a history of photography


Centralia, Pennsylvania
Population: 10

“Analysts disagree about the specific cause of the Centralia fire. Writer David Dekok concluded that it started incident to cleanup of the town landfill. In May 1962, the Centralia Borough Council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip-mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery just outside the borough limits. This had been done prior to Memorial Day in previous years when the landfill was in a different location.

On May 27, 1962, the firefighters, as they had in the past, set the dump on fire and let it burn for some time. Unlike in previous years, however, the fire was not fully extinguished. An unsealed opening in the pit allowed the fire to enter the labyrinth of abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia.  According to a legend, the Bast Colliery coal fire of 1932 was never fully extinguished. In 1962, it reached the landfill area.

Few homes remain standing in Centralia. Most of the abandoned buildings have been demolished by the Columbia County Redevelopment Authority or reclaimed by nature. At a casual glance, the area now appears to be a field with many paved streets running through it. Some areas are being filled with new-growth forest. The remaining church in the borough, St. Mary’s, holds weekly services on Sunday. It has not yet been directly affected by the fire. The town’s four cemeteries—including one on the hilltop that has smoke rising around and out of it—are maintained in good condition.”

VERNER PANTON, Swimming pool in the Spiegel Publishing House, Hamburg Germany, 1969

soooo I finished Lord of the Flies last night which meant I could pick this up, I can’t wait to get into it📚

June 22, the day World War II started for the Soviet Union, is the Day of Remembrance and Mourning in Russia.

This is my grandfather, who just turned 17 at the time, 4 months after the war started. It’s a tiny photo that came to my posession a couple weekes ago, kindly passed on to me by my cousin twice removed during a big family gathering. 

War is not parades. War is not showing it to someone. War is 17 year old boys wearing military uniform, killing and being killed. War is broken lives of an entire generation. 

Never forget!

Помню. Скорблю.

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir try a carnival shooting game together in 1929. This is the earliest known photo of this philosophical power couple, who helped to pioneer existentialist and feminist thought. The couple stayed together for over 50 years, never marrying and maintaining an open relationship. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reacts in St. Augustine, Fla., after learning that the senate passed the civil rights bill, June 19, 1964.

Étienne-Jules Marey, Chronophotograph of a man and his dog, 1896

Chronophotography is basically the ancester of the gif. It’s a photographic technique from the Victorian era (beginning about 1867–68), which captures movement in several frames of print. It is the predecessor to cinematography and moving film.