Archive for 'Rare Photos'
The National Archives has over 3,000 employees, but not all of them are archivists. There are educators, social media writers, preservationists, security personnel, and Federal Records Center workers. Some of us handle records all day, but for many of us, our jobs do not bring us into direct contact with the records.
That’s why it is so exciting to go inside the Treasure Vault, as we call the specially secured and fire-safe room that holds some of the most interesting and precious documents of the National Archives. Today, some of our staff from various departments took a special trip to Treasure Vault of the Center for Legislative Archives (CLA), which holds the records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
These treasures range in content and across time, from Clifford Berryman’s political cartoons (when CLA acquired them, the drawings were stored in trash bags) to a radar map showing Japanese planes approaching Pearl Harbor to the electronic records from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States (the 9/11 Commission).
But my favorite record from Congress? It was George Washington’s inaugural address. The two sheets were in a protective case, but when the archivist held them up in front of me, it was still thrilling to see the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on May 10, 2011, under Rare Photos, Unusual documents.
Tags: 9-11 Commission, Archivist, careers, Center for Legislative Archives, Congress, george washington, jobs, John Berryman, national archives, Pearl Harbor, Treasure Vault
When Robert Peary wrote “The pole at last!!!” into his diary on April 6, 1909, he had no idea that his claim would be disputed for the next several decades by experts who doubted that he and Matthew A. Henson were the first men to reach the North Pole.
Marie Peary Stafford had no such doubts, but her mission was equally difficult to complete. In 1932 she headed to a remote part of Greenland to erect a monument to her father’s accomplishments.
Marie had been born in Greenland while her father was on an expedition there, and she was now returning to the remote country with her two sons. She had raised the money and had the plans for the monument—56 feet high with decorative marble Ps at the top—created by a Boston firm. They charted the schooner Morrissey, and when they sailed away from the dock, Matthew Henson was on the shore to wave them off.
The expedition was recorded by a cameramen hired to film the events, but Marie’s diary revealed that she struggle to maintain control over mounting problems.
Posted by Hilary on April 6, 2011, under - Exploration, Myth or History, Rare Photos, Uncategorized.
Tags: greenland, marie peary stafford, North Pole, peary, polar exploration, Prologue, Robert Peary
Today marks 100 years since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire—a blaze that lasted 18 minutes and left 146 workers dead.
Among the many in New York City who witnessed the tragedy was Frances Perkins, who would later become FDR’s Secretary of Labor, making her the first woman to serve in a Presidential cabinet.
As Secretary of Labor, Perkins was instrumental in creating and implementing the Social Security Act—but she was also intensely interested in the safety and rights of workers. “I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen,” she said.
Perkins had a degree from Mount Holyoke College, where her coursework included touring factories. She later earned a master’s degree in in social economics from Columbia University. She had been working as factory inspector in New York at the time of the fire.
The fire started in a wastebasket on the eighth floor, and the flames jumped up onto the paper patterns that were hanging from the ceiling.
Posted by Hilary on March 25, 2011, under - Great Depression, - Women's Rights, News and Events, Rare Photos.
Tags: 146 dead, Committee on Safety, FDR, fire, Frances Perkins, labor relations, Secretary of Labor, Social Security Act, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
Yes, even bearded Old St Nick was recruited during World War II to keep the war factories churning, but what was intended as a rallying cry for safety instead appears like a masked threat: If you don’t celebrate Christmas the way Santa intended, then (wink, wink) “you’d better watch out.”
And what exactly is intended anyway? Are we to spend Christmas and New Years schmoozing with young metaphoric years and footless St. Nicks passing out safety flyers?
Then again, the War Production Board was never one to pull punches when it came to encouraging people to work. They would threaten, cajole, guilt, or resort to arming Santa Claus to ensure war production stayed top priority. Below are just a few of the thousand-plus war posters that prove war production—cartoons, facial hair or no—was no laughing matter.
In 1952, the chief of the Still Photo section at the National Archives, Josephine Cobb, discovered a glass plate negative taken by Mathew Brady of the speaker’s stand at Gettysburg on the day of its dedication as a National Cemetery. Edward Everett would speak from that stand later in the afternoon for two straight hours. Moments later, a tall, gaunt Abraham Lincoln would stand up and deliver a ten sentence speech in two minutes. It was the Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln delivered his famous speech 147 years ago today. His speech is revered as one of the greatest in American history, yet until Josephine Cobb looked closer at that Mathew Brady photo in 1952, it was thought that no photo existed of the Great Emancipator at Gettysburg on the day he delivered that address.
Based off the placement of people, the slight elevation of a few in the center left field of the photograph, and where the crowd was looking, Cobb bet that Lincoln would be in the photo. Photo enlargement later proved her theory true, making this the first–and possibly only–photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg.*
Cobb estimated that the photo was taken around noontime, before Edward Everett arrived, and about three hours before Lincoln delivered his famous address. Below is the original, uncropped photo.
Posted by Rob Crotty on November 19, 2010, under - Civil War, Rare Photos.
Tags: abraham lincoln, discovering the civil war, Gettysburg address, Mathew Brady, NARA, national archives, photo hunt, photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg, Rare Photos