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Coleman-Cutting Family Photograph Collection

Identifier: P023

Scope and Content

The Coleman-Cutting Family Photograph Collection consists of visual material depicting members of the Coleman-Cutting family. Material types include tintypes, carte-de-visite, cabinet cards, and mounted photographs. The images date from the 19th and 20th centuries.


  • ca. 1850s-1930

Language of Materials

Material is in English.


Collection is available for research under the CHC rules of use.

Copyright Notice

Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives.

Historical Context and Biographical Note

The Coleman family owned a coal and wood business known as Coleman Brothers, located at the corner of Broadway and Sixth Street in Cambridge. The business was started by John Coleman (1827-1883) who emigrated from Birmingham, England with his wife, Elizabeth Harper Whitehouse (1827-1906), in about 1847. Initially assuming a job as a policeman, John changed his career to the coal and wood industry, which he developed with his two sons, Walter (1857-1912) and James. The business obtained its namesake in 1883 and conducted business at 428 Massachusetts Avenue until 1923 when it merged with the Massachusetts Wharf Coal Company.

Coleman also had a daughter, Fannie (1853-1889), who married Charles H. Cutting (1856-1920), a Boston native. Cutting was initially an iron molder but he volunteered with the Cambridge Fire Department for 37 years until 1915. He also later owned his own provisions store that sold fish, oysters, and canned goods. The store was located at 885 Main Street (now on Mass Ave near Harvard Square) and it may have previously been The Old Rockport Market owned by E.A. Burroughs. They had four children: Elizabeth Swanton (b.1881), Henry Arthur (1883-1963), Herbert Harper (1885-1982), and Ida May (1887-1978). The provisions store became a family business. In 1889, Fannie died due to complications in childbirth.

In 1920, Cutting died, and his son Henry took over the business. He also volunteered for the Cambridge Fire Department between 1920-1942. In 1901, Cutting’s daughter Elizabeth married Bowman Nowell (b. ca. 1878), the son of Lucy Ann Kemp (1848-1931) and Charles Frederick Nowell (1839-1906) and the grandson of Lysander Kemp (1821-1905). Lysander Kemp owned a soap manufacturing company in Cambridge that was initially called Kemp & Sargent and later renamed Lysander Kemp & Sons. Kemp was the brother-in-law to Curtis Davis of the Curtis Davis Company, another soap manufacturer that later merged with Lever Brothers.


9 Items (6 photographs; 1 newspaper image; 2 tintypes)


The Coleman-Cutting Family Photograph Collection consists of print photographs, tintypes, and one photocopy of a newspaper image. The images date from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Collection Arrangement

Materials arranged as they were donated

Physical Location

Collection is stored on-site

Physical Location

Collection is stored as part of Small Collections.


The collection was donated by Elisabeth Hughes, a descendant of the Coleman-Cutting family, in 2018.

Related Resources

See “An Eyewitness Account by John Coleman of Events in Cambridge” located on CHC shared drive.

Processing Information

Processing and original finding aid by: Brittany Fox, March 2019.

Encoded by: Brittany Fox, March 2020.
Coleman-Cutting Family Photograph Collection
Processing and original finding aid by Brittany Fox, March 2019. Machine-readable finding aid created by Brittany Fox, March 2020.
Description rules
Finding Aid Was Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives Repository

831 Massachusetts Avenue
2nd Floor
Cambridge Massachusetts 02139 US