Mammoth Cave First Photographers Apr 3, 2006 9:52:18 GMT -5
Post by L Roebuck on Apr 3, 2006 9:52:18 GMT -5
Guides lead the first photographers ever to visit Mammoth Cave, 1866.
This photograph, taken by Charles Waldack, was used to promote one of the earliest tourist attractions in the United States, Mammoth Cave, in Kentucky.
The two men are both guides, most likely Mat and Nicholas Branford, both former slaves. They have crossed a natural bridge inside the cave and are facing an area called the Bottomless Pit. Waldack, a Belgian photographer who emigrated to Cincinnati, made this view and 41 others using a large wet-plate stereographic camera, magnesium flares (ribbons of magnesium that burned with a brilliant light), and reflectors. He worked with two assistants, and Mat Branford guided them and helped carry their heavy equipment from place to place within the cave.
These images, taken soon after the introduction of magnesium lighting for photography, were the first successful underground cave photos ever made. They were published in New York in 1867, bringing Mammoth Cave to the attention of stereograph collectors in the United States and abroad.
Library of Congress/ LC-USZ62-60387
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