Center for Archival Collections

Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage

Samuel H. Sterner Negative Collection - MS 474

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory


The Samuel H. Sterner Negative Collection consists of nineteen 4 x 5 inch and one hundred sixty-two 5 x 7 inch glass plate negatives produced by Sterner in the early twentieth century in the Findlay, Ohio area, using a 6.3 Goertz lens and a double extension bellows view camera.

The negatives were donated to the Center for Archival Collections on December 12, 1986 by Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur D. Sterner, Findlay, Ohio. This register was prepared by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts, Center for Archival Collections, May 1989. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection.

Biographical Sketch

Samuel Henry Sterner, one of nine children of Emanuel and Louisa Weitz Sterner, was born in 1875. He married twice, first to May Hannah Dalbey, and in 1921 to Esther Lewis. He had a son from the first marriage, and a daughter from the second. He died on November 21, 1961 in Findlay, Ohio.

Scope and Content

The Samuel H. Sterner Negative Collection consists of nineteen 4 x 5 inch and one hundred sixty-two 5 x 7 inch glass plate negatives. As the work of an amateur photographer active in the early twentieth century, the collection provides a view of life around the Findlay, Ohio area. While most of the pictures are family-related shots showing houses, family activities, and individual portraits, there are a number of good views of farm life, houses, activities, at the Ohio State University (where Sterner attended school), and a few glimpses of activities around Findlay, Ohio.

Some of the more interesting items in the collection include a shot of a group of traveling entertainers, LaBelle Rosa and her Oriental Troupe of Dancers (complete with camels); some room interiors, including a parlor and a bedroom; humorous pictures of family members wearing costume noses and ears; and a photograph of workmen painting the cornice on a house, taken from the same level as the scaffold.

Due to poor storage of the negatives in the past, there is some emulsion damage on some of the plates in the collection. Also, the quality of the sharpness and clarity of the photographs is sometimes quite uneven. However, many of the plates are good, with details that can be enlarged without too much loss of resolution. Most of the photographs have identification, although without definite dates.

Series Description


NEGATIVES. (4 x 5 inch glass plate format).
Circa 1900-1910.
Includes scenes of business, family portraits, churches, and the LaBelle Rosa Troupe, with camels.

NEGATIVES. (5 x 7 inch glass plate format).
Circa 1900-1920.
Includes scenes of farm life, schools (both local and Ohio State University), buildings, businesses, interiors, and family portraits.


Box 1

Photograph Number
  1. A001 Man behind counter in store
  2. A002 Evangelical Lutheran Church, Findlay, Ohio
  3. A003 Horse with colt
  4. A004 Horse by barn door
  5. A005 Two women on rocks
  6. A006 Man and woman on rocks
  7. A007 Baby in carriage
  8. A008 Baby in carriage, outside house
  9. A009 Baby by birdcage
  10. A010 Baby on coverlet
  11. A011 Estelle Sterner De Haven, wearing glasses, seated
  12. A012 Estelle Sterner De Haven with sheet music by piano
  13. A013 Family group with dog
  14. A014 Parade float, Rinehart-Wood & Smith, harness maker
  15. A015 Parade wagons, "Fresh butter and eggs"
  16. A016 Decorated arch, BPOE, admission gate, Columbus
  17. A017 Watching parade, camels passing by
  18. A018 LaBelle Rosa and her Oriental Troupe of Dancers
  19. A019 Building, unidentified
  20. B001 William Miller reading history books, December 1903
  21. B002 Women's sewing group (identified on envelope)
  22. B003 Harold DeHaven
  23. B004 Samuel Sterner with suitcase, "Starting East"
  24. B005 Pete Ross with cow, London, Ohio
  25. B006 Three Girls having tea party (identified on envelope)
  26. B007 Williamstown General Store with US Mail wagon
  27. B008 Man and woman, oval portrait
  28. B009 Wilbur Sterner baby pictures, two shots
  29. B010 Young man, front and rear view (trick photo)
  30. B011 Outside of Indian Mill, Upper Sandusky, Ohio
  31. B012 School group, girl holding clock
  32. B013 Family group 1 (identification on sheet in box)
  33. B014 Family group 2 (same as picture B013)
  34. B015 Group of men and boys, smoking (identified in box)
  35. B016 School group, teacher in background
  36. B017 Family group with three children and a cat
  37. B018 Emauel Sterner family by an ornate porch (identified)
  38. B019 Delaware Township School group, William Miller, teacher
  39. B020 Orton Hall, Ohio State University
  40. B021 Ohio State University buildings
  41. B022 Church, unidentified
  42. B023 Family on porch, dog with spot over one eye
  43. B024 Young man on steps
  44. B025 Young boy wearing a bow
  45. B026 Man with large work-horse
  46. B027 Pete Ross, London, Ohio, with a bull
  47. B028 Girls wearing costume noses and ears
  48. B029 Men on scaffold, painting cornice
  49. B030 House with shutters and ivy-covered porch
  50. B031 House with two flags on porch
  51. B032 House, underexposed plate
  52. B033 School group
  53. B034 School group
  54. B035 School group
  55. B036 School group
  56. B037 Brown Hall, Ohio State University
  57. B038 Two girls having a tea party
  58. B039 Two men wearing
  59. B040 Woman feeding flock of chickens
  60. B041 House with potted plant on porch
  61. B042 Men inside barn (?)
  62. B043 Family group of five, including old couple
  63. B044 Samuel H. Sterner portrait, underexposed
  64. B045 Men shaking hands
  65. B046 Helen Fiscus West as a young girl with doll
  66. B047 Young girl in a white dress
  67. B048 Parlor interior, with wicker chair and plants
  68. B049 Burned-out building after winter fire
  69. B050 Inside of Indian Mill, Upper Sandusky, Ohio
  70. B051 Ohio State University building with clock tower
  71. B052 Ohio State University building with clock tower, winter
  72. B053 Young girl in ringlets
  73. B054 Child with toy tea set
  74. B055 Bushong Family group
  75. B056 School group of young men and women
  76. B057 Samuel H. Sterner with suitcase
  77. B058 Man with costume nose/ears with five young girls
  78. B059 Family group by vine-covered porch
  79. B060 Samuel H. Sterner with suitcase
  80. B061 Funeral wreath with photograph of Mr. Trowbridge
  81. B062 Family group with photograph (identified on envelope)
  82. B063 Man leading large horse 1
  83. B064 Man leading large horse 2
  84. B065 Two men and dog in farmyard
  85. B066 Five plants in numbered pots
  86. B067 Flooded area or pond
  87. B068 Snow-covered farm field
  88. B069 Men in uniforms on parade field, Ohio State University
  89. B070 Group of young men by doorway, Ohio State University
  90. B071 Bedroom interior
  91. B072 Parlor interior
  92. B073 Women in light-color blouses, Sarah Sterner on right
  93. B074 Three young women
  94. B075 Woman in dark, dotted blouse
  95. B076 Asa & Elsie Kelley family with ten children
  96. B077 Emanuel Sterner Family group by ornate porch
  97. B078 Residential street, Kinsey Repertory poster, 1904

Box 2

Photograph Number
  1. B079 Funeral wreath "Koth"
  2. B080 Dog on chair
  3. B081 Large horse
  4. B082 Large horse by fence
  5. B083 Experiments at OSU done by S. Sterner 1
  6. B084 Experiments at OSU done by S. Sterner 2
  7. B085 Three women with child
  8. B086 Snow covered riverbank
  9. B087 Cows in a field
  10. B088 Small girl sitting behind a plant
  11. B089 Plants
  12. B090 Experiments done at OSU by S. Sterner 3
  13. B091 Experiments done at OSU by S. Sterner 4
  14. B092 Experiments done at OSU by S. Sterner 5
  15. B093 Large horse, moving
  16. B094 Large horse, standing
  17. B095 Large horse with man
  18. B096 Schifferly's house, Upper Sandusky, Ohio
  19. B097 House with a large porch
  20. B098 Ohio State University ROTC on field
  21. B099 Church, unidentified
  22. B100 School group
  23. B101 School group
  24. B102 Two women and a man on porch
  25. B103 Barn by stream or pond
  26. B104 Funeral wreath with woman's photo 1
  27. B105 Funeral wreath with woman's photo 2
  28. B106 House with light trim 1
  29. B107 House with light trim 2
  30. B108 House with striped awnings
  31. B109 Three children at tea party
  32. B110 Young child with doll
  33. B111 Three young women
  34. B112 School group
  35. B113 School group
  36. B114 School group
  37. B115 Kitchen table
  38. B116 Dining area
  39. B117 Tree-lined street
  40. B118 School group
  41. B119 School group
  42. B120 Funeral wreath "Koth"
  43. B121 Ohio State University, castle-like building
  44. B122 Building, Ohio State University
  45. B123 Child with toy tea set
  46. B124 Funeral wreath "Koth"
  47. B125 Plants
  48. B126 OSU Armory, Columbus, burned-out
  49. B127 Snow-covered hillside
  50. B128 Snow-covered stream bank
  51. B129 Large house with greenhouse
  52. B130 House with large porch
  53. B131 House with striped awnings
  54. B132 School group
  55. B133 OSU ROTC men in uniforms in a line
  56. B134 Three women on a small porch
  57. B135 Little girl in a dark dress
  58. B136 Little girl with ringlets 1
  59. B137 Little girl with ringlets 2
  60. B138 Little girl with ringlets 3
  61. B139 Small child in a bound-type swing
  62. B140 Small child with bowtie
  63. B141 Father with three small children
  64. B142 Italianate house with iron fence
  65. B143 Woman on ivy-covered porch
  66. B144 Farmstead with rail fences
  67. B145 Child in bounce-swing
  68. B146 Mr. J. K. Stickle, OSU student from New Jersey 1
  69. B147 Small child with dog
  70. B148 School group
  71. B149 Family group with young girl
  72. B150 Family group with small boy
  73. B151 Small house
  74. B152 Parlor with fireplace
  75. B153 Family group with 12 people
  76. B154 Large family group
  77. B155 House with man and two women
  78. B156 Man and woman, front and back (trick photo)
  79. B157 Woman
  80. B158 Man and woman (oval mask)
  81. B159 School group
  82. B160 Man with watch-chain
  83. B161 Mr. J. K. Stickle, OSU student from New Jersey
  84. B162 Man in front of house

Manuscripts by Subject | Photograph Collections