1 album, 12 x 17 inches, 40 pages, 130 photographs, mixed ephemera
“Through Virginia, 1935” was assembled, we speculate, by one of a group of three female auto tourists to commemorate their journey in the autumn of 1935. The album is a virtual collage of ephemera from the period, intermingling personal photographs with postcards and brochures from various chambers of commerce promoting all manner of historic, industrial, recreational, and natural attractions. The album not only brings together diverse ephemera from a particular historic moment in modern Virginia, it reveals the tourist’s desire to capture the experience of the road trip itself. The Virginia leg of this trip, including Richmond, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Fredericksburg, and Alexandria, occupies the bulk of the album, and includes original photos—extreme close-ups—of cotton and peanuts (southern novelties to a northern tourist) and the “old slave block” in Fredericksburg. A brochure proudly advertises Shenandoah Caverns as the only caves in the state with elevator service. In one instance, there are no fewer than six different brochures for Natural Bridge on a single page. There are also many photos from the D.C. area, including Washington’s tomb, the Lincoln Memorial, the Franciscan Monastery, “bird’s eye” shots from the top of the Washington Monument, and more “vacationy” pictures of the women goofing off on the plinths of the Capitol in a manner that would now be inconceivable.
While the identities … more