Skip to comments.The American West, 150 Years Ago
Posted on 05/24/2012 12:32:22 PM PDT by BO Stinkss
In the 1860s and 70s, photographer Timothy O'Sullivan created some of the best-known images in American History. After covering the U.S. Civil War, (many of his photos appear in this earlier series), O'Sullivan joined a number of expeditions organized by the federal government to help document the new frontiers in the American West. The teams were comprised of soldiers, scientists, artists, and photographers, and tasked with discovering the best ways to take advantage of the region's untapped natural resources. O'Sullivan brought an amazing eye and work ethic, composing photographs that evoked the vastness of the West. He also documented the Native American population as well as the pioneers who were already altering the landscape. Above all, O'Sullivan captured -- for the first time on film -- the natural beauty of the American West in a way that would later influence Ansel Adams and thousands more photographers to come. [34 photos]
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
> They look nothing like Elizabeth Warren.
Image #12 reminded me of the desert scenes in ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.
The Indians haven’t changed all that much.. They’ve discovered the utility of backpacks along the border, however.
Thanks for finding, and bringing it to us here on FR.
Remarkable pictures. I’ve been to almost all the locations shown. Thanks for posting.
“Remarkable pictures. Ive been to almost all the locations shown. Thanks for posting”
I’m curious, are any of the locations you mentioned “untouched” for the most part?
Some beautiful photos. Having lived in Salt Lake for 4 years in the late 80’s, it was neat to see the photos of Alta and Big Cottonwood Canyon.
I think the water level of Pyramid Lake is just a little lower now.
I lice around those Mohave County sites. Trust me, they are as awesome as they look. But visit the area from Oct to April. Trust me on that too ;)
Damn fat fingers...
Canyon De Chelly is likely the closest. I went there first back in the early 1960’s when you could hike the canyon. Of course, much of Nevada remains the same but a lot of the old mines and towns are largely gone. Santa Fe is probably the hardest to recognize and the Snake River has greatly changed. El Moro has a bit of unfortunate graffiti but still looks the same. Zuni has changed but is in part still recognizable.
Agreed. Thanks I love photographs depicting conditions of the 19th century.
Incredible photographs. I have been to many of those places.
Thank you for posting this article.
Back when Arizona wasn’t a state and the Colorado River didn’t run dry.
I really enjoy these pictures.
I am thinking of framing some of these prints.
When the Pequots were building Foxwoods, Donald Trump said, "They don't look like Indians!"
Truly amazing. Thanks for posting.
Thanks for posting this!
......that’s what it looked like in 1965 when I went to school there. The only thing missing is the Casa Luna and the Holiday Inn on Cerrilos Road.
Great photos! My part of the West still looks like that.
Those are wonderful pictures.
Thanks for posting.
****Image #12 reminded me of the desert scenes in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.****
Back in 1961, my dad took us kids driving on the backside of Carlsbad, NM.
It looked just like the town in GB&U. It was a Sunday, all adobe buildings, no pavement, the Cantina was open.
Is this a photo of the sunrise or sunrise or sunset? And, how did Mr. O'Sullivan
get up so high as to get this angle? (I suppose that is a part of the unspoken
mystery of the view.)
In the nearer distance, are all those structures adobe? What purpose do they serve?
Is that an Armory in the upper mid-left? How far are the first mountains?
and in what direction?
An amazing image! And NO AUTOS in this whole panorama -- but one would think at least
a wagon ought to be seen somewhere in this expanse! It shows such a vast stillness!!
As an aside, my great-grandfather was still a pioneer, at this 1873 time clearing a site in western
New York State, still wild near Pennsylvania's Potter County northern border. The deed
to the land had to come from France, from Paris. The family lived in a log cabin until a house
was made from milled wood off its own site.
Marvellous things were still going on in this country at that time.
Thanks for this link!
Beautiful pictures. Visited Canyon de Chelly a long time ago and the pictures brought back fond memories. I really want to act like a tourist and tour our beautiful state...again! So much to see.
These pics are not that old. Only about a life time and a half ago.
But things sure have changed.
Fantastic photos! We do our best to preserve Virginia City.
The very first picture, of Black Canyon in Mojave County, AZ is now, I suspect, filled by Lake Mead.
The best I can tell you is I say the picture was most likely taken from Fort Marcy And the large building on the left side of the photo I believe is the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis. I believe the view is to the southwest of Fort Marcy as that is the only direction that there would be land that flat.
I have a book I recommend if you are interested in old photography.
WITH A CAMERA IN OLD NAVAHOLAND by EARLE R. FORREST.
Published by University of Oklahoma Press.