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A guide to the Captain Fred K. Klebingat photograph collection, circa 1900-1961
P80-050 (SAFR 23381)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: Captain Fred K. Klebingat photograph collection
    Date: circa 1900-1961
    Date (bulk): 1925-1927
    Identifier/Call Number: P80-050 (SAFR 23381)
    Creator: Klebingat, Fred
    Physical Description: 265 items.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Captain Fred K. Klebingat photograph collection, circa 1900-1961, bulk 1925-1927, (SAFR 23381, P80-050) is comprised mainly of photographs of crew and sailing vessels that Klebingat worked on, the majority of which are of Zane Grey's South Seas fishing voyage aboard FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht). The collection has been processed to the File Unit level with some Items listed and is open for use.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.

    Access

    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Each photographic image has been assigned an Item number; there are sometimes multiple physical forms of each image (e.g. a black-and-white photographic print and a copy negative) which has been noted in the physical description field.
    There are 19 copy negatives that SAFR staff made from prints in this collection. These copy negatives have been included in the total physical Item count for the collection. At the time the copy negatives were made, no Item numbers had been assigned to the material in the collection. SAFR staff assigned the copy material Item numbers and for those copied from the album, they incorrectly listed which page numbers the photographs were from. In 2013, the Processing Archivist fixed this confusing situation. All of the materials in the collection have been assigned an Item number and the copy negatives have been assigned the same Item number as the photographic print that they were created from, as they are the same image. See the collection file for more detail regarding the previous Item numbers assigned to the copy negatives.
    Description Notes: Dates refer to when the original photograph was taken. Some of the photographic prints and negatives in this collection are copies that were made much later than when the original photograph was taken, and the dates of these reproductions were noted when known. There are photographic postcards of paintings and it is unknown when the paintings were created. It is possible that they were painted as soon as the vessel was built, but they could also have been done much later. Since it is very likely that the photographic postcards were made in the early 20th century, these dates were assigned to these postcards.
    Information about numeric stamps on the back of the photographs has been included in the physical description notes, because in the early 20th century the stamp often signified the customer number. This might help to identify which photographs came from particular people.
    The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P80-050 (SAFR 23381), Captain Fred K. Klebingat photograph collection, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-00001
    GOGA-00789
    SAFR-00001, GOGA-00789: These photographs were received as a gift from Captain Fred Klebingat at an unknown date. They were formally accessioned on June 17, 1980.
    SAFR-00001 is a blanket accession that was transferred from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in September 1988. GGNRA had previously acquired the collection from the San Francisco Maritime Museum when it became a unit of the National Park Service in 1977.
    GOGA-00789 was transferred from the J. Porter Shaw Library to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in February 1985.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    Captain Fred K. Klebingat (1889-1985) was a sailor throughout his life, a key figure in the drive to establish FALLS OF CLYDE (built 1878; bark, 4m) as a museum ship in Hawaii in the 1960s, the author of many letters and essays about his seafaring life (including the series "Christmas at Sea") and a historian of the age of sail.
    Friedrich Karl Klebingat was born near Kiel, Germany, on October 7, 1889. He started his seafaring career in 1905, working as a deck hand on the full rigged German ship D.H. WATJEN (built 1892; ship, 3m) upon which he rounded Cape Horn to Chile. Next he signed on as an ordinary seaman (O.S.) on Bremen Watjen & Company's bark ANNA (built 1893; bark, 4m). From 1912-1913 he worked as a carpenter on CHANSLOR and then her sister ship WILLIAM F. HERRIN (Klebingat and Tweedale 1982, 13-15). In 1914 he shipped out on CITY OF TOPEKA (built 1884; merchant vessel) as a carpenter and in June of that year he became a U.S. Citizen.
    Klebingat was chief mate on FALLS OF CLYDE from 1916-1918. In 1918, he was chief mate of STAR OF POLAND (built 1901; bark, 4m) and he survived its September 15, 1918 wreck in Japan. Klebingat's first command was in 1918, on the bark CHIN PU, carrying a cargo of empty gin bottles and carboys of acid on deck from Kobe, Japan, to Manila, Philippines. Her cargo of copra meal caught fire on her second voyage, and she was scuttled in Nagasaki, Japan. In 1919, Klebingat took command of the four-masted schooner MELROSE (built 1902; schooner, 4m) and was her master for six years.
    From 1925-1942, Klebingat was master of Zane Grey's FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht) (ex MARSHAL FOCH) and other sailing yachts such as NAVIGATOR (schooner, 2m: yacht) and BALI (yacht). While working on FISHERMAN, Fred was reunited with Phyllis Cramond Reid (November 26, 1905-June 5, 1980) in Whangaroa, New Zealand, after having met several years earlier. They were married on April 1, 1927, while Klebingat was still employed with Grey's fishing expedition. Mrs. Klebingat consequently traveled with the crew until they returned to the Port of Los Angeles on August 27, 1927. Four years later, Fred and Phyllis had a son named Frederick John Klebingat (December 2, 1931-August 17, 1970).
    During World War II, Captain Fred Klebingat commanded Liberty ships (OLIVER EVANS, WM. MULHOLLAND) and tankers (APACHE CANYON, HARPERS FERRY) in both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. After the war, he returned home to San Pedro, California. Klebingat worked various jobs, mostly employed by lumber companies running goods up and down the Pacific coast.
    Fred was a key figure in the 1963 drive which brought FALLS OF CLYDE to Honolulu, Hawaii as a museum ship, helping to save it from becoming a breakwater in Vancouver, British Columbia. He also served as chief technical advisor and historian for the FALLS OF CLYDE restoration project. Klebingat retired in the late 1960s. In 1969, at the age of 80, he skippered the motorship COOS BAY in the coastwise lumber trade.
    Klebingat wrote many letters and essays about his seafaring life (including the series "Christmas at Sea"). He was friends with other maritime historians such as Harold Huycke and Karl Kortum, with whom he corresponded extensively. Captain Klebingat died on March 31, 1985, at the age of 95, in Coos Bay, Oregon.
    Biography written by Amy Croft in 2012. Slightly updated by Amy Croft and M. Crawford in 2013.

    Sources:

    • California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Accessed on July 1, 2013.
    • California, Death Index, 1940-1997: Sacramento, CA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed on July 1, 2013.
    • Grey, Zane. The Best of Zane Grey, Outdoorsman. Mechanicsburg, Pa: Stackpole, 1992. Page 318.
    • Huycke, Harold D. Harold D. Huycke collection, 1868-2007. SFMNHP, (SAFR 22224, HDC 1600). Series 1.02, File Unit 005: Klebingat, Fred (Capt.) 1889-1985, clippings, letters, essays, typescript bio by Huycke, 1954-1995.
    • Huycke, Harold. 1985. "Capt. Fredrick K. Klebingat, 1889-1985." The Sea Chest, 18.4 (June 1985), 164-167. Print.
    • Klebingat, Captain Fred K. Fred Klebingat negative and photograph collection, circa 1920s-1940s. SFMNHP, (SAFR 20740, P05-046).
    • Klebingat, Fred, and Dellene M. Tweedale. 1982. Pacific coast shipmaster. Oral History Collection, Dept. of Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Los Angeles. [Los Angeles]: Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles.
    • Kortum, Karl. 1995. Kortum narratives on Captain Klebingat: also, Fred Klebingat on various subjects. SFMNHP, (VK140 K55 K67).
    • U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed on July 1, 2013.
    • 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Accessed on July 1, 2013.
    • 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Accessed on July 1, 2013.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Captain Fred K. Klebingat photograph collection, circa 1900-1961, bulk 1925-1927, (SAFR 23381, P80-050) is comprised mainly of photographs of crew and sailing vessels that Klebingat worked on, the majority of which are of Zane Grey's South Seas fishing voyage aboard FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht). The collection has been processed to the File Unit level with some Items listed and is open for use.
    Contains photographs of Klebingat and other people, mostly on board vessels that he worked on, circa 1900-1961, bulk 1925-1927. There are 233 unique photographic images, in 252 physical forms (1 photograph album containing 185 black and white photographic prints, 43 loose black-and-white photographic prints, 5 black-and-white photographic postcards, and 19 copy negatives). There are also 13 clippings in the photograph album.
    The album contains photographs taken in the South Seas, many aboard Zane Grey's schooner FISHERMAN, between 1925 and 1927. There are photographs of Klebingat getting married, South Seas island landscapes, activities on board the vessel (including fishing) and shore excursions.
    There are also 43 loose photographs of various vessels that Klebingat worked on throughout the years, people that he went on voyages with, and vessels of unknown relation to Klebingat. These photographs include Captain Klebingat's in-laws; people on board FALLS OF CLYDE (built 1878; bark, 4m) between 1916 and 1917, including Ernest Aderman; Klebingat on board FALLS OF CLYDE in 1961, his first time since 1917; C.A. THAYER (built 1895; schooner, 3m) arriving in San Francisco, California, 1957; many barks, some schooners and a merchant steamer; and portraits of men holding puppies.

    Collection Arrangement

    The collection has been arranged into one Series: South Seas voyages and vessel photographs. It has been further arranged into two File Units: File Unit 1: Photograph album of voyages in the South Seas; File Unit 2: Sailing vessels, people, and places.

    Related Materials

    Related photograph collections: Captain Fred K. Klebingat collection of Ernest Aderman photographs, 1912-1974, bulk 1930-1945. SFMNHP, (SAFR 23377, P77-015). Photographs of ships and yachts that Ernest Aderman worked on from 1913-1960s, including MELROSE (built 1902; schooner, 4m) and FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht).
    Capt. Fred Klebingat photograph, 1911-1941. SFMNHP, (SAFR 15184, P78-013). Capt. Fred Klebingat with three other people next to a spar for a new main mast for MELROSE (built 1902; schooner, 4m), at Stone's Shipyard in Oakland, California. Photographed by Aderman. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.55 in. and 1 black-and-white copy negative, 5 x 7 in.
    Capt. Fred Klebingat and Ernest Aderman on board Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht), circa 1925-1927. SFMNHP, (SAFR 19209, P78-265a). Captain Fred Klebingat and Ernest Aderman on their knees planing the deck of Zane Gray's FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht). 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3 x 5 in. and 1 black-and-white copy negative, 4 x 5.5 in.
    Capt. Fred Klebingat photograph, circa 1938 June. SFMNHP, (SAFR 19502, P78-462). NAVIGATOR (schooner, 2m: yacht) at Traitor's Bay, Oomoa, Fatuhiva Marquesas Islands. Photographed by Ernest Aderman. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in. and 1 black-and-white copy negative, 5 x 6 in.
    Fred Klebingat photograph, 1935. SFMNHP (SAFR 14738, P80-107). NAVIGATOR (schooner, 2m: yacht) and ZELEE (government schooner) at waterfront at Papeete, Tahiti. Photographed by Ernest Aderman. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.75 in.
    Capt. Fred Klebingat photograph, circa 1910-1920. SFMNHP, (SAFR 18420, P82-073). Ernest Aderman aboard an unidentified scow schooner. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.5 in.
    Capt. Fred Klebingat photograph, circa 1920-1925. SFMNHP, (SAFR 18451, P82-090). Robert Bruce at the wheel of MELROSE (built 1902; schooner, 4m). Photographed by Ernest Aderman. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.5 in.
    Capt. Fred Klebingat photograph, 1935. SFMNHP, (SAFR 333, P83-004). NAVIGATOR (schooner, 2m: yacht). Oliver Treadway, Harry Carlstrom, Captain Fred Klebingat, Ivar Thoren, Gus Wirth, Ernest Aderman, Jimmy Wilder. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 7 x 10 in.
    Karl Kortum photograph, circa 1920. SFMNHP, (SAFR 335, P83-010). "Old Bill" and Paddy Lynch aboard MELROSE (built 1902; schooner, 4m) in Hilo, Hawaii. Photographed by Ernest Aderman. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.5 in.
    The SFMNHP Classified photograph collection has images that complement those in this collection (P80-050) as well.
    Related oral history collection: Capt. Frederick K. Klebingat interviewed by Karl Kortum in December 1976. SFMNHP Oral History Collection, OHCC154. Notes for the interview in the oral history database say: "Coos (?)Bay, Aderman (?) story, Klebingat Lecture found OHCC155".
    Researchers should note that there are other books and collections with materials related to Captain Fred Klebingat and the vessels in this collection, in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. They can search the Park's web catalog for more information.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Yachting--French Polynesia
    Yachting
    Voyages and travels
    Salt-water fishing
    Seafaring life
    Passenger ships
    Square-riggers
    Schooners
    Merchant marine--United States--History--20th century
    Merchant ships
    Marine photography
    Klebingat, Fred
    Aderman, Ernest
    Grey, Zane, 1872-1939
    Bali (yacht)
    C.A. Thayer (built 1895; schooner, 3m)
    Falls of Clyde (built 1878; ship, 4m)
    Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht)
    Melrose (built 1902; schooner, 4m)
    Point Arena (built 1887; steam schooner)
    R.P. Rithet (built 1892; bark, 3m)
    South Pacific Ocean
    Tahiti (French Polynesia : Island)
    French Polynesia
    New Zealand
    Pacific Coast (Calif.)
    Photograph albums
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Gelatin silver prints
    Black-and-white negatives
    Photographic postcards
    Clippings (information artifacts)