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Washington circa 1925. The second and final photo from the archive labeled "Kaspar Handley" (i.e., the Hendley-Kaspar School of Musical Education). Whatever Lucia Hendley is doing here I have a feeling it involves the Very Latest Methods. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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I have looked repeatedly at the five renderings hanging on the back wall with shelves of books. Each is similar yet different if you study the detail. Could they possibly be illustrations from the nursery rhyme There Was An Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe?

[Looks like it. - tterrace]

Thank you!

Thank you so much for finding this bit of my family history.

-- Henry Kaspar's great-grandson

Major General

The photo above the piano appears to be Mrs. Hendley's father, Major General Alexander Mackenzie.

Knabe piano

I didn't even notice the name on the piano. We have a 100+ year old Knabe at home here. The look is similar to this one, though not identical. It's neat to see one in an old photo!

Large-format negatives (detail for musicians)

The detail captured in these large-format negatives continues to amaze me. It's easy enough to see that the piano's a Knabe; if the resolution was just a tiny bit better I could even figure out what piece the young pianist is playing.

As a sometimes-cynical college teacher (of future music teachers) starting a new school year, the comment about the Latest Teaching Methods gave me a needed giggle!

[Click below to enlarge! - Dave]

1858 Kalorama Road

An aerial view of the house can be seen here.

Just Guessing

I'm just guessing but the cards on the table would seem to be a way of showing the size of the different notes. Looking at the picture closely, the girl in the curls has in front of her one card with one spot (or probably a whole note symbol), two cards put together with a spot on each (half notes) and so on down to 16ths. Each group of cards, when put together properly is the same size as the card for the whole note. Presumably you could use the cards to show how a line of notes could be read. The little dolls that the little girl in front of the table is playing with are marked with the various notes of the scale (she's obvioiusly standing in front of D).

"Mind Discipline Through Music"

Some ads for the music school, starting in 1917. Thanks to JsmakBkr for pointing us in the right direction.

Henry Kaspar's obituary from 1941.

Lucia Hendley's obituary from 1956.

True Romantics

Obviously the school had a big fan of the Romantic period composers. Of the 20 compositions listed - probably the pieces the students were expected to recognize - from the baroque to modern, 45 percent are Chopin and well over half are Romantics.

Preparing for Vegas

Was part of the Kaspar Handley curriculum to teach kids to count cards?

"Proper ladies never hit on 16."
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.


The Sept. 22, 1918 edition of the Washington Post included an announcement for the Hendley-Kaspar School of Musical Education, at 1858 Kalorama Road in Adams Morgan. Lucia Mackenzie Hendley was listed as the principal and Henry Kaspar was the musical director. The June 1, 1923 Washington Post refers to a program of violin and pianoforte compositions by the Hendley-Kaspar School of Musical Education, featuring Josef and Henry Kaspar.

[The mystery is solved! Thank you thank you. - Dave]


This is a weird scene. Is that book shelf being suspended from the picture rail? And what kind of light is that? It's elaborate yet the bulbs are on the outside. Then the girls... Seemingly possessed, they are probably under the evil spell of the wicked matron on the left.

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