Western History & Genealogy Blog

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Double Takes - Made Me Look - Again!

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Images with great composition, contrast and drama

Our first eye-catching photo was made by Harry Buckwalter, and shows the Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway and the observation tower at the top of 14,110 foot high Pikes Peak. The incline railway, also known as the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, is by far the highest in North America, and since 1890 has been taking tourists to the summit from Manitou Springs at the mountain's base. It looks like the photographer did a little bit of darkroom doctoring on this photo, to heighten the contrast in the clouds. We have almost 2,000 Buckwalter photos in our database, documenting people and his western travels.

The next picture is the Alfred Bromfield residence in Englewood, designed by noted Colorado architect Burnam Hoyt, taken by the Chicago architectural photography firm, Hedrich-Blessing. We have 90 of their photos in our database, and all are great examples of excellent composition and contrast.

The curved stairway in the Alonzo Hartman residence near Gunnison was photographed by Sandra Dallas, the Colorado author, and is one of almost 370 of her photos in our database. Our collection of Dallas photos focuses primarily on buildings and architectural details in Colorado mining towns. 

The aerodynamic shape of the Centennial Airport, in Englewood, was captured by "Dr. Colorado," a.k.a. Tom Noel, Professor of History at the University of Colorado in Denver. The almost 1700 Tom Noel photos in our database document many important Colorado landmarks, many long gone, and many still standing.

The mysterious interior of a kiva, or Native American ceremonial chamber, is another of Jesse Nussbaum's images from Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. Nussbaum, one of Mesa Verde National Monument's first Superintendents, created quite a body of work, and over 350 of his images are in our database, documenting the Native American legacy.

Finally, we have a photo of "Senator" Morgan, "Six Day Champion," with his big wheel bicycle. In the pioneer days, men often took titles that they weren't really entitled to, and "Doc," "Sarge," "Judge," and in this case "Senator" became affectionate monikers to distinguish a familiar character. The "Six Day Champion" probably refers to a biking trip, common in the early days of bicycles, and remarkable in that for the most part, they took place on dirt roads. This photo was taken in Leadville, so those dirt roads were probably also at an elevation of eight or nine thousand feet. This photo is one of 12 from the William W. Cecil album, a History Colorado collection.

[Be sure to click on the photos to the left to see larger versions]

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