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International Newsreel: 1924

International Newsreel: 1924

Washington, D.C., 1924. "Van Tine & Johnson." Harry Van Tine and Joe Johnson in a photographic survey of Washington-area lensmen. View full size.


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Thank you

This is the first time I have been able to see my Great Grandfather Harry

Van Tine's camera

Harry Van Tine was my great grandfather. We still have that camera.

Pappy Van Tine

Washington Post, May 2, 1968.

Lensman Harry Van Tine Dies.

Harry M. Van Time, who snapped exclusive photos of Harry K. Thaw escaping from a mental institution in 1915 and took the first still pictures of actress Mary Pickford, died Tuesday at Washington Hospital Center after a two-month illness. He was 82.

Mr. Van Tine, known throughout his professional life as "Pappy" and "Van," retired in the 1950s after 40 years with International News Photos. He was dean of the White House News Photographers Association and one of its founders.

Born in Beacon, N.Y., he was working for a newspaper chain in the Hudson Valley when Thaw, who had murdered the famous architect, Stanford White, escaped from Matteawan State Hospital.

His photos helped him to land a job in New York soon after that and by 1914 he was working for INP, covering championship boxing matches, taking photos from early and makeshift airplanes, and photographing Barney Oldfield winning the Sheepshead Bay auto race.

He took still photos of Mary Pickford when she was a young girl appearing in "The Call [Song] of the Wildwood Flute" and he was there with his camera when a midget was planted into J.P. Morgan's lap.

Mr. Van Tine came to Washington in 1917 on assignment, covering the arrival of French Marshall Joffre and Italian Minister Marconi, and decided INP needed a Washington bureau. He became that bureau and was with it from then on.

Things were more casual then around the White House and the photographers harder to handle. Mr. Van Tine wanted to get a photo of President Wilson basking in the sun on the White House lawn, so he hid in a load of hay that was headed for sheep which then grazed behind the White House. But he was discovered by Secret Servicemen.

Mr. Van Tine was the first vice president of the White House News Photographers Association. He served later as president and was for ten terms the organizations secretary-treasurer.

Mr. Van Tine, who lived at the Roosevelt Hotel, 2101 16th st. nw., is survived by two granddaughters, Mrs. Cyril J. Pittack, of 601 Four Mile rd., Alexandria, and Mrs. Al Kimbrough, of Reno, Nev.

Could it be Lincoln's church?

The building in the right background is the old Masonic Hall on New York Avenue, which would seem to put these two gentlemen on the roof of the old New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, the church attended by Abraham Lincoln, which was torn down in 1950. I'm not sure where they'd fit up there, however--possibly on a ledge on the clock tower? Perhaps it's more likely that they're on the roof of one of the buildings nearby on H Street, such as the Times-Herald Building, which would be very fitting.

Walking all over town

those shoes could use a spit shine.

Graflex shooters

The camera between them appears to be an early Graflex single lens reflex.

International Newsreel Corp.

That's confusing - if they're newsreel lensmen, why the still cameras, a 4x5 Graphic and 5x7 Graflex? I'll need to dig into this one.

[International Newsreel was a photo agency whose pictures appeared in many newspapers. - Dave]

Perfect types

These look exactly like the guys you would see in a 1930s movie, brandishing flash cameras, with a card reading "Press" stuck into their hatband.

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