An early aerial view of the University of Chicago

Aerial panoramic view of the Quads taken from west of Ellis Avenue.
George R Lawrence was a pioneer whose specialty was panoramic aerial photography.  A native of northern Illinois, he invented the means to take high-quality “bird’s eye” views using a camera hoisted aloft with balloons or kites.  His most famous photographs are of a ruined San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, but he also photographed Chicago, its waterfront and factories, and various towns nearby. Continue reading

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March 4: Old Inauguration Day

two matched photographic plates showing the scene around the Capitol on inauguration day.

Historically, March 4 is a day for beginning.  In 1789, it was the day the federal government first convened under the US Constitution. From that date through 1933, it was the day when presidents–from George Washington through FDR–were inaugurated.  Then, pageantry, ritual, excitement, and uncertainty ruled the capital, combining in astonishing scenes richly documented in newspapers, eyewitness accounts, sketchbooks, albumen prints, and later celluloid.

Here is just one such image by way of tribute to our national birthdays past: a magnificent panoramic view of the Capitol on the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt on March 4, 1905.  Please click on the image for a much enlarged view.

Image: panoramic photograph by George R Lawrence
from this source.