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Cushman Photos and Slides 1930s to 1972

It is nice to come across a large collection of photos that cover or represent a certain region or time period. Photos are the best method to get an idea of how our ancestors looked, dressed, their activities and what their state, region or community looked like at a certain time period.

The Indiana University Archives – Digital Library Program has placed online the collection of photos and slides done by Charles W. Cushman, a native of Indiana and photographer for decades. It was Cushman who was the first to use the new Kodachrome film in 1938, so most of his photos are in color.

Charles was born July 30, 1896 in Indiana. He was always interested in photography even as a child. He made use of the time he had not having a steady job in the late 1930s to start taking photos in every location he was in. He continued that for decades, having some 14,400 color Kodachrome slides covering Sept. 3, 1938 to April 20, 1969. This collection online does have other photos, not just slides, covering earlier periods and up to 1972. Charles died June 8, 1972 and his entire collection was donated to the Indiana University Archives.

The Digital Project has made the organization of the photos very simple. They are in locations, years, subjects, genre along with the notebooks where Cushman described the photos. So everything is labeled and dated.

Examples of the topics and numbers of photos show just a few of the many locations: California 4728, State of Washington 280, Germany 239, England 569, Italy 237, Mississippi 71, Chicago 1263, New Mexico 96, Greece 383, New York 159 and Texas 216.

Some of the general items, themes or people and number of photos in the collection are: cattle 110, rivers 850, farms 126, shoes 15, food 249, ethnic groups 29, fishing 52, railroads 399, apartment houses 112, entertainers 50 and law enforcement 21.

Based on when the photo were taken here are the number of photos for certain years: 1940 has 438, 1946 has 514, 1952 has 1050, 1955 has 1000, 1961 has 883 and 1965 has 1187 images.

A sampling of unusual topics include: Japanese Day in June 1940 at the San Francisco Fair, Old Mining Towns in California, Big Sur along Pacific Coast in 1952 and Old homes of Wiltshire Blvd in Los Angeles, CA in 1950s.

Use the general search box placing a keyword or location. A list then appears with a thumbnail image and a brief description. Click on the thumbnail and the image enlarges. It can be saved by right-clicking with the mouse and downloaded to your computer. The date of the photo and any additional detail of the people or place are included.

Overall a nice assemblage of photos representing people and most everywhere in the United States and several places overseas.

Photo: New York City skyscrapers from the East River Pier – June 1941

< Return To Blog Thank you for a great presentation, one of my fivtraoes of the conference.I tried to replicate your demo locally, and I failed to connect to my device. I have something in my notes about including a SWC when deploying to the device rather than the desktop. Can you tell me which swc it needs?
Menna 18/12/12

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