Edward M. Keys Photo Collection

New York street scene, ca. 1896.



CREATOR: Edward M. Keys and others.

EXTENT:    .5 Linear Feet, 1 box, 55 images

COLLECTION SUMMARY: A collection of digital scans from a set of glass plate negatives depicting turn of the century New York City.

RECEIVED FROM: Vincent Marchese, November 2019.


PROCESSING ARCHIVIST:  Cathy Moran Hajo, January 2020.


Collection Details

Biographical / Historical Note:  Edward M. Keys (1873-1952) was an insurance secretary for the Metropolitan Life Insurance CompanyThe owner of Sam Alderisio’s house at 63  from 1899 to 1951. Keys was born in Lafayette, IN on March 2, 1873, a descendent of pioneer settlers in that state. He moved to New York City in 1899 and began working for Met Life, as a correspondent, head of the correspondents branch, assistant to the manager and assistant secretary. In 1910 he bought a house in the Cragmere section of Mahwah, 63 Armour Road, where he lived with his wife Louise G. Mitchell Keys (ca. 1880-1946). Keys was elected treasurer of the Cragmere Association in 1912 and was the president of a Civic Association of Hohokus Township, a group that opposed public improvements that the Township Committee wanted to build with WPA funds in 1938. Keys died in 1952.

Collection Description: The set of glass plate negatives were found in 63 Armour Road by the family who purchased the house from the Key estate. It includes highly detailed photographs of exteriors, possibly in the Mahwah area, portraits, interiors of homes, office scenes, and a series of photographs of what appear be the McKinley parade, held in New York City on Oct. 31, 1896 and possibly the Marine Sound-Money Parade, held on Oct. 24, 1896. There is also a photograph of an Abraham Lincoln letter.

Arrangement Description: The collection is organized thematically. There are no captions or dates associated with the images.

Subject Headings:

Cragmere – families

Interior decoration, 20th century

Key, Edward M.

Lincoln, Abraham

McKinley, William M.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

New York City, parades

Using the Collection

ACCESS STATEMENT:  Collection is open and available for use.  If used in a publication, the Museum expects to be credited.

RIGHTS STATEMENT: The Mahwah Museum owns the materials, but researchers wishing to publish or reprint materials need to secure permission from copyright holders.

PREFERRED CITATION:  Edward M. Keys Collection, Mahwah Museum, Mahwah, NJ.


Collection Inventory

Box: 1

Folder 1.    Finding Aid and Biographical Material

Folder 2. Correspondence, Abraham Lincoln to Peter Hagner, April 1849

Folder 3.  House photographs

Folder 4. Interior Decoration photographs

Folder 5. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company photographs

Folder 6. New York Parade photographs (likely McKinley Parade, Oct. 31, 1896)

Folder 7. New York Naval Parade photographs (likely Sound-Money parade, Oct. 24, 1896)

Folder 8. New York Street Scenes

Folder 9. Portraits, Dogs

Folder 10. Portraits, Groups

Folder 11. Portraits, Men

Folder 12. Portraits, Women