The Collective Picture

Vintage Photography Redefined

admin On July - 21 - 2009

As a heat wave descends on British Columbia and areas of the interior become engulfed in flames the issues that surround natural disasters have been forefront in my mind and lead to this compilation. These are images of various floods that occurred between the 1880’s and the 1930’s. These photographs capture surreal moments of streets being turned into canals, central squares as harbors and front stoops having been submerged.
Aside from the interesting transformation of cities shown here these images also document human responses to crisis, people being carried, children and elderly assisted and the adaption of life that occurs during a disaster. Throughout the loss of life and the destruction of property the sense of perseverance to rebuild, renew and move forward is an uplifting one. This regeneration process is longwinded, something that often requires investment that lasts far beyond the short attention spans audiences routinely have. But if these images, that show such major cities as Montreal, Cleveland and Cincinnati, remind us of anything it is the human propensity to survive.

1886 Quebec Montreal flood When Water Risesenvironment
“Montreal’s flood of 1886 put much of the old town under 1.2 metres (4 feet) of water. That prompted the harbour commissioners to order a seawall built to prevent ice damage and flooding.”
1886. Flood, Bonaventure Depot, Montreal, QC. Flood, Bonaventure Depot, Montreal, QC, George Charles Arless, 19th century Notman photographic Archives – McCord Museum Quebec. http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/scripts/viewobject.php?Lang=1&accessnumber=MP-0000.236.9&section=196
Flood_Chaboillez Square_Montreal_QC_18861886. Flood, Bonaventure Depot, Montreal, QC.
Flood, Bonaventure Depot, Montreal, QC. George Charles Arless, 19th century Notman photographic Archives – McCord Museum
Quebec.
1910 1915 cleveland flood automobile When Water Risesenvironment
Between 1910 and 1915. Flooded Cleveland. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.12010 Call Number: LC-B2- 2573-7
1911 Austi Dam disaster flooding When Water Risesenvironment
1911. Austin Dam Disaster, on bank of Sinnemahoning Creek, [Pennsylvania]. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.09772 Call Number: LC-B2- 2295-12
September 30, 1911, the dam failed and destroyed the Bayless Pulp & Paper Mill, as well as much of the town of Austin, Pennsylvania. The damage was approximately $10 million. It also resulted in the deaths of 78 people.
Link to a December 8 1911 New York TImes article describing about the Dam Disaster. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9A04EFDB1E31E233A2575BC0A9649D946096D6CF
1912 Louisiana flood town afloat When Water Risesenvironment
1912 Louisiana flood – small town afloat. George Grantham Bain Collection Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs DivisionPersistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.10514 Call Number: LC-B2- 2412-7 1913 Dayton flood elderly couple in boat When Water Risesenvironment1913_Dayton_flood_elderly_couple_in_boat.jpg
1913. Rescue work- Dayton. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.12024 Call Number: LC-B2- 2576-5
“Although rivers in Ohio tended to flood every spring, heavy rains in March 1913 exacerbated the flood conditions.” “At least 428 people died during the Flood of 1913, and more than twenty thousand homes were totally destroyed. Property damage was extensive, as many other homes were seriously damaged. Factories, railroads, and other structures also faced major losses.” http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=497
1913_Dayton_flooded streets
1913.Rescue work- Dayton. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.12025
Call Number: LC-B2- 2576-7 1913 Dayton flood rescuing woman When Water Risesenvironment1913.Rescue work- Dayton. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.12021 Call Number: LC-B2- 2576-3
1913 Dayton flood family young children When Water Risesenvironment1913_Dayton_flood_family_young_children.jpg
1913. Rescue work- Dayton. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.12020 Call Number: LC-B2- 2576-2 1913 Flood East end of Cincinnati When Water Risesenvironment
1913. Flood in East end of Cincinnati. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.12012 Call Number: LC-B2- 2573-13
1934 charleville motors floodwaters Queensland Australia When Water Risesenvironment
1934. Charleville Motors with floodwaters up to the entrance doors, Charleville. Charleville, Queensland, Australia. Information about State Library of Queensland’s collection: pictureqld.slq.qld.gov.au/

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