and fraternal organizations
2 4 Honorary certificates from various societies and clubs
3 1 Photographs: Steamers Albany and Daniel Drew, Hudson River (3 items)
3 2 Photographs: Steamer Chauncey Vibbard, Hudson River (2 items)
3 3 Photographs: Steamer New York, on the Hudson River (2 items); Real Photograph postcards: Steamer New York fire, at Newburgh, N.Y., winter 1908-1909 (2 items)
3 4 Photographs: Steamers Hendrick Hudson and Washington Irving, Hudson River; includes scenes of Hendrick Hudson under construction (4 items); picture postcard: Captain Winne at the controls of steamer Hendrick Hudson (1 item)
3 5 Photographs: Mural paintings found inside the Hendrick Hudson or Washington Irving (4 items)
3 6 Photograph: Portrait of John E. Elmendorf [father of William B. Elmendorf] (1 item)
3 7 Photographs: William B. Elmendorf with Eben Erskine Olcott (president of Hudson River Day Line) taken on U.S. Government boat bound for naval ceremony in New York, 1903 (1 item); print made from the previous images showing only W,B. Elmendorf; cruiser U.S.S. Albany (1 item);
3 8 Photographs: Portrait of Charles Townsend Van Sanvoord, ca. 1890s (1 item); portrait of Walter Clapp, ca. 1890s (1 item)
3 9 Photograph: Hudson River Day Line dock at Albany (1 item); steamer Adirondack, operated by Peoples Line (1 item); postcards: Hudson River Day Line Company, Kingston 250th Celebration, 1908 (1 item); unidentified boat run aground (1 item)
3 10 Photographs: Steamers Horican and Sagamore, Lake George, N.Y. (2 items)
3 11 Prints: “Views of the Hudson” (set of 8 w/cover)
3 12 Photographs: “New York Bay Station Pier 39 Hudson River,” “Garrisons from West Point, Hudson River,” “South from Dock, West Point, Hudson River,” untitled view from dock at West Point, untitled view of  Hudson River in the vicinity of West Point (5 items by Seneca Ray Stoddard, Glens Falls, N.Y.)
3 13 Photographs: Rally for the troops of the 10th Battalion, Albany, New York, 1898 (3 items)
3 14 Photographs: Views of Albany, New York – Washington Park in winter, Albany Rural Cemetery (2 items); print: State Street, 1857 – reprint issued by National Savings Bank of Albany, ca. 1900s (1 item)
3 15 Photographs: Scene of the waterfront at Rensselaer, New York (9 items)
3 16 Picture postcards: Various scenes along the Hudson River – historic sites and landmarks (6 items)
3 17 “The Wagar Series of Historic Prints” [scenes of Albany, N.Y.](12 items issued by Wagar’s Coffee Shop, Albany, New York)
4 1 Scrapbook of miscellaneous newspapers clippings, 1878-1903 (1 vol. bound)
5 1 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and timetables related to the Hudson River Day Line (1 vol. bound)
6 1 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and other memorabilia related to the Albany Curling Club, 1891-1902 (1 vol. bound)
EL 1 Photograph: Steamer Albany, Augustus Pruyn, photographer (1 item)
EL 2 Print: “Up the Hudson” Harper’s Weekly, July 30, 1870 (1 item)
EL 3 Broadside: “Navigation,” reprint of an article by William B. Elmendorf, Albany Argus, December 1903 (2 copies)
EL 4 Caricature of William B. Elmendorf, by Farnum, 1906 (1 item)
EL 5 Troy Times Art Section, August 15, 1908 (1 item 4 p.)
Last Updated: June 1, 2010