• Musser

Photographic Proof

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

Today, I'm simply sharing one of my favorite sites I often visit. I love history and I particularly enjoy history in photographic form. The photographers of this era weren't able to simply raise their iPhone 12 Pro Max from their shirt pocket and grab a great shot. The cameras were large and heavy, mostly. And, they often required a bulky tripod to hold them. So, images weren't often a spur of the moment action. These photographers were artists, craftsmen, and craftswomen. They knew their stuff. No 'instant' anything back then. If you're not already aware of it, I'd suggest a visit: www.shorpy.com. Below are a random baker's dozen to get you started. The captions are from Shorpy:

January 1911. South Pittston, Pennsylvania. "A view of the Pennsylvania Breaker. 'Breaker boys' remove rocks and other debris from the coal by hand as it passes beneath them. The dust is so dense at times as to obscure the view and penetrates the utmost recesses of the boys' lungs." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine.

New York circa 1900. "Italian bread peddlers, Mulberry Street." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company.

Clinton Engineer Works, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1944. "Calutron Girls -- Gladys Owens (foreground), one of the workers monitoring 'Calutron' mass spectrometers at the Y-12 uranium isotope separation and enrichment plant. Like many of these women, she did not realize the significance of her work in the development of the first atomic bomb until long after the war had ended." Photo by Ed Westcott, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

January 1939. "Migratory packinghouse worker's child playing 'school' near Canal Point, Florida." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott.

June 10, 1916. "Carranza and U.S. troops use trains in search for Pancho Villa -- Mexican-U.S. campaign after Villa, 1916." Gelatin silver print, U.S. Copyright Office.

November 1939. "General store. Zebulon, Wake County, North Carolina." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration.

May 1940. "Doctor's office in rear of country store. Faulkner County, Arkansas." Acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration.

July 1935. "Scott's Run mining camps near Morgantown, W.Va. Domestic interior. Shack at Osage." 8x10 nitrate negative by Walker Evans for the Resettlement Admin.

April 1942. "Santa Anita reception center, Los Angeles County, California. The evacuation of Japanese and Japanese-Americans from West Coast areas under United States Army war emergency order. Japanese family arriving at the center." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information.

March 1941. "Boy from Maryland in charity ward, Saint Vincent's Hospital. Norfolk, Virginia." Acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration.

Los Angeles circa 1955. "New Chiffon -- bathroom tissue that is facial tissue." No. 3 in a series of billboard photos from the files of Pacific Outdoor Advertising.

September 4, 1940. Middlesex County, New Jersey. "New Brunswick Housing Authority. Reed Court, Apartment J, kitchen." 5x7 inch acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. [Musser's note: I wonder what UGI would think of THIS option?].

January 1914. New York. "Women's Political Union -- Suffrage dancers." On the Suffrage Ball program along with the Butterfly Dancers. Bain News Service glass negative.

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