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[Photo Album]: Medford, Wisconsin, 1904-1905
Near Fine. Oblong octavo. Cloth over flexible boards with photographic image of an oncoming train cut into the shape of a badge. Aside from the cover image the album holds 46 gelatin silver images; 42 of them are 4.5" x 3.75" mounted one to a page, each with a tissue guard, and with a detailed typed caption on the facing page. The final four are small 1.25" x 1.5" portraits of women mounted on a single page and captioned. Modest wear at the joints, a couple of images removed, probably by the compiler (no captions were present), and one leaf removed (the caption is still present), very good with near fine images.A very engaging album by a Medford High School student and an enlightened and intrepid amateur photographer. The compiler is often pictured but only captioned as "Myself", despite his scrupulously identifying everyone else in the album; the captions suggest that the images were taken in partnership with Gilbert Glasow, who is likewise identified in several images.The album begins in the Winter of 1904 and pictures the compiler and his fellow students building a two story shanty that they refer to as the "Science Building" and which they used apparently for experiments with electricity and telephones, including one image of the compiler talking on a phone, and another of various electrical apparatus created by Mr. Glasow.He also apparently worked part-time at the Wisconsin Central Railway station in Medford, and is pictured with the other personnel at the station. Additionally there are a few well-captioned images of moving trains: "W.C. Ry #102 southbound taken about one mile north of Medford station. Mr. Glasow stood in the center of the track to take this view and the engineer may be seen blowing the whistle for him to get off. I might add that he did not have any time to spare when he did get off." The young daredevils were not averse to danger, and the caption of another arresting picture, of the Winchester Hotel, notes that it was taken from the top of a telephone pole; another, of a quarry, is taken from atop a high stone crusher.The album has a pleasing array of subjects that include the town fire chief posing with his new steam fire engine ("his pet"); a large horse-drawn log sledge, the boys at a deer hunting camp outside of town, the boys on bicycles at a lake out of town, and a couple of images of the switchboards and apparatus, taken at an A.T.&T. office in Minneapolis, "taken by flashlight". Also shows the small Class of 1905 of Medford High School, horseback riding in and along a creek (where the compiler pays particular attention to the reflections off the water), and pictures of several important buildings in Medford.Medford is in central Wisconsin, roughly midway between Wausau and Eau Claire. The town grew up around the railway. Both the subjects and the quality of the images here represented are superior to most amateur albums of the time.
      [Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
Last Found On: 2017-12-12           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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