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“Life on Lake Michigan: Photographs from the Early 1900s” May 8 – October 3, 2013

The Schooner “Blackhawk” in Kenosha Harbor Around 1900 24" by 30" photograph scanned from UW-Parkside archive glass negative.

The Schooner “Blackhawk” in Kenosha Harbor
Around 1900
24″ by 30″ photograph scanned from UW-Parkside archive glass negative. (Permission: UW-Parkside Archive)

 Whaleboat  September 5, 1891


Whaleboat
September 5, 1891

The Schooner "Blackhawk” in Kenosha Harbor Around 1900 This photo was taken off the shores of Lake Michigan around 1900. See the beautiful profile view of this schooner taken at the same time on view elsewhere in the gallery.  The Schooner “Blackhawk” in Kenosha Harbor
Around 1900
This photo was taken off the shores of Lake Michigan around 1900. See the beautiful profile view of this schooner taken at the same time on view elsewhere in the gallery.

“Life on Lake Michigan: Photographs from the Early 1900s” features photographs printed from digital scans of antique dry plate glass negatives held in the UW-Parkside Archives documenting Kenosha and Racine counties and surrounding areas. The dry plate glass negatives, like the one on display here, date to the late 1800s and early 1900s, while the digital photographs shown in this exhibition were printed on campus this spring.

What is a Dry Plate glass negative?

The Dry Plate process was first invented in 1871. It replaced a messy and time-sensitive process that required the application of wet chemicals (wet collodion) to a glass plate minutes before a photograph was taken. This means that before the Dry Plate process, a photographer could not take a photograph without having a “dark room” to create a light sensitive “Wet Plate” for use in his or her camera. The Dry Plate process made photography much easier because the light-sensitive silver gelatin emulsion was applied and allowed to dry on the plate before it was used by a photographer.  A photographer could simply carry dry plates and load them into a camera to take a photograph. By the 1880s factory-made silver gelatin dry plates were widely available, and this brought photography to a wide audience of amateur practitioners.  Glass plate photography began to decline when flexible roll film was invented and it virtually disappeared by the mid-1920s, replaced by George Eastman Kodak cameras that used only flexible roll film.

Acknowledgements: The gallery thanks UW-Parkside archives staff Anna Stadick and Melissa Olson for contributing research and labor; Gina Radandt and Dan Joyce at the Kenosha Civil War Museum for support, research assistance and one image permission; History Department student Jason Hedman for research; Don Lintner in Creative Services for printing expertise, Glen Larson and Jon Sward for installation. One of the images on view in the exhibition originated in the collection of the Civil War Museum.

Patricia Briggs

Interim Director

UW-Parkside Galleries

"Grisham" at Milwaukee September 5, 1897 This photo features a cargo ship near the mouth of the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, possibly dropping over stock to the F. Dohmen Company, a pharmaceutical business that now stands at a new location about a block away. The large building on the right remains today at 301 N. Water St. in Milwaukee. -Jason Hedman, UW-Parkside History Major

“Grisham” at Milwaukee
September 5, 1897
24″ by 30″ photograph scanned from UW-Parkside archive glass negative.
This photo features a cargo ship near the mouth of the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, possibly dropping over stock to the F. Dohmen Company, a pharmaceutical business that now stands at a new location about a block away. The large building on the right remains today at 301 N. Water St. in Milwaukee.
-Jason Hedman, UW-Parkside History Major
(Permission: UW-Parkside Archive)

Three Men Fishing (Ryan and Van Arsdale) No Date

Three Men Fishing (Ryan and Van Arsdale)
No Date

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Ice cave. Looking West
Kenosha Harbor
1898

Four people in the surf Lake Michigan, Kenosha No date

Four people in the surf
Lake Michigan, Kenosha
No date

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“Ice. Looking North”  Kenosha Harbor 1898 24" by 30" photograph scanned from UW-Parkside archive glass negative.

“Ice. Looking North”
Kenosha Harbor
1898
24″ by 30″ photograph scanned from UW-Parkside archive glass negative. (Permission: UW-Parkside Archive)

The Yacht Named "Invader"  8/12/1901 The Canadian yacht “Invader” raced against the “Vencedor “ (featured in another photograph in the gallery) racing for the Chicago Yacht Club.  The competition was hosted in Chicago and finished in Kenosha habor.   PB

The Yacht Named “Invader”
8/12/1901
The Canadian yacht “Invader” raced against the “Vencedor “ (featured in another photograph in the gallery) racing for the Chicago Yacht Club. The competition was hosted in Chicago and finished in Kenosha habor. PB 
(Permission: UW-Parkside Archive)

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The yacht named “Mawaja”
July 6, 1901
On the forth of July 1901 the Lake Michigan Yachting Associaton held a regatta between Chicago and Milwaukee spoiled by bad weather—the wind was too calm for an exciting regatta. Kenosha was one of the established finish lines and a number of photographs in the gallery were taken on this day from the Kenosha Harbor. The “Mawaja,” show here, came in last in the Kenosha regatta according to newspaper reports. (“Forest and Stream July 13, 1901, Volume 57, page 34). PB

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“Milwaukee, Cadillac, 1st trial race for Canadian Cup”
July 20, 1901
Yachting racing was a popular spectator sport in late 1800s, especially on Lake Michigan. The Canada’s Cup pitted American and Canadian Great Lakes yacht clubs against one another. Records for the Canada’s Cup Competition of 1901 indicate that a boat names the “Cadillac of Detroit,” sailing for the Chicago Yacht Club lost to the canadian yacht “Invader” (shown elsewhere in the gallery) in 1901. This photograph appears.

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“Final Mile Open” by Chandler of Waupaca
Racine
September 6, 1897
Shows the start of the race. UW-Parkside archive holds three glass negatives showing the start and finish of a bicycle race, all labeled “Final Mile Open, Racine.” We can’t fine a record of this race, but assume “Chandler of Waupaca” is S.S. Chandler, a member of the competitive curling team in Waupaca during the 1880s and 1890s. Bicyclists still compete in the historic Washington Park velodrome in Kenosha, which opened in 1927 and does not appear to be pictured here. PB

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Ice. Looking North
Kenosha Harbor
1898

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The “Thistle” in Chicago Bay
July 20, 1901
This photograph shows the “steam yacht “Thistle.” According to one newspaper “Both at Chicago and Milwaukee, the later her home port, the steam yacht Thistle, owned by Commodore E. P. Vilas, of the Milwaukee Yacht Club, is a familiar sight. She is 80 feet over all, 14 feet beam and 6 feet 6 inch draught, of 49 gross tons and 200 horse power. She was originally built in Chicago in 1887, and rebuilt at Milwaukee two years ago.” Yachts like these were luxurious with dinning rooms and roomy decks outfitted with oriental rungs and wicker chairs and tables. (“Steam Yachts of the Great Lakes, Fore’n’Aft, June 1907, Volume 3, number 1, page 24.) -PB

U.S. Steamer "Morrill" during noon salute Kenosha Harbor May 30, 1900

U.S. Steamer “Morrill” during noon salute
Kenosha Harbor
May 30, 1900

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Silver Lake
Kenosha County
August 17, 1897

UW-Parkside’s E. H. Mathis Gallery 

Summer Gallery Hours: M-F 10:00 am-4:00 pm

Located in the Theatre lobby of Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities ∙ 900 Wood Road, Kenosha WI, 53141

information: (262) 595-2564 or parksidegallerynews.com

One thought on ““Life on Lake Michigan: Photographs from the Early 1900s” May 8 – October 3, 2013

  1. What a wonderful idea for an exhibition!

    The images are beautiful!

    It makes you proud to be part of the Great Lakes heritage.

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