Springfield Stereoviews

Stereoviews are the primary source for pictorial images of early Springfield. They originated in the 1850's, and remained popular until about 1900. Since that was a very fast-moving era in Springfield, they can be the only pictorial source of many buildings.

This page is an attempt to document the stereoviews of Springfield, Massachusetts. I will list the company making the stereoview, any information I can find about that company, and the "checklist" that is provided on the reverse side.

Click on each of the links below to explore the stereoview checklists, along with the actual images of the items in my own collection.

Stereo Cards

I have a lot of springfield cards if you want to add them to the site or to your housesofspringfield site. let me know and I will loan them to you. Jim

Stereo Views

Check out the NY Public Library website for some really great Springfield stereo views. Some are unidentified. Maybe visitors to our virtual historical society can help. www.digitalgallery.nypl.org.

NY Public Library stereo views

Wonderful collection of Stereo Views, thanks for the tip. I did identify several. In the series they show under Springfield, #72 is the back side of the Arsenal. #92 is a view across Court square to 1st Church. 93 is the Catholic Cathedral on State St and 94 is Church of the Unity. Several other commercial buildings rang a bell, especially the one with the rounded left wall. jim

Identified stereos

Thanks, Jim. I will go back and look at the views you have identified. I think the building with the rounded wall may be the southeast corner of Main and Harrison looking south. That particular building did not look familiar but some of the others do.

Looking for Foot's Block image

Hello all. I am involved in a research project on Springfield that is very specific in nature. we are looking for any photos of the of "Foot's Block" on corner of State and Main. There seems to have been one stereoview done of it. There may be others. we would also be interested in any lithos or engravings that might show Foot's Block. It seems to be a needle-in-a-haystack to find one, but this webpage may be of help. Thanks so much.

Foot's Block pictures

I have located two separate views of Foot's Block: both photos are taken from the east side of Main Street looking south past a couple of buildings to Foot's. I am certain I have seen better views, but have not yet come across them. One of the two I found is on page 14 of "Springfield Illustrated, State Fair Edition" (1888) and the other is on an unnumbered page of a rather unusual view book of Springfield (no apparent title), copyrighted 1904 by H. Rude.

Foot's Block

I am back with my reference books and have found some information on Foot’s block and company. On page 144 of Picturesque Hampden County, Part 1, there is a picture of the current(1892) building as well as a picture of the original store and also a picture of Mr. Foots house on Maple St. Also there is a long write-up about the company. Hope this helps.

American machine works. 1879

I am looking for any information I can about this company and its history.

I have an original wooden and metal sign from it....it's spectacular!!!

I'm so interested in its history!!



American Machine

The company was incorporated in 1848. An early customer was the Springfield Republican which purchased the company's steam operated printing machine in 1848. It was believed to be the first newspaper outside of Boston to use such a machine. A wide variety of other machines was manufactured by the company.

Original wooden american machine works sign

I have the original sign from american machineworks springfield ma....wooden..beautiful...I have seen posters of the exact sign for sale ...I'm trying to find out more about it. It's value etc...


Information Wanted - 1917 Springfield Resident - Boy Scout Hero

Greetings Members and Visitors,

I am a researcher and member of the History & Archives Committee for the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Washington, DC.
We are researching the deaths of four (4) Boy Scouts in 1917 who each died trying to save the life of another and become the first four boys to be posthumously awarded the BSA's Gold Award for Heroism. One of those boys was Edward Samuel Goodnow of Springfield, MA who drowned at age 16 at Shaker Pond in Enfield, CT on August 29, 1917 after having saved the lives of two other boys who were drowning. For a brief accounting of Edward Samuel Goodnow's deeds and that of the other three boys, see "Boy Heroes of Today," by Boy Scouts of America co-founder, Daniel Beard, at: http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/boyheroes.pdf.

We have identified some surviving Goodnow Family members in the Springfield, MA area who have graciously provided photographs of Edward Goodnow and the Gold Award he received, but they have only limited other information.

We are preparing for the 2017 100th Anniversaries of the death of these boys and are looking to commemorate their sacrifice either through an article in Boys Life magazine or an official graveside ceremony or both. In conducting research, we have identified Edward Goodnow's gravesite in Locus Hill Cemetery in Montegue, MA, but have been unable to find his obituary or any record or report identifying details of the drowning event or the identity of the other two boys Edward Goodnow saved. We are not sure if they were from the Springfield area or local Enfield boys (possibly Shakers) that Edward knew or happened upon. Unfortunately, the BSA's original records on this matter are believed to have been lost to fire many years ago. Largely all we know is that Edward Goodnow was a member of Troop 14 of the First Congregational Church, but we are unable to identify if that church still exists today. Nor do we know what school Edward Goodnow attended.

We were hoping that the Historical Society or these blog members might have access to period Springfield newspapers of the day, coroner's records, or other records that might contain more details regarding of this tragic event. Regrettably, we have no funds for genealogical research, but we can agree to keep your organization apprise of any activities that might be planned and of any article published on the topic.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. Please reply by leaving a comment to this blog.

Yours in Scouting,

TG Motta
History & Archives Committee
National Capital Area Council
Washington, DC

Edward Goodnow

Just came across your request (doing research for something else) and wanted to let you know that you may be able to get information from either the Enfield CT Historical Society, or from a second cousin of mine, Edward (Ted) Furey. You can reach Ted through his Keely Society website www.patrickkeely.com for his email and phone number.
Ted lives in Enfield, and has quite an extensive collection of information about the town, including Shaker Pines and Shaker Pines Lake/Pond.

J J McCarty's Pleasure Hour Pool Room

I am looking for any information about J J McCarty's Pleasure Hour Pool Room - Apparently a premier establishment circa 1890's - ish. Located at 554 Main Street in Springfield. My grandfather bought a table from him which I have restored to original and would welcome any information. thanks!

glass negatives

I am the Research Correspondent for the Brentwood Historical Society and have several glass negatives that are supposed to have been taken in October 1881 in Brentwood, New Hampshire, by the "Springfield Homestead Photo Album". I don't know if it is in Massachusetts or NH, so I would like to connect with someone who can help me. Albert Edward Belanger

Glass negs

As it turns out, some glass negs from neighboring town of Fremont taken in the same month in 1881 are labeled "Homestead View Company of Springfield, MA" I'm wondering if the historical society had "inherited" any duplicate collections they might have kept. Albert skipandsandy@comcast.net

ANBORN writes

As a follow up on my previous post about old photos of Fremont and Brentwood, NH, homes, may I make the following clarification? So here's the deal, as they say: The Brentwood, NH Historical Society has eight glass negatives supposedly of Brentwood scenes many of which are so dark as not to produce any positive images at all; but some can. Those latter results, obtained from my scans (with the emulsion side down on the scanner), are far less than satisfactory, so we are trying to obtain clearer prints of any or all of the images. These glass negatives were purchased some time ago at an "ephemera" store with no other identification than a note attached with "Brentwood, NH." According to a local Brentwood diarist of the period, a picture of the house was taken on October 19, 1881. This Mary Abbie SANBORN lived there with her sister, Joanna (SANBORN) and Joanna's husband, Deacon David C. BEAN. That house also had served as the PARSONAGE of the Brentwood CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. It has come to our attention that the neighboring FREMONT Historical Society has some photos made in October of 1881 which have labels that read: "HOMESTEAD VIEWS CO. OF SPRINGFIELD, MASS. This hints that perhaps that company had engaged a photographer to come to the area for the purpose of selling homestead photos of the residents of that time. Now, it's likely that this Springfield company is long out of business, but it's also possible that your local historical society might have come into possession of copies some of their photos. It's a shot in the dark, but we're hoping that either a descendant company or the SHS might have access to some of their photo archives that are identified as any of the above uppercase lettering. As a sidenote, the impetus for this query is provided by an upcoming BHS project which will memorialize this remarkable woman who kept diaries recording her church's and the town's activities during the years 1836 through her death in 1902. Thank you for any assistance you or any readers can be. Albert Edward Belanger BHS Research Correspondent

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.