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Untitled photo, possibly related to: Visitors on the observation platform. Municipal airport, Washington, D.C. Photo by Jack Delano, July 1941.

Seeing Double

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My latest Flickr album puts forth a small group of multiple exposure photographs from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) Collection. To create a double or multiple exposure, a photographer using an analog camera shoots an initial exposure and then, either on purpose or by accident, continues shooting further exposures on the same frame or sheet of film. The result is a single image comprised of multiple shots.

I’d like to show you some more double exposures from the non-FSA holdings of the Prints & Photographs Division.

In chronological order, we’ll start with this very well-composed by happenstance double exposure that is a part of the Detroit Publishing Company Collection:

A Virginia vegetable cart. Photo by Detroit Publishing Company, between 1900 and 1910.

H.G. Wells is the subject of this accidental double portrait from the National Photo Company Collection:

H.G. Wells, 11/30/21. Photo by National Photo Company, 30 November 1921.

Frances Benjamin Johnston took this combination interior-exterior photo in 1935 for the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South:

Mount Prodigal, Glenns vic., Gloucester County, Virginia. Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1935.

The Niagara Falls Public Library was captured twice on one slide by the architect Paul Rudolph:

Niagara Falls Library (Central Library, Earl W. Brydges Building). Color slide by Paul Rudolph, 1969.

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Comments (2)

  1. Hi, Jan.
    There’s an F Holland Day double exposure (possibly of his mother in Maine). Just an FYI for the next time😘

  2. These definitely make you look twice! It’s tempting to try to find a meaningful connection between the overlapping photos. I’m having trouble choosing my favorite in the Flickr album, but I like to imagine this one as capturing the many interactions the young woman at the desk engaged in during the day:

    Thanks for pointing these out!

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