Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Historic Photos of Nebraska

Historic Photos of Nebraska
by Tad Stryker [978.2 qStr]

The photos in this book depict life in Nebraska as it emerged from a territory to a state. It is said that "a picture is worth a thousand words" and that is true in this case. This book is filled with vignettes of life in the area that Stephen Long labeled as a "Great Desert". Each photo is accompanied by a descriptive caption. One of the earliest photos is a grainy image of Fort Kearney taken in 1858. This fort was built in 1848 to provide safe passage and supplies for those traveling the Great Platte River Road to points west. The book is liberally sprinkled with photos by Solomon Butcher; who chronicled the hardscrabble life of settlers in central Nebraska during its early days. The photographs are not limited to central Nebraska but range from the western edge of the state to the eastern border. An image of a threshing crew near Wilbur that stopped their sweaty work to pose for the photographer graces two pages. There are also portraits of noted Nebraskans such as "The Great Commoner", William Jennings Bryan, Senator George Norris, Johnny Carson and the infamous Charles Starkweather. The historical value comes not from the brief captions but from the images themselves. They allow us peer into the past and see how people lived, worked and entertained themselves. -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

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