Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.
Vintage photos of:
August 1864. Petersburg, Virginia. "Essayons Dramatic Club, a group of the U.S. Engineer Battalion." From photos of the main Eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg. Wet plate glass negative, photographer unknown. View full size.
From the Army Corps of Engineers Web site: For more than a century the Corps of Engineers had its own drama club. The Essayons Dramatic Club, one of the oldest amateur theatrical production companies in the U.S., was founded Jan. 27, 1864 by the Engineer Battalion, then serving with the Army of the Potomac and wintering at Brandy Station, Va. The battalion built a small theater and organized an orchestra, and Feb. 26 the troupe presented "Toodles," its first play.
1917. "Mrs. Van H. Manning. U.S. Bureau of Mines. Mine rescue methods. There were 750,000 men employed in coal mining in 1915, and of this number 2,264 were killed -- 190 less than in 1914 and 521 less than in 1913. 'This is the most gratifying report the Bureau of Mines has been able to make since it was established,' says Van H. Manning, director of the bureau. 'It indicates very forcibly to me that "safety first" has come to stay in the coal-mining industry.' " Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.