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Collection Guide
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A guide to the San Francisco Yacht Club photographs, circa 1900-1960s
P74-041L (SAFR 23371)  
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Collection Contents

Box 1

Series 1.  Photograph album and photographs, circa 1900-1960s (bulk 1920s-1930s)

Extent: 98 photographs (1 album containing 92 photographs, 6 loose prints of various sizes ranging from 8 x 10 in. to 8 x 14 in.)

Scope and Content Note

Items 1-98. Photograph Album: Items 1-92: 1 photograph album of headshot portraits of San Francisco Yacht Club members photographed by Otto H. Boye of San Francisco, approximately 1933. Photographs of men and one boy. "San Francisco Yacht Club" and "By Boye" are embossed on the cover. Several of the album pages have "Boye" embossed on them. Photographs are 6.25 x 8.75 inches each, printed on 9.5 x 14 inch album pages. Some have annotations on the back of the page, which were likely done by Boye. Annotations occur in different combinations: numbers (all five-digits long, in this form: 54###); names, mostly surnames but sometimes included are initials or first names; and "Yacht," or "S. F. Yacht." It appears as though some individuals signed their name on the page near their photograph. The following signatures are in the album: Commodore Cliff Smith (Commodore in 1926 and 1933), Edgar M. Nelson, Wm. A La Violette, Robert M. Gunn, and [Herber] Hanley. In the instance of Commodore Smith's signed photograph, the name written on the back of the page ("Cohen") does not match the name on the front ("Commodore Cliff Smith"). Other names that appeared on the back of the pages (more than just surnames) are L. Baer, G.C. Boardman, M.R. Gibbons, M. Green, B. Hamlin, F. Homer, and D. Lewison.

Loose photographic prints:

  • Item 93: Aerial view of Belvedere Cove, California, circa 1900-1920. There are annotations and a caption on the front of the print; "Clifford A. Smith" and "Gabriel Moulin Studios" are stamped on the back. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.
  • Item 94: FRISCO STAR (yacht) underway in the San Francisco Bay, California, view off starboard quarter, full sail, circa 1920-1930. Two unidentified men are visible on board, one most likely Clifford Smith. "Frisco Star" is written on the front and "Clifford Smith" and another indecipherable name are written on the back. Smith introduced the Star class in 1923. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 9 x 12 in.
  • Item 95: Unidentified lumber dock, circa 1920-1930. Lumber is piled on a dock with a barge or other work vessel on the other side of the dock. What appears to be a Marin County coast is visible in the background. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 6 x 9 in.
  • Item 96: Portrait of eleven members of the San Francisco Yacht Club wearing suits, standing behind the [I. A.] Perpetual Trophy, circa 1930. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in., affixed to cardboard of the same size.
  • Item 97: Men working on the exterior of the San Francisco Yacht Club, Belvedere Cove, California, circa 1934. Two men are sitting, one is on a ladder and another is carrying a bucket. There is neither trim nor rails on the docks surrounding the building, most likely placing this photograph at the time of the building's construction. This view is similar to that of Item 98. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 7 x 10 in.
  • Item 98: Side view of the San Francisco Yacht Club, Belvedere Cove, California, circa 1930s-1960s. There are people sitting outside in a seating area and several men are leaning over looking at something on a dock in the foreground. "S. F. Yacht Club 5-29-74" is written on the back of the print (this is the date that the materials were donated to the SF Maritime Museum by the SFYC). This view is similar to that of Item 97. 1 black-and-white photographic print, 8.5 x 14 in. "Photographed by Will Geisman; Credit Appreciated" stamped on the back and "S. F. Yacht Club 5-29-74" written on the back of the print.

Biography/Organization History

Some of the photographs in this series are related to Clifford A. Smith, who was active in the SFYC during the early part of the 20th century, and was elected Commodore of the SFYC in 1926 and 1933. According to a history of the San Francisco Yacht Club written for its 100th Anniversary, Smith worked as a law research clerk for the Market Street Railway. (This biographical information was taken from the P06-012 (SAFR 20934) catalog record, written by SFMNHP staff member Charles Miller.)
Box 1

Item No. 04.  Portrait of Commodore Cliff Smith, approximately 1933

Creator/Collector: Boye Photograph Studio
Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 6.25 x 8.75 in. printed on an album page, 9.5 x 14 in. Signed "Commodore Cliff Smith" under the portrait.

Scope and Content Note

Headshot of Cliff Smith. This photograph is one in a photograph album of members of the San Francisco Yacht Club. The page is signed "Commodore Cliff Smith." Smith was Commodore of the club in 1926 and 1933.
Box 1

Item No. 94.  Frisco Star (yacht) underway, full sail, view off starboard quarter, circa 1920-1930

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 9 x 12 in. "Clifford Smith" and an indecipherable name are written on the back of the print. "Frisco Star" is written on the front of the print.

Scope and Content Note

There are two people visible on board: one is Clifford A. Smith, Captain of the vessel and two-time San Francisco Yacht Club Commodore. The vessel is most likely in San Francisco Bay. There is an unidentified coast and open water in the background.
Box 1

Item No. 97.  View of the San Francisco Yacht Club exterior, near completion, Belvedere Cove, California, circa 1934

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 7 x 11 in.

Scope and Content Note

Men appear to be doing finishing work on the newly constructed club. There are two men sitting, one on a ladder and one walking at the side of the club. The deck around the building and a dock to the building are in the foreground; they do not have rails, indicating that it is near completion.
Box 1

Item No. 98.  View of the San Francisco Yacht Club exterior, Belvedere Cove, California, circa 1930s-1960s

Creator/Collector: Geisman, Will
Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: "Photographed by Will Geisman; Credit Appreciated" stamped on the back of the print, and "S. F. Yacht Club 5-29-74" is written on the back of the print (this is the date that the materials were donated to the SF Maritime Museum by the SFYC).

Scope and Content Note

The club construction appears to be complete. Decorative trim and awnings on the facade are in place and the deck and dock rails are completed. There are several men sitting outside in a patio area. There are other men on the deck and dock area as well. This view is similar to that of Item 97.