American voyage photograph albums C0256
Published by George Mason University Libraries
By the early 1900s, photographic technology was becoming significantly more advanced. As the Victoria and Albert Museum's page on photographic processes notes, gelatin-silver prints "by 1895 had generally replaced albumen prints because they were more stable, did not turn yellow, and were simpler to produce." Simpler processes encouraged more amateurs to take up photography.
Train travel during the early 1900s provided transportation with ease and efficiency that would have been unimaginable 50 years earlier. Transcontinental journeys that took months by wagon or by ship in 1850 could take only weeks by 1900, encouraging more recreational travel.
This collection contains approximately 500 photographic prints in two bound volumes that document a trip to the United States, Mexico, and Canada by a French-speaking person or group sailing from Le Havre in Normandy, France. On the first page is handwritten "Voyage en Amerique, Avril-Mai 1904." The photographs include multiple views of U.S. cities including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, New Orleans, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Seattle. The images of Mexico include people, landscapes, and churches, including the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The images of Canada are largely rural and include Niagara Falls. The photographs also show multiple views from the railroad coach since that was the main mode of transportation used to travel across the country. There are also four unmounted prints that show Midtown Manhattan and New Orleans. They appear to be from the 1930s and unrelated to the rest of the photographs, although they have descriptions written in French on the back.
Photographs are contained in two volumes, labeled "Amerique I" and "Amerique 2," and are arranged chronologically.
There are no access restrictions.
There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the American voyage photograph albums must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Railroad travel--United States--Photographs.
American voyage photograph albums, #C0256, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Purchased by George Mason University Libraries before 2008.
Processing completed by Elizabeth Beckman in April 2015. EAD markup completed by Elizabeth Beckman in April 2015.