OMG! WWII WACs @ TMM?

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PFC Beatrice Buck, Pvt. Clara Duff, and Pvt. Vivian Stonebreaker greet returning soldiers as their ship docks. Taken at Pier 6, HRPE, Newport News, VA.

Too many acronyms? There’s no such thing!

Over the past three years, our archival staff, with the support of several catalogers and the Digital Services department, have been working diligently on the Hidden Collections Grant sponsored by The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). This grant allowed us to catalog and digitize items that have been sitting in storage for years. Through the process, we discovered many exciting images we never knew we possessed. One of my favorite collections was a series from the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation (HRPE) during World War II.   Read more

Das Kamera

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Eastman Kodak 35mm Submarine Periscope Camera Mark I. Catalog #: 2001.0038.000001

From Memorial Day until Labor Day, The Mariners’ Museum is hosting $1 admission for every visitor. As part of our offerings, we are getting artifacts that aren’t normally on display out of their storage spaces to share with our visitors. I’ll admit that quite a few of my colleagues far outpace my maritime knowledge. If there is something I know, however, it is cameras. I did some digging into the collection and was surprised and thrilled to find something that falls into my area of expertise.

This is an Eastman Kodak 35mm Submarine Periscope Camera Mark I. Which might well be the longest title ever assigned to a camera. Before this little beauty came along, submariners were restricted to holding regular cameras up to their periscope lens, taking a photo and hoping for the best. It rarely, if ever, worked as planned.   Read more

A Portrait of the Figurehead as a Young Bear

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The first step is a single light from above.

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was
a bear coming down along the hallway and this bear
that was coming down along the hall met a nicens little photographer named Brock.

Sorry, James Joyce. You’re probably rolling in your grave at my weak attempts at imitation.   Read more

An Ode to Silver, or, Silver: A Story of Love, Betrayal, and Triumph

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Hello, reader, it’s me!

What’s in a name? That which we call silver by any other name would be as difficult to photograph. Look, when someone brings you what is, effectively, a mirror and asks you to take a photograph of it a few things will likely run through your head. I won’t list them here because it involves some cursing. Don’t despair, however, all you need are some basic physics.

Yup, physics.   Read more

Can’t You Just Photoshop It?

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Catalog number 1969.0124.000001

I’ve heard it time and time again, “can’t you just Photoshop it?” I blame all the magicians out there who accomplish unreal feats every day using Photoshop. They’ve built up a mythos that stands nearly impossible to live up to if you, like me, consider yourself “good, but not great” at using the program.

In May, we will be opening a new exhibition, Answering America’s Call: Newport News in World War I. The exhibit will explore the local impacts of WWI through personal stories and artifacts as well as lots and lots of posters. Posters like this one:   Read more