BROWN, BUNDY, COLOMY, DAY, EISENHOWER, EVANS, GILES, GLASS, KING, KNEES, KRAMER, LANDIS, LINDICH, LIVINGSTON, McFADDEN, MINNICH, MOORE, REEDY, REITZ, ROGAN, ROYER, RUDOLPH, SHEELY, SPRINGER, STARKEY, STEVENS, STOKUM, STOLTZFUS, VALENTINE, WIMMER, YENSER.
What do all these surnames have in common? They are just some of the Pennsylvania surnames associated with images which are contained in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
Over the course of the past several months while gathering material for the GSP website we were astounded time and again to find hundreds of images of past Pennsylvania generations within the LoC digital photo collections.
There are images from all over Pennsylvania; mill workers in Pittsburgh, farmers in Lancaster, defense workers in Erie to Mr. Brown's tannery in Crawford County. There are images of men, women and children; images of farm buildings and livestock, images of churches, images of lumber camps, images of railroads, and images of miners, both men and children, with their faces hidden under the black dust of the mines.
The photo at left is of Mr. John Yenser and his small family, who lived on High Street, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), PA. This 1940 photo is part of the Farm Security Administration collection (ID -LC-USF34-041056-D).
How many of us would like to talk with older family members about our family history, but can't, because they are no longer here? Unfortunately for some of us, we either waited too long or those who would know were gone before we were old enough to think to ask them.
If I were searching for information about this Yenser family, but little to nothing remained but the statistical information from a census and vital certificate, I would be thrilled to find this image.
There are currently about 70 different image collections found on the LoC Digital Prints and Photographs page, and you can do an overall search, or search the collections individually.
One of the collections I found myself drawn back to time and again is the 'National Child Labor Committee Collection.'
The Library of Congress website explains: "Working as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), Lewis Hine (1874-1940) documented working and living conditions of children in the United States between 1908 and 1924. The NCLC photos are useful for the study of labor, reform movements, children, working class families, education, public health, urban and rural housing conditions, industrial and agricultural sites, and other aspects of urban and rural life in America in the early twentieth century.
The collection consists of more than 5,100 photographic prints and 355 glass negatives, given to the Library of Congress, along with the NCLC records, in 1954 by Mrs. Gertrude Folks Zimand, acting for the NCLC in her capacity as chief executive."
No matter how much any of us might occasionally moan about progress and change, when I see images such as this, right, I cannot help but be so very thankful that my 9 year old grandson Julian will never know what these boys lived every day.
Breaker Boys of Shaft #6 Pennsylvania Coal Company, South Pittston, PA.