Search Results for 'coffee-table'

Picturing Alaska history : USA territory to statehood

Turner Publishing (http://www.turnerpublishing.com) asked if I would consider reviewing a new book. I’m glad I agreed. Historic Photos of Alaska has just been published, a large format book of black and white photographs from the period 1867 to 1979. Dermot Cole, long-time columnist for the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, provides the text and captions.

As a journalist, Dermot also has an interest in history (apart from his twin brother, Terrance, history professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks). Dermot Cole is the author of Amazing Pipeline Stories published by Epicenter Press in 1997, about the people and Fairbanks during the Alaska oil pipeline construction.

The perspective of Historic Photos of Alaska, is for those readers outside Alaska. That is, this is a pictorial history of Alaska as part of “America”. [Through no fault of this book, many in the US will still consider Alaska as a foreign body, along with New Mexico.]

The photos are arranged by time periods, from purchase to statehood– 1867-1905, 1906-1919, 1920-1940, and 1941-1979. These periods represent significant periods of US and Alaska relations. The orientation is a deliberate effort to stand apart from the usual Alaskana picture books. Another significant difference in this book is the choice of rarely seen photos and not the ubiquitous ones. The photos are reproduced with sufficient quality to review again and again and see something new each time.

Readers can follow themes such as regional changes (southeast Alaska also known as the Northwest Coast compared to Nome in northwest Alaska) and transportation. However, other themes can be chosen by readers according to personal interest.

    Dogs
    Most of the dogs are Alaska huskies (freight variety), such as ones on pages 44 and 55 and in harness, page 58. However, the team on page 67 is actually part of a Saami family (reindeer herders originally from Scandinavia. Note the hats and boot toes.) The harness setup is very different from that of the Eskimo family team on page 128. There are also sporting dogs (early 20th century conformation) such as the one on page 92 belonging to Jim Haly. Look carefully. The dog has just spotted another dog out of view, and kicked up a cloud of dust with his hind legs.

    Electric trees
    Even on the frozen tundra of Nome (page 111) and sprouting ever more branches over time in populated areas such as Cordova page 120 and Fairbanks page 151.

    Military
    One way to trace the influence of the military in Alaska is through men’s hats in the photos. Since Territorial days, the military has been a significant economic and development force in Alaska. Much of the early geological studies and geodetic surveys were military. World War II and then the Cold War continued the inflow of money and people. Photos from pages 168 to 180 show differing aspects of building the Al-Can or Alaska Highway and the later battles of Attu and the Aleutians. (see related posts here on the Al-Can and the Aleutians, http://theelderlies.wordpress.com/special-projects/photo-index-cking-wwii/)

    Miscellany
    Everywhere. The curiosity of Edwardian women’s fashion in open-air fish camp (useful against mosquitoes I suppose); the plank streets (for cars and horses) 400 miles from the nearest highway; even a Piggly-Wiggly store outside of the South.

Dermot Cole avoided the shop worn stash of Alaska photos. However, the next to last photo, page 197, is of the oil pipeline’s zigzagged engineering (to avoid temperature stresses) up the North Slope and over the Brooks Mountain Range. It’s a clever homage to the iconic Klondike gold rush photo of the future miners traipsing up the Chilkoot Pass.

I do have some quibbles with the book. There is an amazing variety of horses depicted but no photos of cows at Creamer’s Dairy in Fairbanks (I like the image of the wood stove chimney peeking out the milk truck to keep contents from freezing at 40 below).

More importantly, an outline map of Alaska is needed, with the places of photos identified.

The southwest of Alaska is mostly excluded. Considering that most folks in or outside Alaska believe everyone lives in an Eskimo igloo, it would also be helpful to include a map of languages/cultural regions in the state. Most readers will not be aware of the significance of the temporary, river going, hide boat depicted on page 44 built by the Athabascan Indian trapper to bring his skins to market. Compare with the more permanent skin boat built by Iñupiat Eskimo marine hunters on page 103. I already noted the Saami family.

The period of the first half of 1919 is missing although extremely important in the demography and history of non-urban Alaska. Upwards of 80% to 100% of people in some communities died during the pandemic of the “Spanish Flu”. The Jesse Lee Home (I ran across this recently published history) was one of several that cared for orphans left behind (those that survived long enough for help to reach them).

A suggested reading list would be nice, including Steven Langdon’s 1993. The Native People of Alaska. Anchorage, AK : Greatland Graphics. ISBN: 0936425172 9780936425177 OCLC: 27405205

A great companion volume would be John S. Whitehead’s 2004. Completing the Union: Alaska, Hawaii, and the Battle for Statehood. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press. ISBN: 0826336361 9780826336361 082633637X 9780826336378, OCLC: 55665367

This book is not supposed to be a comprehensive pictorial history. Cole did an amazing job just to make a selection from all the possibilities and put together such an enjoyable book.


——————-
[Dermot Cole. 2008 Historic Photos of Alaska. Nashville: Turner Publishing Co.
# ISBN-10: 1596524243
# ISBN-13: 978-1596524248
# LoC 2007938665
Hardcover: 216 pages, Language: English, Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.1 x 1 inches, list price $39.95]


Site Search Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

Arctic sunset

© header image

Comments how-tos

For those new to blogs, check out this post *commenting on blogs* Recent comments, on the sidebar blogroll, often have additional or complementary information. Recent revisions of posts themselves may be found by using the search box for "revised". Tech support says spam (ads or worse) is hitting WordPress heavily so if you don't see your comment in 24 hours, send an E-mail and TS will check the spam trap.

a

RSS Nonagenarian news

  • South Deerfield man still cutting hair at age 95 - WCVB Boston
    WCVB BostonSouth Deerfield man still cutting hair at age 95WCVB BostonVictor Waryas, 95, charged 35 cents when he started cutting hair in the 1930s, seen here in his South Deerfield Barber Shop on Eastern Avenue next to his home. Recorder/Paul Franz. View Large. Photos. Victor Waryas, 95, charged 35 cents when he started ...and more »
  • The original guitar hero dies at age 93 - World Magazine
    The original guitar hero dies at age 93World MagazineThe celebrated country music guitarist Arthur Smith, who influenced the Beatles and befriended Billy Graham, died this month. He was 93. He left behind three children, a wife of 72 years, and a long legacy in jazz, blues, and country music. Born in ...
  • Woman finds family at 94, launches book tour at 102 - OCRegister
    Woman finds family at 94, launches book tour at 102OCRegisterSAN CLEMENTE – She began the greatest undertaking of her life at age 94. Now 102, Minka Disbrow is about to appear on national TV and on bookstore shelves across the country. Publicists already have photographed her at church where she still ...
  • Last known Pearl Harbor survivor in Ozarks dies at age 90 - The Republic
    KY3Last known Pearl Harbor survivor in Ozarks dies at age 90The RepublicThe Springfield News-Leader reports (http://sgfnow.co/1f8oPiF ) William Martin died last week at age 90. His family said Martin died in the Missouri Veterans Home in Mount Vernon. Martin was 18 when Japanese planes bombed a U.S. naval base in Hawaii ...Ozarks survivor of Pearl Harbor die […]
  • Edward Knight, Magistrate Judge For Four Decades, Dead at Age 96 - New Jersey Law Journal
    Edward Knight, Magistrate Judge For Four Decades, Dead at Age 96New Jersey Law JournalEdward Knight, a part-time U.S. magistrate judge in Atlantic City for the past 38 years, died April 12. He was 96. He was well into his 50s when he launched his legal and judicial career in 1976 and after spending many years as a headmaster of a ...
  • Nancy Fitch, 94, retires after 22 years as a literacy volunteer at Mount ... - News 12 Hudson Valley
    Nancy Fitch, 94, retires after 22 years as a literacy volunteer at Mount ...News 12 Hudson ValleyNancy Fitch, the Coordinator of the Volunteers Learning Center at the Mount Vernon Public Library, is retiring at age 94. (4/18/14). MOUNT VERNON - A literacy volunteer is retiring after 22 years helping people in Mount Vernon learn to read and write.and more »
  • Mickey Rooney, legendary Hollywood actor, dead at age 93 (video) - The Plain Dealer (blog)
    CNBC.comMickey Rooney, legendary Hollywood actor, dead at age 93 (video)The Plain Dealer (blog)on April 06, 2014 at 11:21 PM, updated April 07, 2014 at 1:15 PM. View/Post Comments. Mickey Rooney, the legendary Hollywood actor known for his great versatility, his diminutive size, and his eight marriages, has died at age 93, according to news reports.Actor Mic […]
  • Meet India's most devoted voter, age 97 - CNN - Canada (blog)
    Meet India's most devoted voter, age 97CNN - Canada (blog)April 10th, 2014. 07:22 AM ET. Close Share this on: Facebook · Twitter · Digg · del.icio.us · reddit · MySpace · StumbleUpon. As Indians go to the polls, CNN's Fred Pleitgen has the story of the 97-year-old who has voted in every Indian election. Click ...
  • Apopka, Florida Mayor Since 1949 Finally Loses Election at Age 93 - Latin Post
    Latin PostApopka, Florida Mayor Since 1949 Finally Loses Election at Age 93Latin PostAfter all, he's been the mayor of the city since 1949. Residents in the Florida city of 44,000 decided it was time for a fresh face and chose Joe Kilsheimer instead of the 93-year-old Land. Land has lead the city since 1949, taking only three years off ...and more »
  • Eppie Archuleta, master weaver, dies at age 92 - Albuquerque Journal
    Eppie Archuleta, master weaver, dies at age 92Albuquerque JournalALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Epifania “Eppie” Archuleta, 92, one of the Santa Fe Spanish Market's master weavers, passed away on Friday at Espanola Hospital. Archuleta was recognized with several honors and awards, including the 1985 National Heritage ...
April 2014
M T W T F S S
« May    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Haeremai Camai Bula Bepuwave Bienvenidos

  • 121,189 visitors

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.