Collection of Lantern Slides of Construction Efforts in 1920s California
Group of 74 black-and-white photographic lantern slides documenting California construction efforts, including dam, railroad, and irrigation systems, as well as other landscape views of lakes, towns, and a cow pasture, many slides with dates inscribed within the image. A few slides with cracks to the glass, yet all are complete, no missing pieces. Slides measure 3 1/4" x 4". Housed in a cloth-covered fitted rectangular box with slots for 75 slides, cloth frayed in places especially at corners, leather straps broken, clasp does not close. San Francisco (Tam Inc.) 1922. The vast majority of the slides in this collection were printed by Tam Inc., Williams Building, San Francisco, although a few have labels from Edward H. Kemp Lantern Slides, 833 Market Street, San Francisco. Lantern slides date to the 17th century, and photographic slides first became commercially available in the 1850s. They reached the peak of their popularity in the first third of the 20th century, but as new types of photographic film became available in the 1930s and 1940s, lantern slides became obsolete. The first slide in the box depicts construction equipment which has "Placerville, California" printed on its side. Placerville was a gold rush town which later earned the nickname "Hangtown" due to the large number of hangings which took place there. At the time of its incorporation in 1854, it was the third largest town in California. It later became a central hub for mining operations and was a stop along the Southern Pacific Railroad. (Inventory #: 48405)
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