Historic Pictures

Visitors to this blog (thank you one and all!) quickly notice the historic pictures. They come from two primary sources at this time. These sources are The Library of Congress and ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

PG learned about the LOC collection by reading Shorpy , where the slogans are ” e pluribus pablum/ always something interesting”. There is a header ad for Levis today. The GSU collection is featured at Atlanta Time Machine. Both sites can steal hours of your time.

The LOC collection that PG mines is the “Prints and Photographs” collection of the overall Library of Congress. At last count there were 67 groups in this collection, with more added from time to time. One of the better new collections is the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs . It is a collection of framed portraits of soldiers from the recent unpleasantness.

The pictures at the GSU library are from two primary sources. They are the Lane Brothers Photographers Collections and the Tracy O’Neal Collections. Regarding the Lane Brothers:
“The Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection consists of about 258,100 (196,800 4×5 inch and 61,300 2 1/2 inch) acetate negatives which are housed in 43,486 envelopes. The collection spans the years 1920 to 1976 with the bulk of the negatives dating from 1939 to 1975. Some of the images are copy negatives of photographs which date as early as 1864. The envelopes are organized into six series (1) Corporate bodies, (2) Geographic places, (3) Events, (4) Portraits, (5) Things, and (6) Miscellaneous-sized negatives.
The collection consists of photographic negatives and prints of the Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers (Atlanta, Ga.) and its predecessor the Lane Brothers Photo News Service from ca. 1920-1976. Early materials (1920’s-1939) include glass plate negatives and photographs taken by Jack Lane and his brother W.C. Lane as freelance photographers for the Atlanta News, other newspapers, and wire services. “

“The Tracy W. O’Neal Collection consists of about 31,500 4×5 inch acetate negatives which are housed in 10,814 envelopes. The collection spans the years 1923 to 1975 with the bulk of the negatives dating from 1950 to 1974. Some of the images are copy negatives of photographs which date as early as 1889. The envelopes are arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically within each year.”

Each picture has its own web address. When you view a picture at Chamblee54, hold the mouse over the picture for a minute, and a number will be shown. This number can be used to look for more information about the picture. Typically, when the picture is processed for blog use, an x is added to the end of the number. (If more than one detail is used from a picture, there will be an extra letter after the x. Typically, this is xa, xb, xc and so forth. Also, some LOC numbers are used for more than one image, and xa xb xc is used to distinguish between the images.) If you are looking for more information about the pictures, you should disregard the x, and any letters after the x.

For the LOC pictures, it is fairly simple. Enter the number in the search engine field, and click go. For the GSU pictures, it is different. The number is a code. Take picture LBCB023-113ax. LB stands for Lane Brothers. CB is corporate bodies. The drawing is in box 023, and envelope 113, and is picture a. The x indicates that this picture has been processed for blog use.

Most of the Lane Brothers categories are self explanatory. Geographic Places ( GP, no kin to PG) has Named Streets (NS), Facilities (F), and Outside Atlanta (OA). Portraits are indicated by P. Events are a bit trickier. LBCE is corporate events, with the E at the end. There are Person events (LBPE), Movie Premieres (LBMPE), and others. The last two are things (LBT) and miscellaneous (LBSCB and a few others). The system can be confusing.

In blessed contrast, the O’Neal Collection is signified by an N, followed by a box number and envelope number. N10-67b is O’Neal, box 10, envelope 67, picture b.

Many of the images in the LOC are public domain. There is a note on each page about the copyright status, along with the message that “Rights assessment is your responsibility”. (This is in red letters.)

One of the more popular collections is the Farm Service Administration / Office of War Information. This was a Government sponsored program to document American life during the Depression, and later during World War Two. It produced the famous image known as “Migrant Mother”. The majority of these pictures are public domain. According to the rights and restrictions page,
“Most photographs in this collection were taken by photographers working for the U.S. Government. Work by the U.S. Government is not eligible for copyright protection (see page 5 of the Copyright Office’s Circular 1, “Copyright Basics”).”
The photographs in the GSU library are owned by the library, and some restrictions apply to their use. For information about use of these pictures, contact UPDATE There fave been changes at the GSU site. You no longer need to go to the individual section. Just use the search engine for the Lane Brothers, or O’Neal. Higher resolution photographs are now available. GSU also has a collection of photographs from the Atlanta Journal/Constitution.

Today is the one year anniversary of the first post illustrated by pictures from the GSU library . We are repeating those pictures today, with a bit of improved captioning. The pictures in the database have a black bar at the bottom, with the credit in white type. A while back, PG started to try to blend in the credit with the picture, so it is not as obvious.

When you have a hobby like photo editing, you are learning new gimmicks all the time. The pictures are cropped to the “golden rectangle” now, and it is amazing how often that has all the information you really need. The credit line…Special Collections Department, Pullen Library, Georgia State University…is pasted onto a blank window, with the background adjusted to fit into the picture as inconspicuously as possible.

Today, a new tactic was learned. You paste a credit onto the picture, adjust the background shade to match the picture, undo the first paste, go to the background window, adjust the shade the same amount that you adjusted the sample a minute ago, paste the credit into the background window, add the date and any more information, and copy this credit into the picture. The shade adjusted credits look a whole lot better than the ugly black bar. You should learn a new tactic every day.

PG found the photo collection at the GSU library through the Atlanta Time Machine . The bulk of the collection is the archives of two professional photography ventures, The Lane Brothers (Jack Lane and his brother W.C. Lane), and Tracy O’Neal.

The pictures in these collections show an Atlanta that does not exist anymore. Much of it was before PG’s time, or before he was old enough to appreciate what he saw. There was a time when there were grocery stores other than Kroger and Publix. The A&P and Colonial chains were major players fifty years ago. Coke machines sold 6 ounce deposit bottles.

The picture of Peachtree Street is a warehouse of memories. The Roxy theater was a fabulous place, with balconies that wrapped around the stage. It had the misfortune to be built on valuable real estate. This is the location of the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, the tallest hotel in the world. Across the street was the S&W cafeteria, and in the background, the Coca Cola sign stood. Atlanta is bigger today, but some wonder if it is better.

2 Responses

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  1. What Is In That Picture? | Chamblee54 said, on September 12, 2019 at 11:51 am

    […] D.C. Creator(s): Myers, David (David Moffat), photographer Date Created/Published: 1939 July. Historic Pictures is a page at chamblee54 with more information on these collections. Pictures today were from […]

  2. Donald D. said, on April 18, 2022 at 4:55 am

    Nice article. I mostly enjoy old pics of stores like the supermarkt AP above. I would rather see some initial McDonalds photos too. Nice one though.

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