62 photographic images
These photographs give a detailed visual account of Suffolk-area service stations in the early automotive age, including station personnel, oil-delivery vehicles and drivers, off-site oil storage facilities, and other elements of oil-related infrastructure. Architecturally, the service stations range from pagoda-like roadside huts to urban brick produce market/gas station all-in-ones, most displaying the distinctive “Sinclair Gasoline” sign. Gas can be seen for sale at 25 cents a gallon.
The original purpose of this series is unknown. While some of the images smack of promotional photography, especially those in which drivers pose with their vehicles, others seem more documentary or photojournalistic, particularly a handful of images showing the aftermath of a dramatic rollover car wreck. Most of the drivers and many of the station owners are named.
Electronic copies donated, 2009.
Vintage prints retained by donor.
Related resources and collections:
C1: 162 Hamblin Studio Photograph Collection
approx. 318 stereographs (most albumen) and other photographic prints mounted on 4 x 7 inch cards
Stereographic views were a popular nineteenth-century novelty that enabled photographs to be viewed in three dimensions. What appear to be identical photographic images paired adjacently on a cardboard support are actually slightly different and, when viewed through the lenses of a stereoscope, they “merge” to yield an unexpectedly convincing 3D effect. The Library’s Stereograph Collection contains over 300 images from many prominent photographers from the Civil War to the World War I eras. Photographs and publishers represented in the collection include the Keystone View Co., George S. Cook, Lee Gallery, D. H. Anderson, E. S. Lumpkin, Underwood & Underwood, George Ennis, Selden & Co., the Kilburn Bros., and Timothy O’Sullivan. Most of the images offer views of Richmond and other Virginia locales, such as the Old Stone House (now the Poe Museum), interiors of Washington’s Tomb, Salt Point, the Executive Mansion and Capitol Grounds (including the long-vanished wrought iron gazebo that housed the statue of Henry Clay), Monumental Church, and Libby Prison. There are also several rare photographs of Blue Ridge Springs and other long-defunct Virginia resorts, as well as a one-of-a-kind series of homemade stereographs with views of late- nineteenth-century Petersburg.
Arrangement and access:
The collection is available for view on Digitool.
74 chromolithographs in original bound volume, 6.5 x 10 inches
With the extraordinary popularity of cigars in late-nineteenth century America, and the consequent birth of the cigar-box-label salesman, came colorful catalogs and sample books, of which ours is an intact example, “showcasing” the variety of label designs available to cigar manufacturers and merchants. By the early 1880s most label production had shifted from small towns to large specialty printing firms on the east coast, among these the Manhattan-based O. L. Schwencke, begun in 1884 and absorbed by Moehle Lithographic Co. in 1900. Done in luxurious chromolithography, the embossed labels in our Schwencke sample book contrast scenes of leisure, privilege, and high sophistication, such as operagoing and pleasure-boating, with a dizzying array of images to appeal to all manner of disposition and fantasy: sentimental courtships and family tableaux, patriotic allegories, scenes of foreign travel, sportsmanship, war, adventure, and industry, elaborate and indecipherable insignia, exotic animals and cherubs, caricatures of Arabs and Native Americans, mildly sexualized women, and American playboys and tycoons. These scenes usually appear under very broad legends such as “Leader,” “Beauty,” and “Peerless,” with more specific-sounding legends such as “Santiago,” “La Rosa Especial,” and “La Amenidad” posing as exotic brand names but in fact easily mapped over whatever generic cigar the merchant or manufacturer might have had on hand or been eager to push on customers. One label, “Life Saver,” … more
John Shaw (1942–2010) was a prolific wildlife photographer and painter strongly associated with Virginia, where he was born and made his home. Quitting his day job as a military satellite tracker in 1982, Shaw, largely self-taught, committed himself to his art, which appeared in countless incarnations—as paintings in private homes, in wildlife magazines and illustrated calendars, on postage stamps and birdseed packages.
The 35mm images in our collection demonstrate a technical sophistication and commitment to realism and detail for which Shaw’s later work was so widely admired. Striking shots of songbirds taking wing, casting shadows on what are apparently artificial backdrops, intermingle with more casual photos of Copper and Butch, the family spaniels, and colorful domestic interiors featuring a reserved older couple, probably Shaw’s parents. Other images include opossum and deer, skunks and flying squirrels, a dozen species of songbird, as many national and state parks, and locales such as California wine country and the covered bridges of Pennsylvania. Of special interest to Virginians may be Shaw’s photos of Monticello, Shenandoah National Park in autumn, and the Blue Ridge Parkway—with images of Mabry Mill and the Puckett Cabin, home of “Aunt” Orelena, the famous midwife. While most of the slides themselves are undated, images of the Seattle World’s Fair place their creation in the early 1960s.
Arrangement and access:
The 1,288 Kodachrome slides are arranged as received, labeled by … more