Titanic, 1912-2012: Blog Roundup

On April 17, 2012, in Newspapers, by Amanda
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Coverage of the 1912 flood and the Titanic in the Vicksburg Evening Post, April 17, 1912, page 1, microfilm #31187 (MDAH)

Coverage of the 1912 flood and the Titanic in the Vicksburg Evening Post, April 17, 1912, page 1, microfilm #31187 (MDAH)

The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic has received extensive coverage in the history blogosphere. Read more below:

The National Archives (NARA) has been blogging about the Titanic:

The Library of Congress (LOC) featured extensive coverage of the Titanic and related collections:

The Smithsonian Institution looked at:

One of the newest theories about the sinking is that the cold temperatures caused a mirage effect which distorted objects in the distance. Read more at the NASA “Astronomy Picture of the Day” page entitled “Fata Morgana: A Possibly Titanic Mirage,” April 15, 2012.

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Haining Photograph Album Online

On August 30, 2011, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
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Page 17 of the Haining (J. L.) Photograph Album. Call Number: PI/1995.0007 (MDAH Collection)

Page 17 of the Haining (J. L.) Photograph Album. Call Number: PI/1995.0007 (MDAH Collection)

The Haining (J. L.) Photograph Album (PI/1995.0007) is a handmade album consisting of 129 black and white photographs of levee construction, boats, fields, and unidentified people in the Greenville, Mississippi, area ca. 1935-1947. Click the link above to read more about it and view the album.


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We will be exploring Mississippi’s rich aviation history in this series. From the early flight photographs shown here to the moon landing and beyond, MDAH collections document this exciting part of our past.

"First plane down Mississippi River. Janas, pilot, killed in Russia in 1917, stands in front of biwing airplane. Harris Hurlbert in sport jacket also in picture." Friars Point, Miss. Painter Collection. Call Number: PI/1988.0006 (MDAH)

"First plane down Mississippi River. Janas, pilot, killed in Russia in 1917, stands in front of biwing airplane. Harris Hurlbert in sport jacket also in picture." Friars Point, Miss. Painter Collection. Call Number: PI/1988.0006 (MDAH)

These black and white photographs from the Painter (Milton McFarland, Sr.) Collection depict an early airplane at Friars Point, a town on the Mississippi River in Coahoma County. The plane is identified by Painter as a Benoist Type XII in another photograph. This model was built around 1912 by Thomas Benoist, who had worked in the automotive industry before starting a successful flight school and airplane manufacturing company in 1911.

Benoist’s exhibition pilot was named Antony Jannus–it seems that he is pictured above and Painter apparently mispelled his name in the caption as “Janas.” At the time these photographs were taken, he may have been on the record setting 1912 over-water flight along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers from Omaha, Nebraska to New Orleans.

"Flying Machine" in Friars Point, Mississippi. Painter Collection. Call Number: PI/1988.0006 (MDAH)

"Flying Machine" in Friars Point, Mississippi. Painter Collection. Call Number: PI/1988.0006 (MDAH)

This plane was the “floatplane” version of the Benoist XII. It was designed to take off from and land on water.

View of airplane in river and spectators standing on levee in Friars Point, Mississippi. Painter Collection. Call Number: PI/1988.0006 (MDAH)

View of airplane in river and spectators standing on levee in Friars Point, Mississippi. Painter Collection. Call Number: PI/1988.0006 (MDAH)

This scene may have been one of the forty-two exhibitions that Jannus performed on the flight to New Orleans. The exhibitions helped introduced the public to flying and also publicized the Benoist plane.

See more photographs of the Benoist XII plane at Friars Point in the Painter Collection exhibit in the Digital Archives.

Source:

Frederick W. Roos, “The Brief, Bright Aviation Career of St. Louis’s Tom Benoist,” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., 2005. http://www.airandspacemuseum.org/BenoistPaper.htm (accessed June 22, 2011).

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Early Natchez: 1854 River Scene

On January 14, 2011, in Sketches & Engravings, by Amanda
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This post is the second part of a short series of items from the collection related to the early days of Natchez, one of the early settlements in Mississippi and the center of government and society during the territorial years (1798-1817) and early days of statehood.

Natchez, 1854. Call Number: PI/1989.0001.1 (MDAH Collection)

Natchez, 1854. Call Number: PI/1989.0001 (MDAH Collection)

This 1854 engraving shows Natchez from the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River. Notice the steamboat traffic on the river and buildings in Natchez “Under-the-Hill.” Describing it as a ”colorful, ribald old river port” one writer said:

There were times when flatboats were tied to its banks 14 deep in a stretch two miles long. Ships from Liverpool and other foreign ports came to its wharfs. All that remains is a single desolate street and a few moldy buildings; year by year the river eats away the soft rockless land.[1]

This was written in 1938, because now things couldn’t be more different–Natchez “Under-the-Hill” is a popular tourist spot that is proud of its colorful past.[2] 

Holiday Closing

All MDAH offices will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2011 in observance of the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.


[1] Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration, Mississippi: A Guide to the Magnolia State, The American Guide Series (New York: The Viking Press, 1938), 244.

[2] Natchez Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, “Natchez Under-the-Hill,” http://www.visitnatchez.com/custom/webpage2.cfm?content=Articles&cat=NatchezUnderTheHill (accessed December 16, 2010).

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An 1890s Christmas

On December 20, 2010, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
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It’s a short week here at the archives, but we will spend it looking at some of the wonderful Christmas themed holdings from the collections! Holiday hours are listed at the end of the post.

Christmas tree, Stewart Photograph Collection, 189-. Call Number: 1992.0006 (MDAH Collection)

Christmas tree, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: 1992.0006, Item 8 (MDAH Collection)

These images from the Stewart Photograph Collection show turn of the century Natchez around Christmas time. View the entire collection (including more snow scenes) in the Digital Archives.

Collection Description:

The collection consists of 258 black-and-white images from prints of glass plate negatives created by amateur photographers (and brothers) Robert Livingston Stewart and William Percy Stewart of Natchez, Mississippi, around 1890-1905. The photographs are primarily of the Natchez area and focus on the Stewart family and activities such as dedication ceremonies, winter storms, floods, steamboats and river scenes.

"Residence of W. P. Stewart," Snow scene, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006 Item 148 (MDAH Collection)

"Residence of W. P. Stewart," Snow scene, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006, Item 148 (MDAH Collection)

"Mississippi River," River, ice and snow, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006 Item 246 (MDAH Collection)

"Mississippi River," River, ice and snow, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006, Item 246 (MDAH Collection)

MDAH Holiday Closings:

All offices will be closed for the Christmas holidays from Friday, December 24 through Monday, December 27, 2010.

All offices will be closed for New Years’ from Friday, December 31, 2010 through Monday, January 3, 2011.

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