Monday, August 28, 2006

Working on a mystery

Last Friday, August 25, Library staff had the opportunity to see some of the glass lantern slides from the collections projected on our recently donated Bausch & Lomb Balopticon. We all saw for the first time some images that remain unidentified and undated. One of these was a view from the top of (probably) Emma Jones Hall, looking southwest to the crest of Portland's West Hills. On the hilltop: huge, Hollywood-esque letters spelling out RICHFIELD. One of the audience members has been doing a little research to see if she can solve the mystery, so stay tuned!

Other never-before-seen (at least not by us) images included three shots of what seems to have been early disaster response training: actors with medical conditions pencilled on their foreheads being attended to by earnest young men and women of the medical professions, all set in actual (or exceedingly life-like) rubble. The clothes and vehicles suggest a date of 1940s or 1950s, but where would the rubble have been? Was this a Medical School exercise? In cooperation with the City of Portland? Or were these merely training shots which accompanied a speaker's lecture on how-we-did-it-good-elsewhere? If anyone is interested in taking a look at these to see if they can crack this mystery, just let us know!

1 comment:

Karen said...

The slide show for library staff was a real success. The slides generated lots of interest and questions. We had a good turn-out at both showings and our wonderful, 1917 model, balopticon worked like a dream. The 500 watt bulb heats up the unventilated sheet metal body to the point where we swear we could pop popcorn for the show.

We had a chance to show off the People's Institute/Portland Free Dispensary slides, as well as many other subjects, such as a few Clarice Ashworth Francone drawings. Clarice was once Oregon's only medical illustrator.

Now that Sara and I are practiced projectionists, we hope to have more showings in the future and to a wider audience.

We have many more slides in our collections and, to say the least, we are ecstatic to have the projector to finally use the images to better tell our history.