It's unusual to see amateur color photos from the 1930s and early 1940s, when color film was so new.
LOST AND FOUNDTravel and Street Photography fans will like this rescued stash of photos from early user of the revolutionary color process Kodachrome, an amateur photographer named Charles W. Cushman.
["Lost and Found" was published on NPR's Picture Show on 9/14/12.]
"...1938 he starts experimenting with a new technology: Color film. Few would follow suit in those early days. But for decades, Cushman remained obsessed.
Not long ago, photo researcher Rich Remsberg rescued a bunch of Cushman's photos that were headed for the trash. The rest had already been saved by Indiana University. Together, they amount to some 14,500 images.
Within that archive lies an incredible story of road trips, attempted murder and, above all, one man's lifelong search for depth of field."Read and see more here:
- NPR's Lost and Found slide show with audio.
"The collection of Charles Cushman's Kodachrome slides is a rare find and a truly remarkable body of work. The photographs, which span from 1938 to his death in 1972, are the legacy of a man with a good photographic eye, a solid sense of history and social dynamics, and a profound curiosity."
The Indiana University Archives has over 14,000 of Cushman's photos.
[2003 Press release] The Indiana University Digital Library Program has unveiled a groundbreaking digital collection of 14,500 color images of everyday life in the middle of the 20th century.
Taken by amateur photographer Charles Weever Cushman between 1938 and 1969, the images document an amazing cross-section of American and international subjects, from inner-city storefronts and industrial landscapes to candid portraits and botanical studies.
The richly saturated Kodachrome slides add color to an era primarily recorded in black and white—"a world that we had long since resigned ourselves to viewing only in shades of gray," writes Eric Sandweiss, IU’s Carmony Associate Professor of History, in an essay included on the collection's Web site.
"In Cushman’s work," he observes, "the past becomes, for an instant, impossibly present."
- Check out the 'highlights' slide show here.
- View all the collection photos, indexed by year, genre, subject or location -- Photo Index
- Cushman even documented his shots in notebooks, which you can view page by page. Notebook Index
Sign up for my weekly email newsletter.