2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 6, 2017 2:50 PM by Larry Shockley

    Harry Crandall


      I am looking for a picture and a biography of Harry Crandall (1879-1937).  He was the man who believed to have been the caused of the disaster at the Knickerbocker theater since the structure wasn't right.  On Jan 27-28th 1922.   I would like to find a picture of him, his grave and his house that still stands on 4530 16th street NW.


      Also does anyone know if he has personal papers that he left to a certain library or institution.


      Thank you

      Stephen Hosmer


        • Re: Harry Crandall
          Research Services at the National Archives Tracker

          Mr. Hosmer,


          We searched WorldCat but did not turn up any biographies of Harry Crandall. You may already be aware of numerous books and newspaper articles outlining that fateful blizzard and the tragedy’s place in Washington, DC’s history.


          If there were any investigations into and litigation over the tragedy, the National Archives or perhaps the DC Historical Society might have records regarding a court case. A search of our catalog shows smattering of references to the disaster but nothing that concerns Mr. Crandall in a personal nature. Please e-mail the National Archives’ reference section at archives1reference@nara.gov and they can assist you further. It is doubtful the court records would have extensive personal information, which seems to be more of what you’re after.


          As for a photograph of Mr. Crandall, archive.org has a picture in a digitized copy of the Exhibitors Herald’s April 24, 1920 issue on page 42. Since it was published before 1923, it is already in the public domain. The Website or project that scanned that periodical may have their own use restrictions but this will only be an issue if you intend to publish it. Check archive.org’s policies on their Website before you proceed.


          It’s unlikely that we ourselves have a picture of Mr. Crandall but we suggest contacting the Still Pictures stillpix@nara.gov section to be sure. It is highly doubtful that we have a picture of his gravestone, which is located in Mt. Olivet Cemetery at 1300 Bladensburg Road, N.E.


          Mr. Crandall’s former home is currently the Royal Embassy of Cambodia. Sometimes the National Archives’ Cartographic section has architectural drawings or correspondence relating to homes in DC and its current status as an embassy may strengthen the possibility. We suggest contacting the Cartographic section at carto@nara.gov for details. Even though the records are in College Park, MD, the indexes are on microfilm in downtown DC and you would need to email that office beforehand at archives1reference@nara.gov . Judging by your e-mail address you seem local. For architectural records (assuming that is what you want) the quickest way to get your answer might be e-mailing and then visiting the National Archives downtown and then, if the search is fruitful, College Park.


          Still another possibility is the Warner Bros. Archives at the University of Southern California. According to an unsourced Wikipedia passage, Mr. Crandall’s company was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1927. This Webpage here provides a form and e-mail address you can use for querying.

          Answered by Alex Champion, with contributions from Rachael Salyer and Rebecca Collier.

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