Old-Picture.com, good resource for teachers and students

May 31, 2011

Here’s a source of high-quality photos, most at least 90 years old.  A lot of these photos would fit nicely into presentations for history classes:  Old-Picture.com.

Many of the photos don’t appear much of any place else.  There are historic maps, too.

For example:  What’s a “whistlestop tour?”

Here is President William H. Taft making such a tour, or rather, speaking during a stop on such a tour, at Redfield (what state?  South Dakota?  Iowa?  New York?):

W. H. Taft on whistlestop tour, in Redfield

W. H. Taft on whistlestop tour, in Redfield

Here’s Taft, again, at “Boutelle at Janesville;” note especially the boys climbing the pole to get a better look:

1908 Taft whistlestop tour, Boutelle at Janesville (wherever that is!)

1908 Taft whistlestop tour, Boutelle at Janesville (wherever that is!)

Janesville is probably the city in Wisconsin.

Here’s Taft at a train, again in 1908 — might we assume it’s the same trip?

W. H. Taft at a train, in 1908 - campaigning?

W. H. Taft at a train, in 1908 -- campaigning?

Here Taft and his party are pictured on a train, in Chicago.  Same train?  Same trip?  Who are the other men with him?

W. H. Taft and party on a train, 1908 presidential campaign

W. H. Taft and party on a train in Chicago, 1908 presidential campaign

For another view, here’s what Taft saw at one of his stops — the crowd assembled to listen to him speak, in 1908:

Crowd gathered to hear Taft's campaign speech, 1908 (location, "West?")

Crowd gathered to hear Taft's campaign speech, 1908 (location, "West?") -- love that Tom Mix-looking hat on the guy in the middle, no?

Put these pictures together in a different order — it’s a clear illustration of just what a “whistlestop” tour is.  These slides could complement a presentation comparing this trip with Harry Truman’s 1948 whistlestop tour, just two generations later.  Or, juxtapose these pictures with pictures of John F. Kennedy in 1960, or Richard Nixon in 1968, or Bill Clinton’s bus tours in 1992 and 1996.

I’ll wager you’ve not seen at least one of these photos before (they are all new to me).  Old-Picture.com has a great collection of stuff.  So far as I can tell, the site administrator lists no copyright restrictions (there’s got to be a story in there somewhere).

What can you do with this collection?


Sitting Bear, and the Millard Fillmore medal

January 13, 2011

Sitting Bear, Chief of the Arikaras, wearing a medal commemorating Millard Fillmore - Photo by Edward S. Curtis, Library of Congress image

Sitting Bear, Chief of the Arikaras, wearing a medal commemorating Millard Fillmore - Photo by Edward S. Curtis, Library of Congress image

In the 19th century, the U.S. Mint struck medals with the likeness of the sitting president, for use as gifts to foreign dignitaries.  Often these medals would be given to Native Americans as tokens of friendship between the government and the tribe, or as a ceremonial gift on the striking of a treaty.

Description from the Library of Congress:

Photograph shows Sitting Bear, an Arikara chief, in full regalia, with a medallion around his neck. The medallion appears to bear the image of Millard Fillmore and the words: … President of the United States, 1851(?).

Famous photographer of American Indians Edward S. Curtis took this photo.  The photo was copyrighted on November 19, 1908.

  • Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-136605 (b&w film copy neg.)
  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
  • Call Number: LOT 12321-D [item] [P&P]
  • Other Number: H118592
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
  • Notes:
    • H118592 U.S. Copyright Office.
    • Title from item.
    • Curtis no. 2894-08.
    • Forms part of: Edward S. Curtis Collection (Library of Congress).
    • Published in: The North American Indian / Edward S. Curtis. [Seattle, Wash.] : Edward S. Curtis, 1907-30, Suppl. v. 5, pl. 166.

Is the medal the 1851 Indian Peace Medal, perhaps?

Without medals, any plan of operations among the Indians, be it what it may, is essentially enfeebled. This comes of the high value which the Indians set upon these tokens of Friendship. They are, besides this indication of the Government Friendship, badges of power to them, and trophies of renown. They will not consent to part from this ancient right, as they esteem it; and according to the value they set upon medals is the importance to the Government in having them to bestow.

Thomas L. McKenney, head of the Indian Office, to the secretary of the War Department, 1829

And, by the way — isn’t that a grand photo of Sitting Bear?  Even knowing that Curtis might, on occasion, take some liberties in clothing Indians he photographed, it’s a great photo in a great setting of a great man.


Texas State Fair long past

October 24, 2010

Texas State Fair 1912 - LOC panoramic photo - 6a28033r

Texas State Fair, 1908 - Library of Congress panoramic photo

Click on the photo to see a much larger version.

From the astonishingly vast vaults of the Library of Congress, a panoramic photograph of the main entrance of the Texas State Fair, in 1908.  This is almost certainly Dallas, and this is probably the same entrance where today the short-rail mass transit trains pass by — a century later, and Dallas has once again got mass transit.

This photo contrasts starkly with Fair Park in Dallas today, a week after the closing of the 2010 Texas State Fair.

Details from the Library of Congress:

Item Title

Texas State Fair, Main Entrance.
Created/Published  c1908.

Copyright deposit; H. Clogenson; December 8, 1908; DLC/PP-1908:43634.
Copyright claimant’s address: Dallas, Texas
Medium:  1 photographic print : gelatin silver ; 9.5 x 43 in.

Call Number:  PAN SUBJECT – Events no. 31
REPRODUCTION NUMBER:  LC-USZ62-125457 DLC (b&w film copy neg.)

Who was H. Clogenson?  What other treasures did he leave around?


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