Monday, March 31, 2008

Photography in Port Tobacco

As I was sitting here today thinking about our blog and our work, I kept looking at the same things over and over. Those "things" I was looking at were the photographs. Are they interesting? Who took them? hmmm...who did take them? Some were done by us, some by visitors, newspapers, etc. But then I started to look at the older photographs, the ones from the 19th Century and early 20th Century and I thought about it some more.

Early in 2007 while still in school I worked on a museum exhibit focusing on the photography of late 19th Century techniques. This got me thinking about the ones taken of Port Tobacco during that time.

We must remember that not everyone was carrying around a cell phone with a camera on it like we do today. The equipment then was very cumbersome and a time consuming process. I looked at the Barbour map and noticed everything from hotels to a smithy to the shops that were in the town. What about a portrait studio? Surely as the county seat with so many different commercial opportunities there would have been a portrait studio, right? Not necessarily.

So who took these early photographs? Was there a portrait studio? Did one of the newspapers employ a photographer or have the equipment themselves? Was there a resident in the county or the town itself who was skilled in photography?

These are a few of the questions on the subject that would be interesting to learn about. We haven't done any research on the subject yet, but we will and we would love to know anything that anyone else knows on the subject too!

- Peter

No comments: