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Clarkson Clothier Lantern Slide Collection


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives. 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

Clarkson Clothier (1846-1917) was the son of anti-slavery activist Caleb Clothier and Hannah Fletcher, descendent of Robert Morris. Born on Oct. 5 to a Quaker family, Clothier was raised in Philadelphia and attended the Friends’ Central School. He was an active businessman throughout his adult life, with his first position at Wilson, Anderson & Cernea, a wholesale dry goods store. He was later employed at Wood, Marsh, Haywood & Co. and began working at the King, Seybert & Clothier firm in 1872. Clothier’s final employment position was a financial management role from 1888-1903 at Strawbridge & Clothier, a dry goods store co-founded by his brother, Isaac H. Clothier.

Clarkson Clothier led an active social life, participating in numerous recreational and charitable organizations, including the Union League, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Manufacturers' Club, the Merion Cricket Club and the Bachelors' Barge Club. He also assumed leadership positions in a number of additional organizations, becoming a manager of both the American Sunday School Union and the Presbyterian Hospital and treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.

Clarkson Clothier married Agnes Evans on Oct. 12, 1875 and had one son and three daughters: Robert Clarkson (president of Rutgers University from 1932-1951), Marion, Edith, and Florence. Following Agnes’ death on Oct. 21, 1900, Clothier married his second wife, Florence M. Allen, on June 16, 1905.

Clarkson Clothier died unexpectedly in his Haverford home in 1917 at the age of 71 due to heart complications.

The Clarkson Clothier collection was donated to the Archives in 2015 by Robert C. Clothier of Philadelphia and includes 373 lantern slides originally housed in 9 wooden lantern slide boxes and two travel diaries from Clothier’s trip around the world in 1901. The lantern slides include some photographs taken by Clothier himself, as well as purchased professional photographs. Images include views from India, the Philippines, the Holy Lands, Egypt, Japan, Spain, Greece, Turkey, China, Italy, and Hawaii. The majority of the slides are in black and white; however, some of the slides are hand-colored. The slides were generally boxed by geographic location, with some inconsistencies. The travel diaries include one written by Clarkson Clothier himself, a copy of which is part of the current collection, and one written by his sister, Marion, owned by Robert C. Clothier. The slides have been numbered and catalogued individually in the image database.

“Clarkson Clothier,” Find a Grave, Apr. 5, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2015. The National cyclopaedia of American biography. Vol. 9, 1907. White, James Terry, pp. 461.,%20Anderson%20&%20Cernea&f=false. Retrieved July 7, 2015. “Robert Clarkson Clothier,” World eBook Library, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.

University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Emily Romanello
Finding Aid Date
Aug. 11, 2015

Collection Inventory

India (59 slides).
Ceylon [Sri Lanka] (6 slides).
Philippines (8 slides).
Holy Lands (54 slides).
Constantinople (6 slides).
Egypt (83 slides).
Japan (63 slides).
Spain (35 slides).
Greece (12 slides).
China (15 slides).
Italy (5 slides).
Hawaii (5 slides).
Unidentified (22 slides).
Diary [photocopy – digital copy also available], 1901.

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