Digital History>Virtual Exhibits>Photograph Album with Cyanotypes

 

Photograph Album with Cyanotypes. Richard Riley, [ca. 1896-1903].


GLC 5140-03-13

Displayed here are photographs from the Calhoun Industrial School in Alabama.

Founded in 1892, Calhoun was a freedmen's school devoted to industrial education. Classes were offered in agriculture, arithmetic, basketry, Bible study, carpentry, cobbling, cooking, English, geography, mattress making, and sewing.

In addition, Calhoun provided teacher training. Many of its courses were taught by graduates of Virginia's Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute.

 

Calhoun was also a social settlement in which blacks and whites lived and worked side by side. The teachers, both black and white, assisted members of the community, especially recently freed African Americans, in gaining self-sufficiency. They believed that education would improve ex-slaves' living conditions. Through the school, they acted upon the words, "Education will prove the equality of the races." 

In 1913, Charlotte R. Thorn, principal of the Calhoun School, wrote in her annual report:

"Calhoun's work and influence cannot be restricted to its own community: it must and does broaden out into county and state. The uplift of the negro in the darkest section of the country is the uplift of the whole country."

Learn more about Calhoun School and Charlotte Thorn.

These photographs were taken by Richard Riley. A member of the Camera Club at Hampton Institute, Riley traveled to the Calhoun School to document its students, teachers, and community.

These bright blue photographs are known as cyanotypes. Cyanotypes were easily processed, making them appealing to amateur photographers.

Learn more about cyanotypes.

Cyanotypes in this Exhibit:

Gilder Lehrman Collection Number Brief description of photographs Number of photographs
5140-02p1 Small wooden house with fence  1
5140-02p2 Structures in town; railroad; two horseback riders  6
5140-02p3 Exterior of houses  6
5140-02p4 Churches; other structures 6

5140-02p5

Houses; people outdoors

6

5140-02p6

People working outdoors; horses; wagons 

5

5140-02p7

People working

4

5140-02p8

People talking and eating

4

5140-02p9

Women in outdoor poses

5

5140-02p10

Men and women

5

5140-02p11

People

5

5140-02p12

Groups of children

5

5140-02p13

Men; some groups; some in uniform

6

5140-02p14

Single poses of men 

6

5140-02p15

Children

5

5140-02p16 

Women in outdoor poses 

6

5140-02p17

People working

5

5140-02p18

Men and women in outdoor poses

6

5140-02p19

Men and women in outdoor poses

6

5140-02p20

Men and women in outdoor poses

5

5140-02p21

Outdoor images

5 

5140-02p22

Outdoor images

5

5140-02p23

Men and women in outdoor poses

6

5140-02p24

Church, cemetary, other buildings

5

5140-02p25

Buildings

5

5140-02p26

Buildings

5

5140-02p27

Buildings

5

5140-02p28

Buildings and people

3

5140-02p29

People outdoors

3

5140-02p30

Snow

5

5140-02p31

Snow

5

5140-02p37

Groups of people

5

5140-02p38

Buildings in town, train station 

6

5140-02p39

Buildings in town, people 

6

5140-02p40

Buildings in town, boats 

6

5140-02p41

Buildings in town, boats 

2

5140-02p42

Wagons and horses 

2

5140-02p43

Building, family group, children

3

5140-02p44

Buildings and people 

5

5140-02p45

Group of people

1

5140-02p60

Outdoor scenes, people

6

5140-03

Buildings and people 

20



GLC 05140-02p9d
 
GLC 05140-02p6e
 
GLC 05140-02p7d

Copyright Digital History 2014