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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Gas Menagerie: 1927

The Gas Menagerie: 1927

Washington, D.C., circa 1927. "Nature Magazine -- Walter Layman." Traveling the country with his dog Little Pocahontas, Walter Layman documented Native American culture with photographs that appeared in magazines including National Geographic and Nature. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

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Walter's camera

Walter's camera looks like a Graflex RB Auto. It's my favorite Graflex, because it has a double extension bellows.


Walter loved traveling around the US and taking photos for National Geographic, mostly of the American Indians and the National Parks. He also painted many landscapes and Indians.


I would hazard to guess that the young lady in the driver's seat didn't know that the photographer could see the top of her stocking. This was VERY risque for the times.

As for the dogs, I suspect that Pocahontas is the one behind this young lady. This dog has the look of a general "Indian style" dog. the other two look to have terrier in them and, since Fox terriers were one of the most popular breeds during this time, this would not be a far stretch.

Right around the corner

The buildings in the background are 1216, 1218, 1220 and 1222 16th Street NW. Only 1220 has changed significantly with its Miami Vice skin of stucco. The block is right around the corner from the National Geographic headquarters.

View Larger Map

Hunky Photog

Yes, Walter did us all a favor when he stepped in front of a camera.

Pocahontas and Her Daughters

Hagerstown (Maryland) Morning Herald, November 7, 1928.


Indian Dogs Accompanying Lecturer
Attract Much Attention

Pocahontas, an Indian dog who has traveled all over the United States, and her three children, Minnehaha, Pocatello and Sacajawea, are centers of attraction this week for schoolchildren who are hearing lectures by Walter Layman, traveling artist and photographer.

Mr. Layman obtained Pocahontas from Idaho Indians ten years ago and since then the dog has accompanied him on sightseeing tours to the most interesting spots in the United States. She is supposed to be part coyote. Her travel adventures are told in a book written by Mr. Layman. Mr. Layman shows lantern slides of the places he has visited. His canine companions are popular with children and drew a large crowd about his automobile when it was parked on Washington Street yesterday afternoon. Sacajawea, one of the three fluffy yellow pups, is named after the Indian girl who guided Lewis and Clark.

Mr Layman is speaking with the endorsement of B.J. Grimes, superintendent of schools. His schedule this week will be at the Washington Street School this morning at 9 o'clock; at the Boonsboro School this afternoon; at Broadway all day Thursday; at Smithsburg Friday morning; at Halfway Friday afternoon.

I don't think the young ladies were his companions.

Judging by their complexions and clothes compared with Mr Layman's. I suspect they were added to the picture for decorative effect - which they certainly provide.

Looks like he bagged himself a jackalope

I wonder if there were more pictures in National Geographic?


I'd suggest this guy should invest in tires when he gets his first check.

A bit about Walt

Here and here.

Those windshield stickers

call for X-ray vision. What was he thinking?

Must Have Tobacco

Is his pipe attached to a string around his neck?

Ram tough

So this is, therefore, the original Dodge Ram!

Do Photographers have more fun?

Wow, looks like Harrison Ford and a fabulous retinue. So, which one is Pocahontas? And are those his partners, daughters, or simply admirers? Must've been a good life - whe does the movie come out?

Great shot, thanks!

Big Game Hunter

Perhaps Walter "shot" more than just Indians. PETA would have been annoyed.

Oh-so-cute ladies

Oh, so cute ladies (especially left *fell in love*)! And dogs are very nice too. But sculls are a bit frightening. Wonderful photo!


As the owner of four dogs I know the trouble it is to have all the dogs pose at the camera at the same time! He's two for three!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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