Museum logo

Photo Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Title Old Boston stone
Object Name Negative, Glass-plate
Photographer Austen, E. Alice
Date June 28, 1892
Collection Alice Austen Photograph Collection
Description Original glass plate negative. View across a cobblestone street to a brick building. A large round stone is embedded in the brick wall; on the sidewalk below is a large rectangular stone with an inscription: "BOSTON / STONE / 1737." To the left is a sign that leans against the building: "MARSHALL HOUSE / OYSTER / STEW / 15c / OPPOSITE." To the right is a wooden crate. Items visible through the window include a ceramic jug, a bottle covered with wicker, and a wooden pail. Two identical handbills are adhered sideways on the brick wall: "WOGAN / Bill Poster / Harrison Ave. Cor. Hayward Place."
(Keywords: Massachusetts)
Film Size 4 x 5
Acquisition Museum Purchase
Ownership and History This photo shows a building on Marshall Street in Boston. According to tradition, the Boston Stone (the round stone embedded in the wall) was originally used by a painter for grinding paints. An 1898 New York Times article gave a lengthy history of the stone: "...The stone was originally a paint mill, imported from England about the year 1700 by a painter who had a little shop in the old wooden house that then occupied this site...The round stone above, which is about two feet in diameter, was the grinder, and was rolled back and forth in the trough hollowed out in one side of the larger stone underneath, and thus ground the paint..." The inscribed stone at the base was made from part of the original trough.
Earliest Date 1892
Latest Date 1892
Subjects Monuments & memorials
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Catalog Number 50.015.6115
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, May 2013.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.