Identified! [Man preparing a "smoked paper" to be used in a seismograph, probably at Georgetown University]

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Where: Unknown

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When: 01 January 1924

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Harris & Ewing,, photographer.

NO CAPTION

[1924]

1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller

Notes:
Date based on date of negatives in same range.
Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955.

Subjects:
United States.

Format: Glass negatives.

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication. For more information, see Harris & Ewing Photographs - Rights and Restrictions Information www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/140_harr.html

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Part Of: Harris & Ewing photograph collection (DLC) 2009632509

General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.hec

Higher resolution image is available (Persistent URL): hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.32544

Call Number: LC-H27- A-8874

Info:

Owner: The Library of Congress
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 10638
libraryofcongress dc:identifier=httphdllocgovlocpnphec32544

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  • profile

    chair_egg_ee_no

    • 06/May/2022 18:35:21

    I believe this to be some type of seismograph. The margin of paper on the chart recorder inside cabinet and wrapped around the drum reads, "April 25, 1924." There's an unreadable, engraved plate at top center of the cabinet. The human subject seems to be applying a liquid from the Aladdin tray to the roll (chart) paper. There's a similar chart recorder in the cabinet behind and above the roll paper being handled by the human subject. This could also be measurement of some other phenomenon such as radio signal propagation or solar flares.

  • profile

    ART NAHPRO

    • 06/May/2022 18:41:49

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I was thinking seismograph too. I thought at first it was some sort of device for transmitting photographs electronically but it looks like there is some kind of oscillating arm at the top of the drum on the left that presumably slides along the white painted guide arm. And the date . Although I wonder why they would need to treat the paper when I imagine it would be simpler to have a ink marking device instead.

  • profile

    chair_egg_ee_no

    • 06/May/2022 19:15:58

    Human subject in the photo might be Frederick Emmons Terman. That would make it less likely to be seismic equipment. If this proved to be Terman, the photos are likely to have been made at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]: do you think he's treating the material with some kind of goop before winding a loop antenna around it?

  • profile

    ART NAHPRO

    • 06/May/2022 20:48:43

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] No idea I am afraid. .The paper seems to have lines running along it so I was wondering if the chemical maybe just enhanced the image or fixed it. The combination of goop and precision instruments is interesting.

  • profile

    ART NAHPRO

    • 06/May/2022 20:52:18

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ps I don't think it can be Terman he was born in 1900 according to Wiki and the photo is dated 1924 and clearly this fellow is not 24

  • profile

    swanq

    • 11/May/2022 10:57:01

    The equipment looks very similar to the equipment in this 1911 picture from the Georgetown University Archives of the seismological station at Maguire Hall, Georgetown University with several seismographs. hdl.handle.net/10822/552744 In fact, if I imagine removing the cabinets in the H&E photo from LoC and taking the photo from a different angle, I could think that the H&E photo is of the Wiechert and Mainka seismographs. The description of the Georgetown photo includes, "Jesuits have contributed much to the field of seismology, which has even been termed the Jesuit Science."

  • profile

    swanq

    • 11/May/2022 11:12:23

    Searching the Georgetown University Archives for "seismograph" I find an even more similar photo, from the same angle as the H&E photo, with one of the seismographs in a similar cabinet and the other not in a cabinet. hdl.handle.net/10822/1046745 BTW, although the description does not identify the man in this Georgetown photo, it is definitely Father Francis A. Tondorf. LoC has another H&E photo that identifies him. See www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016889145/ The Mainka seismograph is now at the Smithsonian, according to americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_118... More about the Jesuits and seismology at: guides.library.georgetown.edu/c.php?g=1065137 www.jstor.org/stable/236653

  • profile

    ART NAHPRO

    • 11/May/2022 11:30:27

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] excellent going. Bravo.

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    Jon (LOC P&P)

    • 11/May/2022 15:26:37

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]. [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]], and [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]! It does appear to be a seismograph. I looked through some old scientific journals and they talk about seismographs using "smoked paper" but I couldn't find any description of how it is made. Apparently a brass stylus was used which scraped off the "smoke" and made a white line. I noticed in that the photo that [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] listed, hdl.handle.net/10822/1046745, the room and the cabinets seem similar, so Georgetown seems like the possible location.

  • profile

    chair_egg_ee_no

    • 11/May/2022 18:33:15

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]: apparently not Terman. Thank you for the data point.

  • profile

    ART NAHPRO

    • 11/May/2022 19:41:32

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I love the hive mind displayed in cracking some of these fascinating images.