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Oscar Guthmann family papers


Held at: German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library [Contact Us]611 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19123

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Carl Friedrich Eduard Oscar Guthmann was born on 6 November 1894 in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Max Bruno Guthmann and Marie Friederike Guthmann (née Benz, former married name Lüders). A seaman, Guthmann entered the port of Wilmington, North Carolina, on 29 July 1914, aboard the German freighter S.S. Kiel, which took refuge there upon the outbreak of the First World War. In 1932-1933 he was working aboard the U.S.S. Virginia, of the Panama Pacific Line, as shown on two crew lists, when the ship docked at New York (the lists indicate that Guthmann was still a German citizen at that time). One of the crew lists, dated in November 1932, indicates that he had a wife named Mary, residing in Brooklyn, New York. In 1942, according to a World War II draft registration card that matches Guthmann's name and exact birth date, he was working for a real estate firm and lodging at an address in New York City.

The collection contains items belonging to Oscar Guthmann, a German seaman who was born in Hamburg, in 1894, and later apparently settled in New York City. It includes a 1921 copy of Guthmann’s birth certificate, and 6 photographs, including one that is on a postcard.

The postcard is addressed to Hans Lüders, who was possibly a step-relation of Guthmann, since (according to the birth certificate) Lüders was a name used by Guthmann’s mother in a previous marriage that ended in divorce. The postcard was sent to Lüders from his young sisters Hilde and Selma Borst (who are pictured on the card), while he was an internee, or prisoner of war, at the Knockaloe Aliens Camp, on the Isle of Man, England, during World War I.

Of the other photographs, one was taken in Hamburg and apparently depicts Guthmann's mother; one shows a woman with four young children; and another, a man beside a baby carriage. Two photographs appear to have been taken at the same time: one depicts several men in white sailor outfits, or uniforms, together with a man dressed like a captain, on the deck of a sailboat; and the other shows a sailboat, or yacht, named Jacinta, at dock. The latter photograph is inscribed on the verso with the name and address of Chase Adams of Dearborn, Michigan.

The collection comprises one folder stored in GAC Mss. IIb (Legal-size folders), Box 1.

German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Violet Lutz
Finding Aid Date
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from the Max Kade Foundation, as part of the grant project "Retrieval and Cataloging of the German-American Experience, 1918-1960."
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the German Society of Pennsylvania with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Collection Inventory

Birth certificate of Carl Friedrich Eduard Oscar Guthmann, born at Hamburg on 6 November 1894, in the form of a copy dated 10 February 1921. Signed by Guthmann’s father (“M.B. Guthmann”) as approving receipt of the copy.
Photographs, circa 1915-1940. 6 items.
Physical Description

6 items

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