WWI Era Industrial American Small Town Photographer's Archive

$1,250.00

HP Noel's attention to film speeds and proper lighting produced compulsive work that is more accomplished than most studios. His own family generations deep in the region, Noel perfectly documented a small American town during the early twentieth century industrial boom. All of the above circumstances create a RARE glimpse into a one hundred year old society and its social structure.  ...

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HP Noel's attention to film speeds and proper lighting produced compulsive work that is more accomplished than most studios. His own family generations deep in the region, Noel perfectly documented a small American town during the early twentieth century industrial boom. All of the above circumstances create a RARE glimpse into a one hundred year old society and its social structure.

 

Some portraits are identified, but mostly we are left to work out specifics from context clues and what we know of the town. Settled at the base of the Laurel Highland mountains by Scotch Irish around 1850, the nearby coal hot beds of Frick and Carnegie’s fortunes had transformed Derry into a Pennsylvania Railroad town by the end of the nineteenth century. Noel captured not only likenesses very competently but also personalities. Consider also that these are years of immense change, years of war and of our first real national economy. The youngest faces here likely became the first generation to leave their family homesteads. 

 

Consider each sitter’s position in this time and place, and in history’s bigger picture. The scope of this small town’s archive allows us to consider every town like it. Included is Noel’s advertisement for photographic copy services, particularly the recent ease and affordability of real photo postcards that came to define this first mobile generation’s keep sakes. All of the (38) photographs measure under 4 x 6”, a mix of photo paper and RPPC card stock. Very nice condition, often with photographer’s notes in pencil and many with scrap paper residue on reverse.