Eckford Social Club Scrapbook
Language of Materials
The Eckford Social Club was founded as the Eckford Baseball Club in 1855 by a group of shipwrights and dock laborers employed at Eckford and Webb's shipyard. This bound scrapbook consists primarily of newspaper clippings relating to the club's members and to club business. Also included are official and social documents, correspondence, and memorabilia.
The Eckford Social Club was founded as the Eckford Baseball Club in 1855 by a group of shipwrights and dock laborers employed at Eckford and Webb's shipyard, located on the New York side of the East River between Houston and Tenth Streets. The Williamsburg members of the team found a playing field in Brooklyn's 15th Ward and in 1860 moved to the Union Grounds, later the site of the 47th Regiment Armory. The club's first president, Frank Pidgeon, was a dockbuilder and a leading pitcher of his day. The baseball club evolved into a social club, which was chartered in 1865 in Williamsburg and relocated to 95 Broadway, near the East River, in 1888.
Famous members of the club have included Al Reach, a nineteenth-century sporting goods manufacturer, and John L. Smith, president of Charles Pfizer, Inc. and minority owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1945 to 1950. During the twentieth century, the club's members included many Irish-American businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals.
Arranged by the creator. Some materials have been placed in a folder at the front of the volume. Most of these are photocopies of the "Eckford Club Chatter" newsletter and it is unclear when or why the other materials were separated from the volume. Loose materials found at the end of the volume have been separated into another folder.
Scope and Contents
The bound scrapbook covers the years 1871 to 1961, with extensive coverage between 1899 and 1956. It is primarily composed of newspaper clippings relating to the club's members and to club business; many of these are reports on baseball games (those of the Eckford team among others) and obituaries for deceased members. There are also a number of clippings on the development of penecillin by Charles Pfizer, Inc. when Eckford Club member John L. Smith was the president. The scrapbook also includes administrative documents: club minutes, by laws, resolutions, business statements, member lists, and receipts and disbursement records; correspondence: official correspondence (such as letters of admission to the club), letters of thanks, holiday cards (including one from Babe Ruth), post cards, condolence cards, and invitations to social events; social documents: menus and tickets to club dinners, transcripts of speeches given at events, invitations to club outings, photographs of club outings and members, and photocopies of a newsletter, "Eckford Club Chatter," from the 1940's; and other ephemera: Brooklyn Dodger memorabilia from the 1950's, political flyers and articles, poems, and watercolor illustrations. Loose clippings have been replaced with photocopies.
Conditions Governing Access
Open to researchers without restriction.
Conditions Governing Use
The newspaper clippings are subject to copyright law. The copyright for all other items is held by the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Identification of item, date (if known); Eckford Social Club Scrapbook, ArMs 1991.049; Brooklyn Historical Society.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Claire Marcus in 1991.
The back cover is missing and the spine is split roughy two thirds of the way through the volume. Two pages within the first section are detached from the spine.
The last two quires of the volume, both blank, were detached from the spine and subsequently removed.
About this Guide
Scrapbook processed by Stephen Weinstein in 1991. An OCR record was made in January, 2008 by Sarah Steele and the description was completed in June, 2009 by Katherine Christensen.