Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

George Allen Collection of Stereoviews, 1867-1915

May 13th, 2015

Photograph of George Allen, 1989

George Allen with his collection, December 1989.
Lawrence Journal-World Photo. George Allen Photograph Collection
accession file. Click image to enlarge.

George Allen (1913-2007) was born in Wichita, Kansas. His family moved to Lawrence in 1927. He graduated from Liberty Memorial High School, and then earned a law degree from Kansas University. He practiced law in Lawrence for forty years. Mr. Allen also collected stereoviews, a hobby fueled by his love of history and an interest in photography. He bought his first stereoview in the 1950s from a woman who operated an antique shop behind her house. He would go on to spend thirty-five years collecting thousands more, with his collection peaking somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000. In 1990 he sold 722 stereoviews to the University of Kansas Libraries. Among the collection are views of Kansas, Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Dakota Territory, as well as images of cowboys, sod homes, coal mining, floods, cattle raising, the Chicago Exposition of 1874, and railroads.

Photograph of theEmporia News building, Emporia, Kansas, undated

Emporia News building on Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas, undated.
George Allen Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 137.
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of a flood in Abilene, Kansas, 1903

Flood in Abilene, Kansas, 1903. George Allen Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 137. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of boys bathing in Mud Creek, Dickinson County, Kansas, undated

Boys bathing in Mud Creek, Dickinson County, Kansas, undated.
George Allen Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 137.
Click image to enlarge.

The most popular stereoviews from Mr. Allen’s collection are fifty-five from Alexander Gardner’s “Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division” series, which include several images of post-Civil War Lawrence, Kansas. Gardner, working for the Union Pacific Railway, took his photography wagon, loaded with chemicals and glass plates, across the west in 1867. He first followed the existing railroad line, which passed through Kansas, and then he continued along the proposed railroad route to the Pacific Ocean. He documented the towns, landscapes, and people he encountered on the way, using stereoviews to do so.

Photograph of Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas, 1867

Image of Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas, 1867 (back)

Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas, 1867 (front and back of card).
The image shows the rebirth of the town within five years of Quantrill’s Raid.
Alexander Gardner, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.
George Allen Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 137.
Click images to enlarge.

Stereoscopic photography consists of two nearly identical images pasted on a board, side by side. To get the two images, the photographer would make an exposure, then move the camera 2 1/2 inches, the average distance between human eyes, and make a second exposure. The photographer would then develop each of the images and paste the prints onto the board. When the two images are viewed through an apparatus called a stereoscope, or stereoviewer, the eyes force the two images into one image, creating the appearance of depth perception, or 3D. Another method was to use a twin-lens camera, which allowed the photographer to make the two exposures simultaneously, saving time and eliminating the need to reload the camera.

Image of a stereoviewer

An example of a stereoviewer, also known as a stereoscope.
Image courtesy of Gilai Collectibles. Click image to enlarge.

Collecting and trading stereoviews of plays, famous sites, people, or events was quite popular in the mid nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most homes had a stereoviewer in the parlor, which allowed viewers to see, for example, views of Paris without actually traveling. Mr. Allen enjoyed stereoviews for the way they portrayed history and told the story of our shared past.

Photograph of a round-up on the Sherman Ranch, Genesee, Kansas, undated

Image of a round-up on the Sherman Ranch, Genesee, Kansas, undated

Round-up on the Sherman Ranch, Genesee, Kansas, undated (front and back of card).
George Allen Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 137. Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of a dugout sod home, Kansas, undated

Dugout sod home, Kansas, undated. George Allen Photograph Collection.
Call Number: RH PH 137. Click image to enlarge.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services

KU and UK: A Shared Basketball Legacy

November 17th, 2014

Tensions are high this week as two of college basketball’s winningest and most storied teams, the University of Kansas Jayhawks and the University of Kentucky Wildcats, face off tomorrow in Indianapolis. During March Madness these schools are rivals, but younger generations may not realize that they share a history through the sixth winningest Division I coach of all time, the “Baron of the Bluegrass” Adolph Rupp.

Lexington, Kentucky, my hometown and home of the UK Wildcats, boasts Rupp Arena, named after legendary coach Adolph Rupp. It is the largest indoor arena ever built expressly for basketball, as well as the largest indoor sports arena in the country and sixth largest in the world. Its sheer size pays homage to Rupp’s tremendous and immutable impact on UK and college basketball, but he would not have reached this level of success without his beginnings at KU.

Adolph Rupp was born in Halstead, Kansas, in 1901. By the time he attended Halstead High School, James Naismith had moved to Kansas and introduced his newly invented game of basketball to the area. Rupp attended KU and, under direction from Naismith and head coach Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, played as a reserve from 1919 to 1923, including the 1922-1923 team that went undefeated in conference play and was voted national champions.

Photograph of KU men's basketball team with Adolph Rupp, Phog Allen, and James Naismith, 1922-1923

KU national champions basketball team, 1922-1923. Top left: Adolph Rupp.
Middle row, second and third from left: Phog Allen and James Naismith.
Call number: RG 66/13 1922-1923 Team Prints: Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

After college, Rupp spent several years coaching at high schools in Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois before taking a coaching job at UK in 1930. He remained head coach at Kentucky until being forced into retirement at age seventy due to university policy. Throughout his time at UK, his teams faced the Jayhawks many times, but Rupp remained cordial with his former coach and alma mater.

Photograph of Phog Allen and Adolph Rupp

Phog Allen (left) and Adolph Rupp (right), undated. Call number: 66/13 Rupp, Adolph (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Rupp died from cancer on December 10, 1977 in Lexington, Kentucky. Ironically, his former Wildcats played the Jayhawks that night in Allen Fieldhouse and reigned victorious. Rupp is most often associated with UK and commemorated by Kentuckians, but UK would not be on top of the basketball world without Rupp’s outstanding leadership fostered by his Kansas upbringing. His legacy is not lost on Kansans either; his high school hosts the Annual Halstead Adolph Rupp Basketball Tournament, now approaching its 45th year. Rupp’s family remained in the Lawrence area after he moved away and have provided insight into Rupp’s early life and basketball career. For more information about his home life in Halstead, see the article “His Hometown” in the Rupp section of the Courier-Journal, Monday, December 12, 1977 (call number: PP 221).

So in celebration of this week’s showdown, come to Spencer Research Library to read more about Adolph Rupp’s Kansas origins and subsequent time at rival UK (both the glory and controversies) in our collection of his personal papers (PP 221).

Megan Sims
Public Services and Processing Student Assistant
KU Museum Studies Graduate Student

Do You Remember These People and/or Events in Wichita, Kansas?

February 28th, 2013

Do you remember these people and/or events in Wichita, Kansas? The Leon K. Hughes Photography Collection consists of more than 2,000 photographs documenting African American community life in Wichita, Kansas from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Photograph of Unidentified child's birthday party, n.d.

Photograph of Bridesmaid helping bride adjust her veil, n.d.

Photograph of Ted Crochet and unidentified bride and their wedding party, June 14, 1969.

Photograph of Rosie Hughes and unidentified girl surrounded by a variety of camera equipment, n.d.

From top: Unidentified child’s birthday party, n.d. Call number: RH PH 506 Box 1, Folder 5;  [?] Johnson and unidentified bride, n.d. Call number:  RH PH 506 Box 3, folder 37;  Ted Crochet and unidentified bride and their wedding party, June 14, 1969. Call number: RH PH 506  Box 2, Folder 20; Rosie Hughes and unidentified girl surrounded by a variety of camera equipment, n.d. Call number: RH PH 506 Box 18, Folder 30. Click images to enlarge.

The University of Kansas Libraries is honored to steward the Leon K. Hughes Photography Collection and make it accessible to viewers worldwide. As you can see when you browse through the amazing photographs found in this collection, many pieces of information are missing. Names, dates and/or events may not be known; some information may be incorrect or misspelled.

The collection is not static – it is intended to grow and it needs to grow!

We need your help to identify the community represented through this comprehensive and timeless collection. If you have additional information about any of the descriptions related to the collection photos, please click on the “Add Comments” link in the “Related Objects” field for any image in the collection and your knowledge about the photo will be sent to us here at KU so we can revise the information. All digitized Hughes photographs can be found at http://luna.ku.edu:8180/luna/servlet/kuluna01kui~16~16.

You may also submit your information by contacting Deborah Dandridge (ddandrid@ku.edu).

Start exploring the collection:

 

Deborah Dandridge
Field Archivist/Curator, African American Experience Collections