Life on Lake Michigan at the Turn of the Twentieth Century – glass plate negatives made into large format prints

by Patricia Briggs

I became obsessed with UW-Parkside Archive’s collection of dry plate negatives last year when director Anna Stadick shared them with me. I determined to scan, print and research a group of the negatives for a little show for the Parkside gallery. We have just installed an exhibition of large format digital photographs pulled from high quality scans of the original negatives that date to 188os to early 1900s. These photos show mostly beautiful boats on the Lake Michigan, but there are a few other subjects as well. Enjoy this slide show and vista Parkside’s E. H. Mathis Gallery located in the theatre lobby if you can.

By researching the names of the vessels mentioned in the index to the slidesI found that many of the ships shown were well-known racing yachts at the time. I had no idea that yacht racing was a popular spectator sport at the turn of the century, and that the Lake Michigan Yachting Association hosted a regatta in 1901 that sailed between Chicago and Kenosha. The images are marvelous.

Click HERE to see more images