[Maine and various places in Europe. 1907, 1913, 1920]. A total of 248 original photographic prints. Oblong octavo albums. Original black morocco, spines gilt, titles as transcribed below. Albums with some shelf wear; European album slightly cocked, lower portion of front joint splitting. The photographs are clean and in excellent condition. Item #WRCAM45906
An outstanding collection of photographic images of scenes in Maine, coastal France, and the Channel Islands. The photographs were taken by an MIT Professor who apparently vacationed in Maine on a regular basis, and who also visited England and France in the year before the outbreak of World War I. The albums of Maine images ably show the natural beauty of far western Maine, while the album of scenes in France and England captures life in small villages and towns in Normandy, Brittany, and the Channel Islands before the peace of the region was shattered by the Great War. Two of the albums feature silver gelatin prints that have been printed directly onto the album sheets, with accompanying handwritten captions. The third album consists of photographic prints affixed to sheets of the album.
Though without ownership signatures, we attribute these albums to Ralph Restieaux Lawrence, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. These albums came with other photographic albums made by Lawrence on trips to the American West and Canada, featuring photographs done in a similar style, captioned and bound as these albums. Ralph Restieaux Lawrence (b. 1873) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and graduated from MIT in 1895. He taught electrical engineering at MIT from 1896 to 1941, and apparently enjoyed photography and traveling, as the present albums would indicate.
The three albums are:
1) HEALD POND MAINE 1907. Thirty-nine original photographic prints, most approximately 3 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches, each print affixed to a sheet in the album, the sheets measuring 8 x 10 inches. Original oblong octavo album. This album contains a series of lovely photographs of the area around Heald Pond, in west-central Maine, not far from the Canadian border. Heald Pond is known for its natural beauty - ably captured in these photographs - and for its hiking trails. The photographs in this album are uncaptioned, but show a number of images of the large pond and surrounding area, as well as cabins and campsites.
2) PHOTOGRAPHS EUROPE 1913. 162 original silver gelatin prints, approximately 3 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches, each printed directly onto a sheet in the album, the sheets measuring 6 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches. Each image is identified by a manuscript caption on the facing sheet. Original oblong octavo album. The pictures show scenes in France and England, mostly in the regions of Brittany and Normandy, the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, and Sark, and the towns of Warwick and Stratford- upon-Avon. Many of the photographs show life in villages or larger towns, such as Caen in Normandy. There are a number of photographs of scenes in and around the Brittany village of Concarneau, including market scenes, fetes, and scenes along the port, but other villages, such as Pont-Aven and Vitre are included as well. Many of the photographs in the British islands show castles, ruins, towns, and coastal scenes. In all, a magnificent series of photographs of this region on the verge of World War I.
3) PHOTOGRAPHS ATTEAN MAINE 1920. Forty- seven original silver gelatin prints, on average 3 x 5 inches (one of them a panoramic photo 3 x 13 1/2 inches on a folded sheet), each printed directly onto a sheet in the album, the sheets 7 x 9 1/2 inches. Each image is identified by a manuscript caption on the facing sheet. Original oblong octavo album. Attean Lake is a resort area located in west- central Maine, and this album of attractive silver gelatin prints shows scenes from a vacation taken there by Lawrence in 1920. The panoramic photograph is a lovely view of Attean Lake from a high perspective on nearby Mount Sally. There are several other pictures from Mount Sally, as well as images of camps, vistas from lake level, nearby woods, other ponds, etc.