Taking the Long View, 1851-1991, contains 4,000 panoramic photographs which offer a detailed view of "Main Street" life in America, from small towns to large cities. The collection can be used to explore the rise of industrial America, daily life and leisure activities at the turn of the century, and cultural attitudes toward the natural world, among other topics.
1) The collection contains photographs of cities and towns across the United States. These photographs show city skylines, architectural styles, and street life from the period.
Search on cityscapes, commercial streets, square, and town to find views of urban centers.
Students can use the collection to observe the development of different locales. Search on city or town names such as San Francisco, Baltimore, or Chicago to find photographs which show the change within these cities over time. Students can also use the Place Index to help them locate specific sites. Use the table below to investigate items which show change in three cities:
|San Francisco|| Panorama of the ruins, July 14, 1906
Three years after, San Francisco, April 1909
A Panorama of San Francisco, California, February, 1912
|Use Alcatraz Island as a reference point.|
|Chicago|| Crowd at Cubs Park, July 27, 1929
The Official Web Site of the Chicago Cubs: Wrigley Field History and Information
|Compare the buildings behind Wrigley Field. Notice that some additional bleachers have been built, and one building has had its conical roof removed.|
|Baltimore||Baltimore Harbor After Fire, 1904
Baltimore Harbor, 1912
|Use the building with four smoke stacks as a reference point.|
2) The wide range of U.S. industry photos in the collection can enhance teaching units on the rise of industrial and modern America. Students can get an idea of industrial development at the turn of the century by looking at the images of work and work environments. Use the list below to see examples:
- Steel Mills, Gary, Ind., 1912
- Long Beach Oil Field, California, May 1923
- Leech Lake Lumber Co., Walker, Minn., 1915
- The Biwabik Mine, 1902
Search on specific types of labor such as mining, lumbering, oil, and steel to see other images of the work environment during the turn of the century.
3) Taking the Long View, 1851-1991, documents daily life by showing recreation and leisure activities of the time. Students can research what activities were new arrivals on the turn-of-the-century leisure scene. For example, students may investigate when the beauty pageant became an American institution, and how gender roles were changing during this period. Some examples of activities are listed in the list below:
- Ninth Annual Bathing Girl Revue, June 3,4,5, 1928, Galveston, Texas
- Army - Navy football game, Nov. 28, 1908
- "Cow Girls" at the Pendleton "Round Up", 1911
- Republican National Convention, 1920
- Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles, California, July, 1960
Search on bathing beauty pageants, sporting events, rodeos, conventions, picnics, and banquets to find images of people involved in the events of daily life.
4) The style of panoramic photography recorded images as well as a sense of how Americans of the period perceived their surroundings. Grand vistas of landscapes were popular during the turn-of-the-century decades because of American pride and a sense of mastery of their world and its resources. Taking the Long View, 1851-1991, contains panoramic photographs of natural wonders, many of which became heavily visited tourist destinations. For example, students can compare a panoramic photo of Crater Lake taken in 1913 with the photos found on the Crater Lake National Park website. Using these images and the timeline from the Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920 in American Memory, students can begin to study the history of the U.S. conservation movement and the formation of a National Park System.
Search on national park, hotels, and specific sites such as Niagara Falls to find other images related to American attitudes concerning undeveloped land.