Photo preservation specialist Donna Collins recently added this photo to the “eye catching” images we share on our conference room wall.
Donna noted, “For those of us who’ve shared the joyful experience of inviting an enthusiastic dog (or two) to hop in the car for a ride, the composition of this photo recently caught my eye. It captures roughly nine or ten dogs catching a ride on an Alaskan rail cart trip. What was especially noteworthy was the way this group of canine companions so neatly formed themselves into a pyramid.”
This is one of the lucky instances where the photo came with a fair amount of information on it – a caption spelling out the where, what and when. We had the added benefit of information from a descendant of Walter W. Johnson, the man on the cart. He was a mining engineer and designer of gold and tin dredges, who traveled around the Seward Peninsula on the family “pupmobile” and on horseback. His granddaughter supplied this information from the back of his copy of the photo: “When it was time to coast, the dogs would jump aboard without command.”
Keep your eyes peeled for future highlights from our “Caught Our Eyes” staff sharing wall!
- Find out more about Alaska gold dredge pioneer Walter J. Johnson (1882 – 1971) from information compiled by his granddaughter, Lynn Johnson.
- Explore the Carpenter Collection, from which this photo comes. Frank G. Carpenter and his daughter Frances made and collected photographs to illustrate his writings on travel and world geography. Carpenter’s works helped popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the early years of the twentieth century.
- The pairing of photography and railroads has been a recurring theme for us this year. Have a look at our blog series, “Camera and Locomotive: Two Tracks Across the Continent.”
- Generally, “dog days” are attributed to a different season, but they have recently been featured in the Library’s “free to use” section. Learn more about “free to use” highlights drawn from rights-free materials through Library of Congress collections.