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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 Contents

Box 1

Series 1.  South Seas voyages and vessel photographs, circa 1900-1961 (bulk 1925-1927)

Extent: 265 EA (233 photographs in 252 physical forms (1 photograph album containing 185 black and white photographic prints, 43 black-and-white photographic prints, 5 black-and-white photographic postcards, 19 copy negatives) and 13 clippings)

Scope and Content Note

Items 001-246. Contains one photograph album, loose prints, and clippings related to Fred K. Klebingat's command of Zane Grey's yacht, FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht), while on an expedition to the South Seas from 1925-1927; and his command of the yacht BALI, circa 1929. This Series also contains photographs of vessels, people, and places that Klebingat was associated with during his career as a master mariner, which date from circa 1900-1961.

Arrangement

Arranged into two File Units: File Unit 1: Photograph album of voyages in the South Seas; File Unit 2: Sailing vessels, people, and places.
Box 1

File Unit 1.  Photograph album of voyages in the South Seas, 1925-1930

Extent: 212 EA (185 photographs in 199 physical forms (1 photograph album containing 185 black-and-white photographic prints and 14 copy negatives) and 13 clippings).

Scope and Content Note

Items 001-198. The album contains photographs taken in the South Seas, many aboard Zane Grey's yacht FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht) between 1925 and 1927. There are several photographs and clippings of Captain and Mrs. Klebingat newly reunited and newlywed; coastal landscapes; activities on board the vessel, including fishing and entertaining visitors; and indigenous people living on South Seas islands. Although there are many South Seas locations documented in the photograph album, most of the photographs depict New Zealand and French Polynesia.
Several crew members, family and friends of Klebingat's, and passengers on vessels are identified, notably: Fred's wife Phyllis Reid Klebingat, her parents and sister; Zane and Romer Grey; Mr. C.W. Aidney; FISHERMAN crew members, including Ed Mitchell, Smithy, George Quady, and photographer Thomas Middleton; Herman Swenson; and German motion picture director Friedrich Wilhelm "F.W." Murnau, owner of BALI (yacht). There are three photographs of Ernest Aderman, a longtime friend and shipmate of Captain Klebingat (Items 071, 095, and 096).
Other vessels that are depicted in the album are fishing launches associated with Grey's expedition, PROWLER and ZANE GREY; BALI (yacht), circa 1929; VISON (yacht); and CLANSMAN (ship).
Other Items of particular note are photographs of Rapa Ocean indigenous culture, depicting people at work, at leisure, and with crew members of FISHERMAN (Items 108-116).
Additionally, there are 13 clippings from unidentified periodicals: an article regarding a voyage of VISION (yacht), the family yacht of Phyllis Reid Klebingat; an article regarding FISHERMAN arriving in Auckland, New Zealand; a photomechanical print of seagulls on the boom of FISHERMAN; a photomechanical print of a photograph of Zane Grey's fishing party netting piper in Whangoroa Harbour, New Zealand; articles regarding Klebingat's marriage; and a photomechanical print of an illustration of indigenous people, most likely from Rotorua, New Zealand. These clippings have been assigned Item numbers 017-018, 029-030, 066-068, 080, 151-153, 197, and 198.
Item 196 is a photograph mounted on black paper or card stock; this photograph was found loose during processing in 2013. It matches the content and style of the photographs in the album, but it did not match the empty photograph corners on album pages where photographs had been removed; furthermore, there was no evidence found that the page had been removed from the album. Its origin is unknown. There are photographs missing from the following album pages: 2, 11, 13, 14, 15, 46, 86, 121, 127, 132, and 139.
History: The photograph album in this File Unit is comprised mainly of photographs from the South Seas fishing voyage of Zane Grey, an American author, best known for his adventure stories of the American West. Captain Klebingat was the master of the primary ship used in this expedition, which took place between 1925 and 1927.
Zane Grey began an active interest in sport fishing around 1924 or 1925. He bought the 190-foot coal schooner MARSHAL FOCH (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht), renamed her FISHERMAN, and installed a twin-screw Fairbanks-Morse engine. The vessel underwent numerous renovations and repairs during her conversion into a fishing schooner.
Grey made plans for an excursion to New Zealand and the South Pacific, including hiring Fred Klebingat as captain. The crew shipped out around November 15, 1925, without Grey, who never traveled on the vessel.
For the duration of the expedition, FISHERMAN served as a floating bunk house and store ship. It took a crew of approximately seven men to run the vessel: captain (Fred Klebingat); two mates (Ernest "Shorty" Aderman, first mate; Henry Kruse, second mate); engineer; cook; cabin boy; and a radio operator. Passengers also included a photographer named Thomas Middleton. The vessel had three launches accompanying the fishing party when they set out: RED, LAURIN G., and GLADIATOR. A fourth launch named ZANE GREY was added later. The expedition spent a great deal of time in northern New Zealand, where Grey primarily sought black marlin, striped marlin, blue marlin and the broadbill swordfish, carefully documenting each catch, and then releasing it.
While working on FISHERMAN, Captain Fred Klebingat was reunited with Phyllis Cramond Reid 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 on the remainder of the voyage.

Sources:

  • Kester, Marin Coombs. 2008-2012. Zane Grey - A Short Biography. The Zane Grey West Society and Zane Grey Collections. Retrieved on June 6, 2013. http://www.zanegreycollections.com/Local/bio.htm
  • Klebingat, Captain Fred K. in a letter to Mathilda Dring, February 22, 1973. From the collection file of P78-265a (SAFR 19209), San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
  • Klebingat, Fred letter to Karl Kortum. June 7, 1978." Falls of Clyde (ship)," compiled by Karl Kortum. San Francisco: San Francisco Maritime Museum (VM 311 S7 F3 v.1).
  • Zane Grey, a visionary angler. August 23, 2012. BD Outdoors: Tournament News, Zane Grey Invitational. San Diego: Catalina Classics. Retrieved on June 1, 2013. http://www.catalinaclassic.com/tournament-news/zane-grey/zane-grey-a-visionary-angler/

Related Material

Items 071, 095, and 096, are all photographs of Ernest Aderman, and are the same images as black-and-white photographic prints found in the Captain Fred K. Klebingat collection of Ernest Aderman photographs, 1912-1974, bulk 1930-1945. SFMNHP, (SAFR 23377, P77-015). It is likely that other photographs in this collection (P80-050) were both taken by Ernest Aderman and given to Captain Klebingat by Aderman. P77-015 (SAFR 23377) and the SFMNHP Classified photograph collection contain additional photographs of Klebingat and Aderman on board FISHERMAN (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht); they are generally not duplicative and they complement this photograph album, providing another perspective of the voyage.
Box 1

Item No. 012.  Captain Fred Klebingat and an unidentified crew member using a sextant on board Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht), 1925

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.75 in. "A Meridian Attitude" written on the front of the print.

Scope and Content Note

Klebingat and another man are standing on the deck, sighting sextants out over the water. Klebingat is wearing overalls and smoking a pipe. Supplies and lifeboats can be seen midship. Photograph album page 8.
Caption: Fisherman -- Los Angeles for Auckland N. Z. Navigators
Box 1

Item No. 014.  Captain Fred Klebingat and First Mate Ernest Aderman planing the main deck of Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht), 1927

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.75 in. "Manicuring the main deck" written on the front of the print.

Scope and Content Note

Klebingat, at right, and Aderman are on their hands and knees, using a plane to strip the surface of the main deck. The shavings from the deck are all around them. There are Laurel Kerosene boxes stacked on the deck in view. Photograph album page 9.
Caption: Fisherman in New Zealand 1927

Related Material

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.
Box 1

Item No. 019.  Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht) underway, view off starboard quarter, 1927 January

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Two men are visible on deck. The vessel is at Auckland, New Zealand. Photograph album page 16.
Caption: "Fisherman" under sail; Auckland New Zealand; January 1927
Box 1

Item No. 036.  Captain Fred Klebingat on board Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht), 1925-1927

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.75 x 5.75 in.

Scope and Content Note

Klebingat is standing, looking at the camera, with deck shavings at his feet. Photograph album page 30.
Box 1

Item No. 041.  Hauling in a thresher shark, Whangaroa, New Zealand, 1925-1927

Extent: 1 photograph (2 physical forms).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.75 x 5.75 in. 1 black-and-white copy negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

There are five men standing aft on an unidentified fishing launch, some of them tying the fish to the stern of the vessel. Another launch, ZANE GREY, is off her port with two men standing on deck watching the process. Photograph album page 34.
Caption: Thresher Shark; Whangaroa, N. Z.
Box 1

Item No. 065.  Fred and Phyllis Klebingat's wedding on board Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht), 1927 April 1

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

The wedding party and guests are seen on the deck of the vessel. People in full view are, from left to right: Zane Grey, Fred Klebingat, Jim Reid, Jr. (giving the bride away), Phyllis Reid Klebingat, Captain L.B. Mitchell (best man), Mrs. I. Edmondson (matron of honor), and Reverend J. Lamb Harvey (officiant). Photograph album page 52.
Caption: We get married on the "Fisherman" Auckland, N. Z. April 1, 1927
Box 1

Item No. 100-116.  Rapa Nui culture on Easter island, 1925-1927

Extent: 17 photographs (17 physical forms).
Physical Description: 17 black-and-white photographic prints of various sizes, ranging from 2.75 x 5.5 in. to 4 x 5.25 in.

Scope and Content Note

17 photographs depicting taro fields; "poi poi pounders;" the Chief's house; landscapes; Ahurei City; women weaving; people juggling oranges; and Sparks, an unidentified crew member and Ernest Aderman visiting the Chief of the village.
Box 1

Item No. 114.  Two Rapa Nui women weaving hats on Easter Island, 1925-1927

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

The women are sitting cross-legged on the ground in front of a hut, weaving hats on their laps.
Box 1

Item No. 115.  Rapa Nui residents of Easter Island juggling oranges, 1925-1927

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

A group of about seventeen women and children are sitting in front of huts, juggling oranges.
Box 1

Item No. 137.  Fisherman (built 1919; schooner, 3m: yacht) at anchor, port broadside view, 1925-1927

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 4 x 5.25 in.

Scope and Content Note

The vessel is seen from an island, with palm trees and a thatched-roof building or boat in the foreground. Photograph album page 109.
Box 1

File Unit 2.  Sailing vessels, people, and places, circa 1900-1961 (bulk 1916-1933)

Extent: 48 photographs (53 physical forms: 43 loose black-and-white photographic prints, 5 black-and-white photographic postcards, and 5 copy negatives).

Scope and Content Note

Items 199-246. Contains photographs of various vessels that Klebingat was known to have worked on throughout the years including ANNA (built 1893; bark, 4m), ex OTTERBURN (Items 200-201); C.A. THAYER (built 1895; schooner, 3m) (Items 205-206); CITY OF TOPEKA (built 1884; merchant vessel) (Item 207); CRESCENT (built 1904; schooner, 5m) (Item 208); FALLS OF CLYDE (built 1878; ship, 4m) (Items 212-225) in 1916-1922, as well as Klebingat on board FALLS OF CLYDE in 1961 (his first time since 1917) (Items 216-225); and MELROSE (built 1902; schooner, 4m) (Items 230-231). These photographs include fellow crew members, including dogs brought on board as mascots.
There are also photographs of people that Klebingat went on voyages with or was associated with as a master mariner. These photographs are mostly of Ernest Aderman (Items 213, 214, 215, 231, 234, 237, and 238) but also include portraits of Ernest Aderman's friend Josephine Perolto (Items 234-237); Father Ed A. Tremblay (Item 243); Captain Johann H.F. Von Dahlern, of the S.N. CASTLE (built 1886; barkentine, 3m) (Item 244); and fellow crew members.

Other vessels depicted in this File Unit that have unknown relevance to Captain Klebingat's career are:

  • AMY TURNER (built 1877; bark, 3m): Item 199
  • AYESHA (bark, 3m): Item 202
  • BREMEN (built 1858; bark, 3m): Items 203-204
  • DEIKE RICKMERS (built 1940; bark, 3m): Item 209
  • ELIZABETH RICKMERS (built 1877; bark, 3m): Item 210
  • EVERETT G. GRIGGS (built 1883; barkentine, 6m): Item 211
  • J.M. GRIFFITH (bark, 3m): Item 226
  • JOHN SMITH (bark, 3m): Item 227
  • MAGDALENE (built 1891; ship, 4m): Item 228
  • MAKAWELI (built 1902; barkentine, 4m): Item 229
  • PAUL RICKMERS (built 1897; bark, 4m): Item 232
  • PERSIMMON (built 1891; bark, 4m), ex DRUMROCK: Item 233
  • POINT ARENA (built 1887; steam schooner): Items 234-237
  • R.P. RITHET (built 1892; bark, 3m): Item 238
  • RICKMER RICKMERS (built 1896; bark, 3m): Item 239
  • TIARE TAPORO (built 1913; schooner): Item 240
  • WERRA (bark, 3m): Item 241
Some of the photographs are of paintings or possibly postcards. Most of the photographs are by unknown photographers; known photographers are: Ernest Aderman; Robert T. Bohehme, 1901 25th Avenue North, Seattle 2, Washington; Shiprint, Gordon Jones, Seattle, Washington; and L. Ernest Plouf, Portraits of Distinction, [2]7 Merrimack St., Haverhill, Massachusetts. There are also two postcards of landscapes in the South Pacific Ocean: one of Western Samoa (Item 295) and one of Tonga (Item 246).
Arrangement: Arranged in alphabetical order by vessel name, followed by an unidentified vessel, followed by photographs of people.
Box 1

Item No. 215.  Group photograph of Falls of Clyde (built 1878; bark, 4m) crew members, 1916 or 1917

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.75 in. "Kleb doesn't know any of others; F. of C.; Falls of Clyde, Ernst Adermann, right; Shorty Adermann (right)" written on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

There are eight men standing on the poop deck; two of the men are holding puppies and one man is holding a stringed instrument (perhaps a ukulele?). Ernest Aderman is on the right.
Box 1

Item No. 220.  View inside the cabin of Falls of Clyde (built 1878; bark, 4m), 1961 January

Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3 x 5.25 in. "Jane 1961; Cabin Falls of Clyde, Chairs were stolen last summer; Also mirror and marble top of buffet" written on the back of the print. "039B" stamped on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

There is a table in the middle of the room and a buffet on the back wall. The chairs, mirror, and buffet top are missing from the original furnishings. There is also an unidentified room visible in the background with empty drawers on the floor.
Box 1

Item No. 222.  Patent plate on the windlass of Falls of Clyde (built 1878; bark, 4m), 1961 January

Creator/Collector: Jones, Gordon
Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 3.5 in. "Falls of Clyde plate on windlass Jan 1961" written on the back of the print. "678" and "Shiprint; By Gordon Jones; Seattle, Wash." stamped on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

Plate reads "Copier's Patent [H8 282] 1878 Windlass."
Box 1

Item No. 223.  Group photograph in the 'tween deck of Falls of Clyde (built 1878; bark, 4m), 1961 January

Creator/Collector: Jones, Gordon
Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 3.5 in. "Falls of Clyde in tween deck Jan 1961" written on the back of the print. "678" and "Shiprint; By Gordon Jones; Seattle, Wash." stamped on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

Four men are posed for the photograph. Second from the left is Captain Fred Klebingat, and far right is Captain A.F. Raynaud.
Box 1

Item No. 224.  Wheel and wheel housing on deck of Falls of Clyde (built 1878; bark, 4m), 1961 January

Creator/Collector: Jones, Gordon
Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 3.5 in. "Jan 1961" written on the back of the print. "678" and "Shiprint; By Gordon Jones; Seattle, Wash." stamped on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

"FALLS OF CLYDE" is visible on the housing; the light-colored paint is flaking and the housing is worn.
Box 1

Item No. 225.  Captain Fred Klebingat and Captain A.F. Raynaud on deck of Falls of Clyde (built 1878; bark, 4m), 1961 January

Creator/Collector: Jones, Gordon
Extent: 1 photograph (1 physical form).
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 3.5 in. "Myself with Capt. Raynaud surveyer, Jan 1961" written on the back of the print. "678" and "Shiprint; By Gordon Jones; Seattle, Wash." stamped on the back of the print.

Scope and Content Note

The two men are standing by what appears to be the housing for the ship's wheel. They are wearing rain gear. "FALLS OF CLYDE" is visible on the housing, painted white on a dark background.