Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Along the river

Here are some Rotographs from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in the environs of one of my favorite bodies of water, the little Housatonic River that flows through western Massachusetts and Connecticut, past some of the prettiest scenery in New England, before emptying out into Long Island Sound. These are from an unlettered series, although the numbers on the back (65251, 65254, 65264, and 65271) fit more or less into the numbering range of Rotograph's flashier "G" series views of the same area, if you substitute a G for the initial 6.

The Green River, above, is a tributary.

The image below actually merits a footnote in the history of photography: "Brookside" was the estate of William H. Walker, an early photographic inventor and Kodak executive who is credited with helping develop the film roll-holding system that replaced the earlier glass plates, paving the way for the explosion in amateur photography made possible by Kodak's box cameras. Eventually, Walker and Kodak founder George Eastman seem to have had a falling out, but not before the former's fortune had been made.

Some of the gardens at Brookside were designed by the noted landscape architect Ferruccio Vitale. The estate is now operated as a camp by the Union for Reform Judaism.