Sunday, February 8, 2015

Eating My Words

"I just really hope we get some snow. I want dramatic snow pictures!" Might be something I said several times in the week leading up to my most recent excursion into the 1940s. Whoops?

clearing snow near the USS Constitution, via WBUR

On the other hand, I'm clearly not the only person to ever think the snow made for a dramatic setting. People have been capturing the perils and playtimes of snow days in Boston for over 100 years, which is pretty awesome. The Boston Public Library has a fabulous archive of some of these images, taken by Boston Herald-Traveler photographer Leslie Jones.

Jones at rest with a couple of camera, from the BPL's archive site
Leslie Jones preferred the term "camera man" to photographer, and while he was interested in taking pictures from a young age, Jones actually began adulthood as a pattern maker in a Boston factory. During that time, he also did freelance photography work, capturing the city as he saw it.  When he lost two fingers in a factory accident, Jones went to work for local newspaper the Boston Herald-Trader full time in 1917. During his 39 year tenure at the Herald-Trader, Jones covered everything from the day-to-day excitement of Boston, to historic events (e.g., Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic), to local baseball at Fenway Park. After his death, his family donated an incredible 40,000(!) negatives to the archives at the Boston Public Library, and the collection is available online here if you'd like to take a look--I really recommend it.

Jones shooting in Fenway Park, undated (but probably c.1940s?)
I've selected a few of my favorites from the library's "Boston in Winter" album to share with you. Check out more on their Flickr account!

Package delivery by sleigh, market district, date unkown
Girls snowshoeing on Boston Common, c.1930s
Horse slips on snow, c.1920s (poor horse! At least cars don't feel pain when they slide)
Checking the weather equipment on Boston Common, 1923
At the corner of Tremont and Boylston, 1930 (check out those fabulous hats!)
So really, not much has changed!

Carting snow away in trucks, 1939
Snow removal by truck, 2015 (via the Boston Globe)
For those of you in New England, stay warm and safe!

No comments:

Post a Comment