Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
C. Otto Linn Negatives

Finding aid created by
A. Martin, V. Rohr, L. White, Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: C. Otto Linn Negatives,
Creator: Linn, C. Otto.
Inclusive dates: 1899, 2012, and undated
Extent: 2 cubic feet (in 4 boxes)
Abstract:
Negatives of images of people, holiday celebrations, buildings in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Marshall, Lansing, and Homer, Michigan, and floods in Homer and Battle Creek. In Box 3 there are negatives of the costumed elephants and camels of Ringling Circus in Lansing, 1913, and a costume parade of Buffalo Bill's "circus," really a wild west, 1913, probably also in Lansing.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160
Email: clarke@cmich.edu
Website: http://clarke.cmich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 72938

Access Restrictions:

C. Otto Linn Negatives are open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

C. Otto Linn Negatives, 1899, 1913, and undated, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement

Arrangement is numerical.


History

Biography:

C. Otto Linn (1891-1974) was a photographer and owner of Linn Camera Shops, Lansing, Michigan. He was probably a Homer, Michigan, native, born May 5, 1883. Linn died in February of 1969 in Homer. (This information is from the donor agreement and the Social Security Death Index at AncestryLibrary.com viewed in July 2011.)


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection of film negatives, 1899, 1913, and undated, was originally housed in three Eastman Negative Albums with tissue paper sleeves. Sometimes more than one negative was stored in a sleeve. Volume I is now housed in Box 1 of the collection, Volume II is now housed in Box 2, and Volume VI is now Box 3. It is highly likely that volumes III-V once existed, however, they were not donated to the Clarke. The negatives in each volume are each numbered in their own sequence, beginning with number one and continuing to 92 or 100. Descriptive notes, written in pencil, sometimes quite brief, written by Linn, were included at the end of each volume about single negatives or groups of negatives. In at least one case Linn refers to himself, Box 1 Negative #36 “Myself of Pond.” Some images are of Linn’s friends or relatives. For example, in Box 1, Negative #30 is described as “Dessie and Father at lake.” These notes were used to describe the negatives. The processors added additional description, as needed. Negatives are undated unless other noted.

Volume I (Box 1) consists of 92 negatives, 1906-1910, and undated, of men, women, children, and groups of people, mostly in Homer, engaged in various activities, including with pets. A bakery fire in Homer, Michigan, 1907, is documented as is men grossly dressed as women at Homer, Marshall in 1908. Some of the females are described as “Marshall girls.”

Linn Negatives 1-9: Of particular interest, negatives 4, 5, and 7 show different angles of Homer’s main street.

Linn Negatives 10-19: Negative 18 is of a man ice skating, and negative 19 is of a woman ice skating. Both negatives are dated 1906.

Linn Negatives 20-29: Negative 20 is of a fire in a Bakery, 1907

Linn Negatives 30-39: Negative 30 is of a woman standing in a lake holding onto a canoe, and a man is sitting in the canoe. Negative 31 is of a man handing a woman a flower who is sitting on grass. Negative 33 is of a woman hanging off the back of a wagon. Negative 38 is of a horse race. Negative 39 is of a baby sitting in a baby carriage.

Linn Negatives 40-49: Negative 42 is a group of people sitting together in a room with a man holding a baby doll. Negative 4 is a group of people sitting together in a room, and one man is holding a cat. Negative 46 is of a young girl sitting in a chair. Negative 47 is of two boys fighting at school, with a group of boys around them watching.

Linn Negatives 50-59: Negative 50 is of a woman holding a large cat. Negative 52 is of a fancy passenger car on the end of a train. Negative 56 is a group of people sitting together in a room wearing odd hats and clothing. Negative 59 is of a small child standing on a porch with a ball in their hands.

Linn Negatives 60-69: Negative 61 is of a baby propped up on a couch with pillows and a young child standing next to the couch.

Linn Negatives 70-79, 1908: Negative 71a is of a small boy in a chair with a ball between his legs. Negative 71b is the same small boy from 71a sitting in a chair with a gun across his lap. Negative 71c is the same small boy from 71a but standing on a porch holding onto a gun. Negative 72 is of a man standing with a large dog in front of him. Negative 73 is of two men standing with a large dog

Linn Negatives 80-89, 1907-1908: Negative 81a is of a couple with a baby. The woman and baby are sitting in a chair and the man is leaning over the back of the chair. Negative 81b is of the same baby in 81a sitting alone in a large chair. Negative 82a-82b is of a boy outside with shovel in hand. Negative 82c is of same boy from 82a-b but he is standing on a porch. Negative 83a is of a baby sitting in a large chair. Negative 83b is of same baby from 83a but lying in a wicker baby carriage. Negative 87 is of two little girls standing on a porch. Negative 89 is of a group of men (?) dressed up in various costumes such as clowns and gross women. Negative 92 is a close up of one of the men in this negative.

Linn Negatives 90-92: Negative 91 is of a skinny shaggy dog. Negative 92 is of a man (?) dressed in a long dress. The man has a type of cage over his head. In his right hand is a small baseball bat, and on his left is an oversized baseball glove with text that reads “Presented to the “Girls” of Marshall Aug 19” 08 at Homer by the Homer “Biz” men.” This man is part of a group picture in negative 89 which is titled “Marshall Day at Homer 1908.” A copy of Negative 92 is located in the folder along with the negative.

Volume II (Box 2) consists of 100 negatives, 1906-1910, and undated. Besides people, the negatives document floods at Homer and Albion, Michigan, 1907, and a flood at Battle Creek, Michigan, 1909. Other Michigan areas and celebrations are documented including: Lyon Lake and Gull Lake, 1909, Homer 1906, Kalamazoo River, 1910, Homer High School, 1908, Homer, 1909 and Kalamazoo, 1908. Linn’s rooms in Stone House, Homer High School, and Jones Bowling Alley are also documented.

Linn Negatives 1-10: Of particular interest, negatives show Flood at Homer, Michigan, flooded streets and fields, 1907.

Linn Negatives 11-20: Flood at Homer, Michigan, flooded bridges and railroad tracks, 1907.

Linn Negatives 21-30: Flood at Homer, Michigan, 1907, and at Battle Creek, Michigan, 1909. Land bridge in Homer is flooded in negative 25.

Linn Negatives 31-40: Flood at Battle Creek, Michigan in 1909. Negative 32: of a flooded neighborhood. Flood at Albion, Michigan in 1907. Negative 36: of collapsed stores in flood waters. Negative 40: of a woman standing in wooded area at Lyon Lake, Michigan in 1909.

Linn Negatives 41-50: Lyon Lake, Michigan, 1909, individual portraits of woman and man standing in forested area. Gull Lake, Michigan, 1909, negatives of Lake and surrounding landscape.

Linn Negatives 51-60: Homer, Michigan Main Street, 1906. Also, Gull Lake, Michigan, scenic pictures, 1909. Negative 59: labeled “Flashlight at Linn’s [home] 1906” shows six women sitting around a table, playing cards.

Linn Negatives 61-70: Negative 61: Fourth of July at Homer, Michigan in 1906. Negative 62: “Mrs. William Raby’s Father” is of a man sitting in a chair. Lyon Lake, Michigan, in 1910. Marshall, Michigan, in 1908. Negative 65 is of the old dam at Homer, Michigan in 1906. Negatives 66-67: labeled Breakfast at Linn’s [home], and Flashlight at Linn’s [home]. Negative 69: Bird eye view of Homer, Michigan.

Linn Negatives 71-81: Kalamazoo River 1910. Negative 77: Jones Bowling Alley in 1908. Negative 78: Two kittens on blanket outside in 1908. Negative 79: Homer High School.

Linn Negatives 82-91: Marshall Day at Homer, Michigan in 1908. Negatives 87-89 are Linn’s rooms in Stone House, with very elaborate decorations. Negatives 90-91: Born and King in 1909.

Linn Negatives 92-100: Homer, Michigan 1909. Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1908.

Volume VI (Box 3) consists of 100 negatives, 1899, 1912-1913, mostly 1913. Besides people and pets, Ringling Brothers Circus elephants and camels, in costume in Lansing, 1913 (Negatives 41a-44c), and the Buffalo Will “Circus” parade, really a Wild West (Negatives 94a-100), also in 1913, presumably also in Lansing, are included. The parade includes a variety of costumed riders, notably Native Americans, a buggy and a fake longhorn bull on a wagon float.

Linn Negatives 1-9, 1899, 1913: Of particular interest negative 2a-2b, two children playing by fort with pails, bowls and stool.

Linn Negatives 10-19, 1912-1913: 16a-16d, Man and woman skating on lake. 19a-19c, little boy sitting in front seat of car.

Linn Negatives 20-29, 1913: 25a-26b, Woman with hoe gardening in backyard with little girl. 26b-26c, little girl in wide brimmed hat playing with something in her lap.

Linn Negatives 30-39, 1913: 33b, women on teeter totters. 34a, women playing with may pole. 36b-37a, men swinging on may pole. 38a-38c, men and women on swing set.

Linn Negatives 40-49, 1913: 41a-44c, Ringling Brothers Circus, elephants eating grass, men in costume putting carriage seat on elephant and man in costume leading a camel in costume by the reins. 48a-48c, women swimming and canoeing.

Linn Negatives 50-59, 1913: 59a-59b, man using water pump to pump water into a cup for a woman.

Linn Negatives 60-69, 1913: 61a, owl starring straight at camera. 63a, two women sitting in rocking chairs on front porch, one holding a little boy in her lap and has a little girl by her side. 66a-69a, woman and her dog in front yard.

Linn Negatives 70-79, 1913: 70a-70b, woman and her dog in front yard. No photo is slot 71 (Helen Lury and her dog June 24, 1913). 74a, little boy and girl standing on sidewalk with some sort of wooden toys. 75a-75b, two men and three women sitting in decorated car with elk head on front grill.

Linn Negatives 80-89, 1913; 89a, two men and little boy with stick in his hand.

Linn Negatives 90-100, 1913: 94a-100, Buffalo Bill Circus, men in Native American clothing, riding horses and holding flags. Men in carriage with some kind of longhorn bull behind them on top of carriage.

The collection was scanned in 2012 at 600 dpi as tif files. Box 4 includes scans of Boxes 1-3, the inventory of the scanned images, and 4 CDs of the scans and inventory.

Processing Note: Each processor processed one of the three volumes in the collection. For expediency’s sake, each box was handled as a separate unit. All negatives measure 5.5 x 3.5 inches unless otherwise noted. All the negatives are in good condition. A few have bits of paper stuck to them.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows.
    • Linn Camera Shop (Lansing, Mich.)
    • Linn, C. Otto.
    • Wild West Shows--United States.
    • Floods--Michigan--Homer.
    • Floods--Michigan--Battle Creek.
    • Pets--History.
    • Homer (Mich.)--History.
    • Marshall (Mich.)--History.
    • Lansing (Mich.)--History.
    • Round Lake(Mecosta County, Mich.)--History.
    • Battle Creek (Mich.)--History.
    • Kalamazoo (Mich.)--History.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    C. Otto Linn Negatives [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Linn Negatives, 1-9, undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Linn Negatives, 10-19, 1906
    Box   1 F   3
    Linn Negatives, 20-29, 1907
    Box   1 F   4
    Linn Negatives, 30-39, undated
    Box   1 F   5
    Linn Negatives, 40-49, undated
    Box   1 F   6
    Linn Negatives, 50-59, undated
    Box   1 F   7
    Linn Negatives, 60-69, undated
    Box   1 F   8
    Linn Negatives, 70-79, 1908
    Box   1 F   9
    Linn Negatives, 80-89, 1907-1908
    Box   1 F   10
    Linn Negatives, 90-92, 1908
    Box   2 F   1
    Linn Negatives, 1-10, 1907
    Box   2 F   2
    Linn Negatives, 11-20, 1907
    Box   2 F   3
    Linn Negatives, 21-30, 1907-1909
    Box   2 F   4
    Linn Negatives, 31-40, 1907-1909
    Box   2 F   5
    Linn Negatives, 41-50, 1907-1909
    Box   2 F   6
    Linn Negatives, 51-60, 1906-1909
    Box   2 F   7
    Linn Negatives, 61-70, 1906-1910, undated
    Box   2 F   8
    Linn Negatives, 71-81, 1908-1910, undated
    Box   2 F   9
    Linn Negatives, 82-91, 1908-1909, undated
    Box   2 F   10
    Linn Negatives, 92-100, 1908-1909
    Box   3 F   1
    Linn Negatives, 1-9, 1899, 1912
    Box   3 F   2
    Linn Negatives, 10-19, 1912-1913
    Box   3 F   3
    Linn Negatives, 20-29, 1913
    Box   3 F   4
    Linn Negatives, 30-39, 1913
    Box   3 F   5
    Linn Negatives, 40-49, 1913
    Box   3 F   6
    Linn Negatives, 50-59, 1913
    Box   3 F   7
    Linn Negatives, 60-69, 1913
    Box   3 F   8
    Linn Negatives, 70-79, 1913
    Box   3 F   9
    Linn Negatives, 80-89, 1913
    Box   3 F   10
    Linn Negatives, 90-100, 1913
    Box   4 F   1
    Inventory of Scanned Images, 2012
    Box   4 F   2
    Positive prints from negatives in Box 1, scanned, 2012
    Box   4 F   3
    Positive prints from negatives in Box 2, scanned, 2012
    Box   4 F   4
    Positive prints from negatives in Box 3, scanned, 2012
    Box   4 F   5
    Scans of negatives, 4 CDs, includes Inventory, 2012