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Thanks to Riptide readers Bob Pilgrim, Dan Stegink, Alan Wald, Mark Stechbart, et al. for researching this Dorothea Lange photo from 1938 (or even earlier). See Comments below this post for more on this historic photo.
Library of Congress
Posted at 09:26 AM in Photography & Travel | Permalink
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I picked up Kathleen Manning's "Pacifica (Then and Now)" inspired by that photo.
Loving it; wish it were coffee table size.
May 27, 2017 at 07:20 PM
I am sure the beacon is the Rockaway Cafe -- the business that became Nick's. It appears in several photographs in the book about the Gust family and Rockaway. I think the large white building to the right is the Basinette Hotel. The site was bought by Charles Gust, and provided land to build two homes for his two daughters and their families in 1946. One of the houses still stands; the other was razed to make way for the current clock tower building.
Very cool if this was taken by Dorothea Lange -- and extremely possible to probable, given where she worked and the quality of the photograph. Would love to see the original print -- it is likely a 4x5 or 8x10 negative, so lots of details to be had.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: See Library of Congress link at the bottom of this post, plus Wikipedia entry and Google Images.)
John Leonardini |
May 23, 2017 at 07:59 AM
I contacted someone who knows a little bit about Dorothea Lange and this person stated that Lange had a long career and that the dates on the photos -- even in the Library of Congress -- are not necessarily accurate.
They also can't be tracked by the negative numbers, as the FSA cherrypicked from a larger body of work and published when convenient, not when the photo was actually taken.
The three automobiles in the photo (on the perimeter) appear to be 1920s era, back when cars had a shorter lifespan, but, of course, a 1938 car would never be in a 1920s photo, but a 1920s car might show up in a 1938 photo.
Long story short, I think this may be even earlier. Lange also worked for the federal government and thus had fewer constraints on costs and how many photos a day she could take. The aforementioned folks are taking a look to see if any more "fishing village" pictures from the same day exist for more clues.
Dan Stegink |
May 23, 2017 at 06:39 AM
There's something that looks very much like the "beacon" at our modern Lighthouse Hotel, near where the hotel is now.
May 22, 2017 at 04:45 PM
Although not visible to the naked eye, I did notice the "going out of business" sign at the former KFC/Boston Bill's location.
alan wald |
May 22, 2017 at 04:12 PM
Here's an idea: Through the process of triangulation, we could establish the exact spot where Lange stood when she took this photo. Maybe she left a clue there, such as a discarded empty film canister with a 1938 use-by date imprinted on it.
Alan Wald |
May 22, 2017 at 12:05 AM
Might be 1938. If you Google the image, you end up with one link at Wikipedia:
Right-hand side, 3 pictures down, that attributes the picture to Dorothea Lange, 1938.
Wikipedia gets stuff wrong all the time. Maybe check with Getty to see if it can identify the picture.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks, Mark, you may have found the smoking gun.)
May 21, 2017 at 09:30 PM
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks, Dave, we think you are getting very warm. Bob Pilgrim is going to verify this with a local historian. Stay tuned.)
May 21, 2017 at 08:01 PM
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks, Big Banker. You are getting warmer.)
big banker |
May 21, 2017 at 04:27 PM
Great shot of the Quarry back when it was just a mountain.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks, Dan, you are getting warm.)
Dan Stegink |
May 21, 2017 at 08:36 AM
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