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Archival description
Lantern Slides--Hand Colored
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Jesse Lowe Smith Image Collection

  • US IlHpHS 1996.5
  • Collection
  • Bulk, 1911-1914

The Jesse Lowe Smith Image Collection was created by Jesse Lowe Smith, who was principal of the Elm Place School and Superintendant of Schools in Highland Park, Illinois for 32 years until his death in 1934. Smith took the bulk of the photographs himself specifically for educational purposes . Smith had a life-long interest in nature, culture and the arts. Smith promoted an innovative and progressive educational style by including nature expeditions and theatrical productions as part of Elm Place School’s curriculum. The collection consists of 3”x4” glass slides and 5”x7” glass photographs and negative plates which either were taken by Jesse Lowe Smith himself, or which he purchased from a Highland Park photographer, E.E. Paratt or from the Nichol’s Slide Company (a provider of educational slides). Some of the slides are hand-colored by Charlotte Pinkerton, an artist who at the time worked in Chicago. The slides collection range from 1907 to 1933 with the bulk being from 1911 to 1914. The bulk of the images are botanical in nature, focusing on plant studies, trees, and flowers and include landscape scenes. There are also images of Elm Place School including classrooms and artwork exhibited in the school, some class photos of students and teachers, the outside of the school, and theatrical productions of a play and operetta. The collection includes travel photographs from trips Smith took to Montana, the Pacific Northwest, and abroad. There are also slides of song lyrics, flags and history lessons. Thus far, the following series are created: Botanical slides; Travel photographs from Smith’s travels abroad, notably India, but also Europe; and a third series for Lincolniana of photographs relating to Abraham Lincoln.

There is a second collection of botanical slides from Elm Place School currently in the possession of the Park District of Highland Park which exhibited them in 1995. There may be overlap between the two collections.

Smith, Jesse Lowe, Superintendent of Schools, Highland Park, Illinois

Glass slides collection

  • US IlHpHS glas.sli
  • Collection
  • ca. 1885-1920

The Glass Slides collection comprises 19 untitled glass slides, many hand colored. The slides contain various women in different outfits, scenery and landscapes, and a few miscellaneous slides with images. Some evidence suggests these may be portraits of Ravinia Park Opera or other performers in costume. The collection has 3 series. The first is miscellaneous. All slides measure 3.5”x4,” both in color and black and white. One of the slides is cracked and should be handled with care. The second series is portraits, containing women in various costumes. The women are in a variety of settings and their clothing is not necessarily from the period in which the image was taken. These items range in size starting at 4”x5” and ending at 5”x7,” all have been colored. A few slides are cracked. The last series is scenery and landscapes, these items are pictures of places and not necessarily used in conjunction with the portraits. These slides are all 5”x7” is size and are all in color. None of these items are broken.

This collection is presumed to be of events, places and people in Highland Park, Illinois.

s.n.