Found Photos

Found Photos: Dry Glass Plates taken by Dallas R. Sweney – By Christoph Traugott

November 29, 2020

Here are a few samples from the collection of Glass Plates taken by Dallas R. Sweney (1883-1958), who lived at 807 Spring Street, Peoria, IL. In the early 1920s, Dallas was briefly a commercial photographer, the studio was located at 229 North Adams, present day site of the Mark Twain Hotel in Peoria, Illinois; included are Family and Vacation Pictures, Studio Portraits, Theater and Circus Performers, and group and training shots of the 33rd Division of the American Expeditionary Force, 1st Cavalry Troop G from Peoria. Dallas was also was a long-term employee at the Peoria Public Library. He was a World War I veteran, serving with the 33rd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces in France.

Initially acquired from Whiskey City Architectural Salvage, which found the Dry Plates an attic at 807 Spring Street, Peoria, Illinois. Not all in best condition, water damage, decay, lack of much emulsion, some better than others, but did what could, and with the water damage, and then the hot-weather attic heat, some of the Glass Plate emulsions fused together, creating an odd double-exposure glue-like state, some plates with archivist and conservationist chemicals and tools able to be separated, others fused for life. The dry glass plates, came in 11 different sizes, as such created many custom ‘perfect-focus-height’ mat-board holders, thankfully no particularly stubborn newton ring issues.

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  • Reply
    Michael J
    November 29, 2020 at 11:24 am

    These are fantastic, engaging portraits of another universe and its lives. I adore the one of the steamer by the waterfall (Niagara?) as well. You are doing a wonderful job curating these and weaving in just enough of the back-story.

  • Reply
    Simon Forster
    November 29, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Wow what great plates! Thank you for sharing them.

  • Reply
    November 29, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Just lovely. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Lilianna Diane Elrod
    November 29, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Superb glimpse into the Past!!! Thanks so much for sharing these!

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 2:09 am

    These pictures are utterly wonderful. Thank you for making it possible for us to see them

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