A photographic diary of Coast & Geodetic-Survey member’s travels and work on the United States side of the Great Lakes coastline 1907-1912. An album (10 in x 8 ¼ in) of 299 vintage vernacular photographs, all silver gelatin prints or cyanotypes, generously captioned by the author, a member of Coast & Geodetic Survey, mapping the depth and location for navigational charts.
The Coast & Geodetic Survey oversaw the maintenance of the coastlines and the connecting waterways of the Great Lakes. From 1907 – 1912, the author, Mr. Horen, aboard the vessel Search, maintained this photographic diary of his work and activities. Photographs of the ships, lighthouses, and personnel, as well as memorable side-trips, such as a visit to the International Chicago Air Meet of 1911 (commemorated in eight photographs, one showing Lincoln Beachy breaking the then world’s altitude record). The dry-cut construction of the Livingston Channel used by down-bound vessels in the lower Detroit River is recorded with six photographs recording the technology as well as the inspection party of Survey Engineers and Engravers. The Wind Point Light complex and its personnel, the Racine Reef Light, the Milwaukee Light, and places of interest like Naubinway were all included on the survey expedition itinerary. The Frank Lloyd Wright house built for Thomas P. Hardy overlooking the lake at Racine is recorded in two images. The homes of Robert Todd Lincoln and the celebrated evangelist of the time, Alexander Dowie, as well as Gertrude House, Dowie’s Invaders of Zion City Methodist Church and some images of the campus of Northwestern University are included. The skylines of Milwaukee and Chicago were captured in panoramic shots taken from the lake. City views of Detroit, Chicago, Racine, Milwaukee, and Cleveland are also of content-interest.
The general informational value of most of the photographs in this album (299) is high. Of the 299, some 65 photographs are documents of very significant historical value, as they record events, buildings, and the growth of America at the start of the twentieth century. The wood pulp paper pages on which the photographs and identifying information are mounted are more than 100 years old and are thus brittle and need to be replaced.