Another Photographic Treasure Trove Discovered: 120-Year-Old Colored Slides from Chatham University, Part 1
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 02:21 PM PST
In the need for library and archival preservation, modern technology is certainly a friend of antiquity. Vintage photographs, some stored for over a century in old libraries, are now being digitized and often posted Online. Such is the case with this treasure of "Holy Land Lantern Slides" we found in Chatham University's archives.
Chatham University, a 150-year-old women's undergraduate school in Pittsburgh, digitized their slides in 2009. According to Rachel M. Grove Rohrbaugh, the school's archivist and public service librarian, "most of the slides roughly date to circa 1880-1900. We don’t have specific information on the photographer(s) or how they were used here at Chatham, but they were likely used for instruction in world history or cultural studies."
In the 1880s, before movies or electricity, pictures such as these were projected in front of classes or audiences using a kerosene-lit lamp fitted with special lenses.
The slides were produced by optical manufacturers who sold the lanterns. The makers of the Chatham slides were identified by Chatham's archivist as T.H McAllister Co. and Williams, Brown, and Earle, of New York and Philadelphia respectively.
An enlargement of the picture shows a sign, "Mission to the Jews," inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem.
German, Anglican, and Scottish Protestant church missionaries were very active in the Holy Land in the late 19th century.
At the time, this intersection of the Old City was probably one of the busiest ones in Jerusalem.
Click on the pictures to enlarge.
Click on the captions to view the originals.
Next: Part 2 of the Chatham Collection