F. Theodore Wagner Papers

What's online?

The F. Theodore Wagner online collection contains images from 1903 through 1931 showing Wagner's family, friends, neighbors, and surroundings. Images were selected that depict Wagner's Hill District neighborhood prior to the mass influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the great migration of African Americans from the South.

What's in the entire collection?

The collection, held by the Library & Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center, comprises over five hundred images taken between 1903 and 1947. The images primarily depict Wagner's relatives (individuals or groups) usually on a porch or in a yard, and include his parents, his in-laws (Smiths), his children, and friends such as the Eichels, Trefallers, Dornbergers, Millers, and Hamiltons. The collection also includes photographs of scenes from Pittsburgh's Hill District, Rennerdale (Collier Township, Allegheny County), and Rock Springs.

Other images in the collection document buildings, local events, and sports teams, such as the Pequot football team, Lion baseball team, and the Lower Marion basketball team. Wagner photographed several parades, including a Shriner parade, VFW Post 68 parade, and a parade marching over the Sixth Street Bridge. The collection includes local landmarks such as the Point Bridge under construction, the racetrack at Brunot's Island, the Herron Building on Federal Street, and the Herron Reservoir.

About Frederick Theodore Wagner

Little is known about Frederick Theodore Wagner. Born in Pittsburgh to August and Elizabeth Wagner, emigrants from Germany, Wagner worked for the railroads and became a photographer in Pittsburgh in the early 1900s. Wagner married Elizabeth Margaret Smith (Margaret) on December 8, 1900, and subsequently had four children (Marguerite, Theodore, John, and Elizabeth) before Margaret died in 1910. Wagner then married Anna Elizabeth Smith (Lizzie) and had two more children (August and Robert). Wagner died in Wayne, Pennsylvania on October 22, 1956.

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