[Customs House, Tappahannock, Essex County, Virginia. Porch]
On slide (handwritten): "Customs House, Tappahannock."
Slide for lecturing on "Tales Old Houses Tell."
Title and date based on same image in the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, LC-J7-VA-1696, with additional information from Sam Watters, 2011.
Forms part of: Garden and historic house lecture series in the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).
Formerly in Box 33.
Noted architectural photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) created a collection of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS). This collection, created primarily in the 1930s, provides more than 7,100 images showing an estimated 1,700 structures and sites in rural and urban areas of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Florida, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Johnston’s interest in both vernacular and high style structures resulted in vivid portrayals of the exteriors and interiors of houses, mills, and churches as well as mansions, plantations, and outbuildings. The survey began with a privately funded project to document the Chatham estate and nearby Fredericksburg and Old Falmouth, Virginia, in 1927-29. Johnston then dedicated herself to pursuing a larger project to help preserve historic buildings and inspire interest in American architectural history. The Carnegie Corporation became her primary financial supporter and provided six grants during the 1930s on condition that the negatives be deposited with the Library of Congress. The Library formally acquired the CSAS negatives from her estate in 1953, along with her extensive papers and approximately 20,000 other photographs.
The lantern slides first produced for the 17th century's “magic lantern” devices. The magic lantern, also known by its Latin name Lanterna Magica, an image projector that used pictures on transparent plates (usually made of glass), one or more lenses, and a light source, used for entertainment. The earliest slides for magic lanterns consisted of hand-painted images on glass, made to amuse their audiences. After the invention of photography, lantern slides began to be produced photographically as black-and-white positive images, created with the wet collodion or a dry gelatine process. Photographic slides were made from a base piece of glass, with the emulsion (photo) on it, then a matte over that, and then a top piece of a cover glass. Sometimes, colors have been added by hand, tinting the images. Lantern slides created a new way to view photography: the projection of the magic lantern allowed for a large audience. Photographic lantern slides reached the peak of their popularity during the first third of the 20th century impacting the development of animation as well as visual-based education.