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America by the Yard: Cirkut Camera: Images from the Early Twentieth Centuryby Robert B. Mackay
Synopses & Reviews
This book is both a history of an unusual camera and a splendid display of its product. "Yard longs," as the Cirkut camera's huge panoramic photographs were called, caused a sensation after the camera's introduction in the early twentieth century. Cirkut cameras were used to record scenic vistas, epic events, and group photographs of conventioneers, workers, soldiers, and students. Here, with many foldouts that show the prints in their full glory, are such historic moments as the building of the Panama Canal, the sunken battleship in Havana Harbor, the crash of the dirigible , the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the 1908 Wellesley graduating class, and a very early race at the Indianapolis Speedway. More mundane subjects--a bathing beauty contest, locomotive factory workers--are equally fascinating in this format. Collectively these panoramas form a remarkable portrait of America at the turn of the last century.
Book News Annotation:
By augmenting his history of a particular type of camera with many examples, both momentous and quotidian, of its usage, MacKay has produced a fascinating piece of Americana. Cirkut cameras, which took panoramic photographs known as "yard-longs," were used to record scenic vistas, epic events and group photos of conventioneers, workers, soldiers and students. The prints reproduced here, with many foldouts that show the photographs in their entirety, include such historic moments as the building of the Panama Canal, the crash of the dirigible Shenandoah, the 1908 Wellesley graduating class and a very early race at the Indianapolis speedway. MacKay, a collector of Cirkut camera panoramas, is the director of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An astonishing collection of early panoramic photographs, many up to 5 feet wide.
About the Author
Robert B. MacKay PhD, the director of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, lives in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
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