Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Burt V. Brooks

The artist Burt Vernon Brooks was one of the outstanding chroniclers of daily life in the Swift River Valley before it was inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Born in Brimfield, Mass., in 1849 and raised in Monson, Brooks moved to Greenwich with his family in the 1870s, where he worked on the family farm. At some unclear point before he turned 40, Brooks became active as an artist, painting local homes and scenery and taking photographs of the landscape, residents, and daily life in the Quabbin region. A prolific photographer, he was, in the words of historian Donald W. Howe, "hardly ever seen without his camera strapped to his back," remaining active for decades. Three years after following his second wife to the west, Brooks died in Los Angeles in 1934. The great majority of the 92 photographs in this collection are 5x7" dry plate glass negatives taken by Brooks in the earliest years of the twentieth century, documenting the houses and people of Greenwich. Brooks' work includes landscapes, houses, and a significant series of images of the Hillside School, but some of his best works are studio portraits, images of people at home or with their carriages, and posed scenes of children at play or at work.

 Atkinson's Hollow, family and house, Prescott, Massachusetts, ca. 1910
Boating on a pond, Greenwich, Massachusetts, ca. 1910
Boy pulling girl in a toy wagon, Greenwich, Massachusetts, ca. 1910
Boys swimming in a pond, Greenwich, Massachusetts, ca. 1910
Checking the mail, Greenwich, Massachusetts, ca. 1910
Source: Digital Commonwealth

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

1934 Longshoreman's Strike

The Longshoreman Strike of 1934 was a labor action lasting 83 days and spanning the entire west coast of the USA. The strike, which the authorities attempted to violently suppress, resulted in the unionization of all west coast ports. These strike-related photos are from San Francisco.

 Food raids, July 13, 1934
 Funeral of men slain during the strike
 Grocery store and shopper
 Longshoremen eating in dining hall
 Picket parade, Embarcadero, May 10, 1934
 Police and strikers
 Police driving strikers along railroad tracks
 Produce market - food overturned, July 12, 1934
 Strike food, July 19, 1934
Strikers - food line
Source: California Digital Archive

Monday, August 29, 2016

Alexander Hogg

Here is another set of Mr. Hogg's photos of Belfast slums.

 Barrack Street, showing National School & entrance to 
Old Military Barracks, Belfast, 29 January 1913
Divis Street, Millfield, Belfast, 14 October 1914
 Gardiner Street area showing Abbey Street from North 
King Street towards Peter's Hill, Belfast, 26 April 1912
 Gardiner Street area showing Brown Street 
National School, Belfast, 26 April 1912
 Gardiner Street area showing Abbey Street from Peter's Hill 
towards North King Street, Belfast, 26 April 1912
Hemsworth Street area, Belfast, 11 May 1912

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Herbert F. Cooper

 Castle Street, Strabane, ca. 1930
 Castle Street, Strabane
Comic duo on horseback in Bowling Green, ca. 1910
 Lower Main Street, Strabane, ca. 1930
Strabane Fair, ca. 1910

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Frank Rinehart

Like his better-known contemporary Edward S. Curtis, Frank Rinehart made sensitive portraits of Native American people. Rinehart, a commercial photographer in Omaha, Nebraska, was commissioned to photograph the 1898 Indian Congress, part of the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition. More than five hundred Native Americans from thirty-five tribes attended the conference, providing the gifted photographer and artist an opportunity to create a stunning visual document of Native American life and culture at the dawn of the 20th century. Although the portraits are posed and artistically lighted in his studio, they have a candid intimacy that allows his subjects individuality and dignity, a quality not shared by most 19th-century ethnographic photography.

 Antoine Moise, Flathead
 Chief Wolf Robe, Cheyenne
 Cloud Man, Assinaboine
 Four Bull, Assinaboine
Freckled Face, Arapahoe

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sydney Charles Smith

 Group diving into Te Aro Baths, Oriental Bay, Wellington, 1926
 Loading the ship Eleanor Bolling with supplies for 
Byrd's Antarctic expedition, Wellington, 1928
 Man addressing crowd at a mass meeting during the 
tramway strike, taken in Newtown Park on 1 February 1912
 Newtown Park, Wellington, ca. 1905
Men playing bowls at the Island Bay Bowling Club, Wellington, 1926-27
Courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Collection consists of photographic prints made from glass plate negatives dating from 1890 to 1943 from the Wilbraham, Massachusetts Town Archives, Atheneum Society of Wilbraham, and Wilbraham Monson Academy.

F.A. Gurney's delivery wagon and driver, Fred Blodgett, 1903
Glendale Methodist Church, Christmas Eve service, 1918-29
 Raising the flag at the Glendale School on Arbor Day, April 30, 1915
Ray Gurney and Dora Miller skating on Squire Pond, 1903
 Three women and a young child pose for a multigenerational portrait on a summer day
Two men with a horse-drawn cart scraping a dirt road, ca. 1903

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, they launched what arguably became the bloodiest conflict in history between two nations - a true "total war." One aspect of the Soviet war effort against the Germans was their civilian resistance - the "partisans." Overall the number of Soviet partisans numbered in the hundreds of thousands. This set of photos shows a few of them.

 A Belarusian partisan nurse waits out the night in a secluded cabin with two 
wounded partisans, Brest Region, Belarus, Soviet Union. 23 December 1943
 A Soviet Army soldier teaches Russian partisans how to operate a 
Browning Hi-Power handgun during Operation Barbarossa, the initial 
German advance into the Soviet Union. Near Smolensk, 23 August 1941
 After heavy combat with the Germans in the town of Karachev, a Soviet partisan cries with his two sisters after learning their parents had been killed by the Germans. September 1943
 Lithuanian partisan Sara Ginaite-Rubinson, armed with an M38 Carbine
 M. Nikolaevna, a Russian member of a kolkhoz (collective farm), bids goodbye 
to her son Ivan before he joins the partisans. Pskov, Soviet Union. March 1942
 Partisan guerrilla commander and head priest at the church in village Vidon, Leningrad oblast, Mefody Belov shakes hands in farewell with his daughter Rufina, herself a partisan fighter.
 Partisan sniper Kuzma Zhakarov posing for the camera. Soviet Union, 1943
 Partisans happily reconnect in the forest, having previously believed the others had been killed. The group are from the Molotava Brigade, a partisan group made up mostly of escaped Soviet Army POWs. The woman pictured is Faigel “Faye” Lazebnik Schulman, a Jewish woman born in the small shtetl of Lenin, Poland (destroyed during the war, former location in present day Belarus). Schulman had studied photography and was only one of about 27 of the nearly 2,000 Jews not executed during the German destruction of the Lenin Ghetto near Pinsk. Schulman was spared by the Germans initially because she was the only professional photographer left in the area and was made to develop photographs and take photographic portraits of German soldiers and officers. In 1942, Schulman fled into the Naliboki forest with her camera equipment and joined the Molotova Brigade. For two years in the forests she photographed the partisan’s activities, worked as a medical aid and participated in the partisan’s raids, despite the brigade itself often harboring anti-Semitic sentiments. Naliboki forest, Belarus. December 1944. Photograph by Faye Schulman.
 Russian insurgents of one of the many partisan units meet up in Bryansk 
before an action against German military targets. The partisan on the 
right carries a captured German MP-38 submachine gun. February 1943
 Russian partisan near Stalingrad
[a propaganda photo if I've ever seen one]
 Russian partisans prepare to execute a former partisan, who switched to being an informant and traitor, by firing squad. Kursk Oblast, Russia, Soviet Union. ca. October 1943
Russian women partisans