The Vanished Texas Of Theodore Gentilz

The dusty, busy town of San Antonio, Texas, must have seemed an immeasurable distance from home to the twentyfour-year-old Jean Louis Theodore Gentilz. Two months at sea and a grueling overland journey from Galveston separated the young man from his comfortable life as the son of a wealthy Parisian coachmaker. Now, late in 1843, he first looked upon the life he had traded for it. Many would have regretted the change, but something about the big, untidy new land got under Gentilz’ skin, and Texas would be his home for the rest of his life.Read more »

Madison Avenue’s Secret Conquest

Yanqui imperialismo, as any good Latin-American orator will tell you, is a pretty insidious affair. With the pictures on these pages, therefore, we are happy to report on one of its conquests so subtle and secret that neither the conquered nor, for that matter, the C.I.A. is aware of it.Read more »


As we go to press with this issue the country is swept by a new fad—“streaking,” or running naked through public places. Rapid movement is of the essence in this phenomenon, perhaps to reduce the participants’ embarrassment as well as the threat of apprehension by the authorities. On the whole it is not, we think, an evil or unpleasant spectacle, sometimes even giving rise to distant images of golden boys and girls, forever panting, streaking after each other around Olympic racecourses, mulberry bushes, or antique urns.Read more »

High Point Of Your Trip

In 1879 Jim McCauley lured his sweetheart onto Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point, California, and threatened to push her off if she didn’t marry him. This rather hardnosed method of popping the question worked, or so McCauley said. His German-born girl had spurned earlier marriage proposals, but this time she quickly promised “I vill, I vill, I vill.” That November the two were married, and together they operated for eighteen years the Mountain House, a two-story tourist stopover that McCauley built near the site.Read more »

The Splendid Indians Of Edward S. Curtis

The dignified portrait, opposite, of Bear’s Belly, an Arikara Indian warrior of the eastern plains, wrapped in a bearskin, the symbol of his personal medicine—and the photographs of the other native Americans on the following pages—are a sampling of a wondrous, but almost unknown, publishing project that took one dedicated photographer-author, Edward S.Read more »

Boston: Looking Backward

An album of pictures from the days when the Kennedys were parvenus and workingmen demonstrated in derbies

That the photographs of G. Frank Radway were ever resurrected from the files of an old Boston newspaper was, in the beginning, simply a matter of luck. No one particularly remembered or was looking for Radway’s work, few people, then or now, recognized his name, and the paper for which he covered the Boston scene—the Boston Advertiser —is now defunct. Read more »

“You Press The Button, We Do The Rest”

George Eastman's inexpensive, popular camera helped create the modern age

In the year 1854 a young man named George Washington Eastman rather reluctantly maintained a residence in Waterville, New York. The reluctance arose from the fact that while the hamlet was pleasant enough, its population of a few hundred souls offered no scope for the ambitions and needs of a father of two little girls, with a third child on the way.Read more »

Ghost Towns: The Quick And The Dead

Every town is a ghost town in a sense—haunted by the shades of people who were born there, and lived there, and now are sone. In America, where it is generally thoueht that the proper prelude to putting up a new buildins is tearing down an old one, towns are haunted too by the ghosts of houses, schools, stores, churches, hotels, theatres.Read more »

A Capital Education


Sometimes the camera solidifies a modest moment in history in a way that reminds us sharply of securities we have left behind. These photos of District of Columbia public schools, taken in 1899, render the glow of the era of McKinley in the way that the spires of Oxford whisper of the Middle Ages. They are the work of a pioneer in documentary photography, Frances Benjamin Johnston.Read more »