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Old Gold: 1906

Old Gold: 1906

Louisville, Kentucky, circa 1906. "A tobacco market." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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My house in Louisville

My house, a two-story shotgun on the edge of the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville, was built one year before this picture was taken, and presumably stood very close by. I'd like to imagine that one of these guys lived in it, or had at least visited. Probably one of the laborers over on the left-hand side of the frame -- all those dudes in the middle with the derby hats look wealthy, and this was not a wealthy man's house.

Re: The Skylight

Natural light was necessary to see the true color and condition when grading tobacco prior to auction. Here in the Bull City, the auctions would open around 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. and would close in the early afternoon.

Good times

Look at the expressions on the faces of most of the people in this photograph. Most are smiling. What did they know?

The skylight

provided excellent illumination for this photograph. When it got dark the carbon filament light bulbs would have provided a very soft, dim light. I love the wiring arrangement along the rafters for the lighting. It reminds me of the knob and tube wiring still in use in my 1928 home. Did this building originally have gas lighting? There appear to be gas brackets hanging from horizontal beams.

Topside Barrels

I'm OK with a smoke now and again into my Social Security years but I'm wondering about those barrels up top. They look like they could hold a lot of beer if permitted to be put to a useful purpose. A good smoke and a beer can be a good deal.

[Those "barrels" are hogsheads full of tobacco. -Dave]

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