FEMINIST FRIDAY IS ON VACATION AND WILL RETURN IN AUGUST.
As some of the regular readers of Haddon Musings may have observed, I have of late developed a keen interest in photography. Well, of course, my curiosity led me to reading about women photographers and I was very happy to learn about Jessie who is considered the first woman photo journalist. I think you will enjoy reading her story.
|“Newspaper photography as a vocation for women is somewhat of an innovation, but is one that offers great inducements in the way of interest as well as profit. If one is the possessor of health and strength, a good news instinct . . . a fair photographic outfit, and the ability to hustle, which is the most necessary qualification, one can be a news photographer.”
Jessie Tarbox Beals The Focus, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904
Jessie Tarbox Beals self portrait
(detail of Jessie T. Beals with John Burroughs),
Jessie Tarbox Beals is known as America’s first female news photographer because The Buffalo Inquirer and The Courier hired her as a staff photographer in 1902. Although rarely hired again as a staff photographer, her freelance news photographs and her tenacity and self-promotion set her apart in a competitive field through the 1920s. At a time when most women’s roles were confined to the home and most women who ventured into photography maintained homelike portrait studios, Jessie called attention to her willingness to work outdoors and in situations generally thought too rough for a woman. She excelled in photographing such news worthy events as the 1904 world’s fair as well as documentary photography of houses, gardens, Bohemian Greenwich Village, slums, and school children.
Jessie Tarbox was born Dec. 23, 1870, to machinist John Nathaniel Tarbox and his wife Marie Antoinette Bassett in Hamilton, Ontario. John’s invention of a portable sewing machine enabled the family to live in a beautifully landscaped mansion until 1877 when the sewing machine patents expired. John then drank to excess, his family abandoned him, and his strong-willed wife supported the family on meager resources.
Jessie became a certified teacher at 17 and moved to Williamsburg, Mass., to live with her brother. She taught there and in Greenfield, Mass. She sketched gardens in her spare time but quickly realized that her artistic talents were disappointing.
In 1888, Jessie’s life changed when she won a camera for selling a magazine subscription. “I began when I was a teacher in Massachusetts, with a small camera that cost me $1.75 for the whole outfit. In a week I had discarded it for a larger one and in five weeks that one had earned me $10.”
During the summers, Jessie offered students from nearby Smith College four portraits for a dollar, a source of a steady income. At a Chautauqua Assembly (an educational summer camp for adults) she made a conscious decision to concentrate on news photography. In 1893 she attended the Columbian Exposition in Chicago where the experience of making photographs and meeting other women photographers, including Frances Benjamin Johnston and Gertrude Käsebier, heightened her fascination with that occupation.
Jessie married Amherst graduate Alfred Tennyson Beals in 1897; she taught part time and did extra photography. In 1899 her photographs of the local prison were published in a newspaper. Although these images were uncredited, hundreds of photographs published in the future would bear her credit line.
Jessie Tarbox Beals ended her 12-year teaching career in 1900. That September, she received her first credit line from Vermont’s Windham County Reformer, for photos made for a fair. These gave her the distinction of being one of the first published woman photojournalists. For more than a year, the Beals couple operated a door-to-door portrait and general photography service. When they ran out of money in 1901, they settled in Buffalo, N.Y., where they had a premature child who died.
In late November 1902, Jessie broke into full-time professional news photography. The editor of Buffalo’s two local papers, The Buffalo Inquirer and The Courier, hired her and allowed her to freelance for out-of-town correspondents, as well. She got her first “exclusive” in 1903 and proved her ability to hustle when she perched atop a bookcase to make photos through a transom of a murder trial that had been proclaimed off-limits to news photographers. She used a 50 pound 8 x 10 format camera for her assignments. She took pride in her physical strength and agility and delighted in self-promotion.
Jessie made her first nationally recognized photographs when Sir Thomas Lipton, the inventor of the tea bag, stopped in Buffalo. Her portrait of Lipton was published in the national press.
In 1904, the Buffalo newspapers sent Jessie to the opening of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Mo., and Alfred went along to print her photographs. Other professional women photographers working at the fair included Frances Benjamin Johnston and Emme and Mamie Gerhard. As a latecomer, Jessie was denied an exhibition press pass, but, relying on her ability to hustle, she persuaded the exhibition office to grant her a permit to photograph at the fairgrounds before the exposition opened. Pass in hand, she ignored the limitations and photographed at every opportunity. She ultimately became the official photographer at the Fair for the New York Herald, Tribune, and Leslie’s Weekly, three Buffalo newspapers, and all the local St. Louis papers, as well as the Fair’s own publicity department. She climbed ladders and floated in hot air balloons to get her shots.
Jessie thought like a news photographer. Reversing the traditional newspaper approach, she often generated photographs for which a writer would be assigned later. She developed several story ideas at the Fair, such as similarities in the role of motherhood in different cultures, for which newspapers then wrote stories. She also anticipated the use of series of photos or picture stories with which U.S. magazines and newspapers of the 1930s would replace single images.
Jessie created additional opportunities for herself by making pictures of dignitaries attending the Fair. She captured a photo of William Howard Taft outside the Philippine Building at the Fair. She interrupted President Theodore Roosevelt on his tour of the Fair to make his photograph and followed him throughout the day, making more than 30 photographs. Her aggressiveness paid off when she gained credentials as a member of his Presidential party and accompanied him to a reunion of the Rough Riders in San Antonio in March 1905.
Settling in New York City, Jessie was unable to secure work as a news staff photographer so she and her husband opened a studio. In the competitive New York portrait market, men still dominated professional photography but the American Art News commissioned two women–Jessie Tarbox Beals and Zaida Ben-Yúsuf–to make 17 portraits of prominent artists, which it published in 1905. This assignment won approval from critics who preferred her “straight” approach to that of better-known photographers Gertrude Käsebier and Alvin Langdon Coburn. The American Art series led to other jobs in major magazines about painters, sculptors, writers and actors.
Jessie maintained an art photography element in her repertoire by displaying images in “Exhibition of Photographs – The Work of Women Photographers” held at the Camera Club of Hartford, in Connecticut, in 1906; in the “Thirteenth Annual International Exhibition of Photography,” organized by the Toronto Camera Club, Toronto, Canada, in 1921; and at the “Third National Salon of Pictorial Photography,” organized by the prominent Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1922.
Early on, Jessie envisioned an international career for herself: “I want to free lance (sic) it around the world,” she says. “England, Australia, New Zealand–they’re all easy because the language is the same. I’m going to do them next. But I want to take in Europe and Japan, and China and India, too. This staying in one place is no good. I’ve got to load up my old camera and take another hike before long.” Although she wound up concentrating on the United States, her interest in being on the road resulted in widely distributed publications including Outing, The Craftsman, American Homes and Gardens, Bit and Spur, Town and Country, Harper’s Bazaar, The Christian Science Monitor, McClure’s Magazine and The New York Times. The variety of publications also testifies to the difficulty women had establishing themselves and indicates Jessie’s willingness to do whatever was necessary to succeed.
Jessie’s marriage became a disappointment. She teamed up with a freelance writer, Harriet Rice, and taught herself to use flash powder to make photos at night. Through Rice, Jessie met the man who fathered her daughter, Nanette, who was born in 1911. Jessie and her husband doted on the child and raised her together even though their marriage grew increasingly strained, particularly when Nanette required hospitalizations for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. In 1917, Jessie left her husband and opened a tearoom and art gallery in Greenwich Village.
Jessie spent three years in Greenwich Village making photographs that captured its Bohemian nature, and in 1920, with business booming after World War I, she moved to a large loft on Fourth Avenue. Like other women photographers of the time, she had to work freelance rather than on staff for a publication. Much of her work was for reform-oriented causes such as Greenwich [settlement] House documenting educational and arts programs for children. Some of her photographs were used in posters and books for Progressive education programs. Another example of her work is an album at the Library of Congress, which she made in 1925 when she photographed the McDowell Colony at Peterborough, New Hampshire, to help Marian McDowell advertise and raise funds for the arts program there.
By 1928, when Jessie was 58, she could no longer maintain her frenzied pace. She switched to lighter cameras and flexible film. With her daughter, she went to California where wives of motion picture executives were eager to have their estates photographed by a celebrated New York photographer. This project soon ended with the stock market crash of 1929.
Jessie and her daughter returned to New York in the 1930s, where she had started 25 years earlier. She rented space in a darkroom and lived in a basement apartment, around the corner from her first New York studio. As a woman in her sixties, Jessie continued to photograph gardens and estates and win prizes, but she never regained her earlier level of success.
In late 1941, Jessie became bedridden. A lifetime of hustling for work had taken its toll and lavish living had left her destitute. She was admitted to the charity ward of Bellevue Hospital where she died on May 30, 1942 at 71.
Jessie’s versatility helped make her one of the first female photojournalists, but by the end of her life she worried that it was exactly that willingness to work at any assignment she could get that contributed to her lack of cachet. She regretted her failure to specialize, become affiliated with a major institution, or achieve lasting financial success. Many of Jessie’s negatives were lost or destroyed during her lifetime because she had nowhere to store them. Her work drifted into obscurity until photographer Alexander Alland gathered what he could and published a biography titled, Jessie Tarbox Beals: First Woman News Photographer, in 1978.
She deserves recognition for her pioneering role in news photography, the excellent quality of her photographs, her struggle to overcome gender-based career obstacles, and her life-long devotion to her career. Her courageous example encouraged other women to pursue photography.
JESSIE TARBOX BEALS YOU ROCK!
The information in this article came from the Library of Congress and was prepared by: Beverly W. Brannan, Curator of Photography, Prints & Photographs Division, 2011. Last revised: January 2011.
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Since we are approaching the 4th of July I though I would share a brief biography of Abigail Adams. Abigail is considered by many people to be the First Feminist First Lady. The following quote from her is what inspired me to do some research.
“Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.”
The following article gives use good glimpse into Abigail’s life. It was written by Bruce G. Kaufmann on October 30, 2013 and can be found at history lessons.net.
Had there been a National Organization for Women in America in the late 18thCentury, Abigail Adams, the wife of our second president, John Adams, would have been a charter member. The woman who once admonished her husband to “remember the ladies” when considering legislation in the Continental Congress was a firm believer in women’s rights, and she lived a life that proved it.
It was a life defined by the American Revolution, which, because its demands on her husband kept him away from home so often, only strengthened her independence, self sufficiency, and confidence that she was the equal of any man. It was Abigail who ran the family farm while John was in Congress or representing America abroad. That meant she was up before dawn, starting the fire, feeding the livestock, cooking the family meals and — because the war had shut down the schools — home schooling their children.
It was Abigail who also managed the family finances, and probably did a better job than John would have done. Ignoring his advice to invest in land, for example, she bought public securities that eventually turned a fair profit. Yes, the times being what they were, a man (her uncle) had to execute those financial transactions, but it was Abigail who made the decisions — and kept a share of the profits.
It was Abigail who also saw first-hand America at war, and did what she could to support it. In her native Massachusetts the fighting was pervasive, with American soldiers regularly afoot, and she often invited them into her home to rest and take a light meal. She even made musket balls for American rifles by melting pewter spoons in her fireplace.
And then, late at night, her work done, she would sit down and write her husband one of her many letters — the correspondence between John and Abigail was voluminous and touched on a wide range of subjects. Abigail was a political junkie, constantly craving news of Congress’s activities and freely giving John political advice. And in her letters to John she also regularly complained about the lack of women’s rights, including a woman’s inability to hold political office (a complaint that, back then, must have astonished John!).
In sum, she considered herself John’s equal partner, as proven by the fact that, years before she died, which she did this week (Oct. 28) in 1818, she wrote a will and testament, even though, technically speaking, she had nothing to bequeath because in those days all property in a marriage was legally the husband’s.
Abigail didn’t care, and it was hardly a surprise that most all of her bequests in that will went to the women in her family.
ABIGAIL ADAMS YOU ROCK!
Now, if you are in the mood for further reading, I give you Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who Abigail Adams would have been very proud of.
She has never held elected office. She is still paying off her student loans. She is 28 years old. “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a viral campaign video released last month.
They certainly weren’t supposed to win.
But in a stunning upset Tuesday night that ignited the New York and national political worlds, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a Bronx-born community organizer and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, defeated Representative Joseph Crowley, a 19-year incumbent and Queens political stalwart who had not faced a primary challenger in 14 years.
Mr. Crowley, who is twice Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s age, is the No. 4 Democrat in the House of Representatives and had been favored to ascend to the speaker’s lectern if Democrats retook the lower chamber this fall.
If Ms. Ocasio-Cortez defeats the Republican candidate, Anthony Pappas, in the predominantly Democratic district in November, she would dethrone Elise Stefanik, a Republican representative from Central New York, as the youngest person in Congress (Ms. Stefanik was 30 when she took office in 2015).
“I’m an organizer in this community, and I knew living here and being here and seeing and organizing with families here, that it was possible,” a visibly shocked Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview at her victory party on Tuesday. “I knew that it was long odds, and I knew that it was uphill, but I always knew it was possible.”
The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a Bronx-born father, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez earned a degree in economics and international relations from Boston University but worked as a waitress and bartender after graduation to supplement her mother’s income as a house cleaner and bus driver, according to The Intercept. Her father, a small-business owner, had died three years earlier of cancer; after his death, her family fought foreclosure and her mother and grandmother eventually moved to Florida.
She dabbled in establishment politics during college, working for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, on immigration issues, but soon turned her attention to the grass-roots work that would come to define her candidacy.
Returning to the Bronx after graduation, she began advocating improved childhood education and literacy, starting a children’s book publishing company that sought to portray her home borough in a positive light, according to a 2012 article in The New York Daily News. The importance of education had been instilled in her from a young age: As a child, she was sent to school in Yorktown in Westchester County because of the dearth of quality schools in the Bronx.
She returned to national politics when she worked as an organizer for the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont. But even then, the idea of one day seeking office herself seemed unattainable.
“I never really saw myself running on my own,” she told New York magazine this month. “I counted out that possibility because I felt that possibility had counted out me. I felt like the only way to effectively run for office is if you had access to a lot of wealth, high social influence, a lot of dynastic power, and I knew that I didn’t have any of those things.”
But if Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has, overnight, become the face of progressives’ hopes for ousting not only Republicans but also moderate Democrats who they see as insufficiently outraged about President Trump, her bid against Mr. Crowley predates the anti-Trump backlash that has fueled what many see as a “blue wave” across the country.
She has credited her decision to seek office with her experience protesting at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in 2016 against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Soon after, she was contacted by Brand New Congress, a newly formed progressive organization that asked her to run.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who has called for Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, made her underdog status the central pillar of her upstart campaign.
In her bid against Mr. Crowley, she was unafraid to foreground race, gender, age and class. When Mr. Crowley sent a Latina surrogate to debate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez last week, citing scheduling conflicts, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez blasted him on Twitter for sending someone with a “slight resemblance to me.” She attacked Mr. Crowley for taking corporate money, for not living in the district and for looking increasingly unlike the constituents of the Bronx and Queens he was elected to represent.
“These communities have been so ignored,” she said in an interview with The New York Times earlier this month. “What other leaders or what other choices does this community even have? For me, I just feel like it’s a responsibility to show up for this community.”
She has joined activists in Flint, Mich., calling for safe drinking water, and traveled to the Mexican border this past weekend to protest family separations of migrants.
Like Mr. Sanders, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez made her rejection of corporate donations and reliance on small donors a rallying cry for supporters; nearly 70 percent of her campaign funds came from individual contributions under $200.
“Not all Democrats are the same,” she said in her May campaign video, adding — her voice rising with emotion — that a Democrat who “doesn’t send his kids to our schools, doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us.”
“Congress is too old,” she told a reporter from the website Elite Daily. “They don’t have a stake in the game.”
Before Tuesday’s victory catapulted her to the front of the political conversation, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez seemed to find readier audiences with outlets such as Elite Daily, Mic or Refinery29 — websites most often associated with millennial and female audiences — than with national publications.
That is about to change.
“I’m hoping that this is a beginning,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said at her victory party on Tuesday. “That we can continue this organizing and continue what we’ve learned.”
Still, shock seemed to be the predominant emotion at Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s party on Tuesday. “Oh my God, oh my God,” she said as she realized she had won, her hands flying to her mouth and her eyes widening. Throughout the night, as more and more people flooded into the packed Bronx pool hall, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was trailed by a swarm of reporters, supporters and campaign staff clamoring for hugs, selfies or just a glimpse of the woman behind a feat many had considered impossible.
She added, “I hope that this reminds us of what the Democratic Party should be about, which is, first and foremost, accountability from the working-class people.”
Follow Vivian Wang on Twitter: @vwang3.
Shane Goldmacher and John Surico contributed reporting.
Please feel free to add a link in the comment section to one of your posts about an inspiring woman.
Listen to Rachel read her poetry. It is a treat.
6 girls in plaits, slacks and hand-knitted jerseys
Once we were special because we were six
six little girls all dressed the same
all funny and noisy and naughty and cute.
Now we are special because we are
six old women all blessed the same
all talky and thinky and lucky and winky
and still THANK YOU GOD alive and thriving
in our seventies and eighties.
How do I dare even think those words
when frailty is overdue
and death is knocking at the house next door?
Before you even read this page
one of the sisters may be dead
but what would I write instead?
Meantime being lively at our stage
in this time of the plentiful unyoung
is not so special, it’s almost a norm
for some lucky ones born in the olden days
of food in the garden and school that was free
and no need for…
View original post 67 more words
James Corden has taken all kinds of musicians out for a ride on his “Late, Late Show” Carpool Karaoke segment. But not have been quite as magical, mystical — or emotional — as Thursday’s drive … with former Beatle Paul McCartney.
Corden is airing shows from London this week, but took a side trip north to the Beatles’ hometown of Liverpool, where McCartney, 76, slipped in alongside him for renditions of classic tunes like “Penny Lane,” “Blackbird” and “Drive My Car” (which seemed obligatory, given the circumstances). He also launched into a new hit, “Come On to Me,” from his forthcoming album “Egypt Station.”
“I wrote my first song when I was 14,” said McCartney. “It was called, ‘I Lost My Little Girl.'” Then he even crooned a bit of it!
And when they actually stopped by the real Penny Lane, they got out so McCartney could add his autograph to one of the signs, and took selfies. Along the way they stopped off in a barbershop (with a barber showing photographs) and met some of the locals on the street. “The last time I was around here, nobody was noticing me at all,” McCartney noted.
But it wasn’t just about the music; McCartney is loaded with amazing personal and Beatles history that clearly delighted Corden (who wasn’t afraid to poke a little fun by dressing up in Beatles outfits, from the mop-top hairstyle to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” colorful military garb).
Then things turned a bit heavier; McCartney said he’d once had a dream where his late mother told him everything would be all right. “Just let it be,” he said she told him in the dream, which of course led to one of the band’s most beloved songs, “Let It Be.”
The pair sang the tune, which left Corden in tears. He noted that his grandfather and his father who played that song for him, and wiped his eyes.
“That’s the power of music,” McCartney said. “It’s weird, isn’t it, how it can do that to you.”
Since they were in Liverpool, McCartney and Corden stopped by the house where the songwriter had lived as a teenager and where he and John Lennon wrote several hit songs. The house is now a member of the UK National Trust and has been preserved as it was back in the day.
After wandering around the house and noting how the commonplace nature of it inspired his future songs, McCartney invited Corden to the “acoustic chamber,” aka the bathroom. “I would spend hours in here with my guitar,” said McCartney, taking a seat on the toilet.
Then he took a seat at the piano and sang, “When I’m 64” while fans gathered outside and took photos. One local said his brother was named after McCartney.
Ultimately, they ended up at a pub (which also seemed obligatory) and Corden stepped behind a bar, surprising the patrons with McCartney on stage playing with a band. Instantly, the crowd jumped to their feet and clapped along as the band ran through songs like “Hard Day’s Night,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Love Me Do” and “Back in the USSR.”
Of course, no McCartney concert would be complete without a rendition of “Hey Jude,” and for that he invited Corden to join him. Then it was time for tears and emotional hand waving from the audience as they all sang together on that final, repeating chorus.
Noted Corden, “I think this is an afternoon not one of us will ever forget.”
Understatement of the year!
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THIS IS OUR BELOVED HADDY AT CHRISTMAS.
In 1838, John Estaugh Hopkins was digging in a marl pit (on a small tributary of the Cooper River in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and part of the Campanian-age Woodbury Formation) when he uncovered large bones, putting them on display at his home, also in Haddonfield. In 1858, these bones sparked the interest of a visitor, William Parker Foulke. The skeleton was dug out from the marl pit in 1858 by Foulke. The excavation site, known as the Hadrosaurus foulkii Leidy site, is now a National Historic Landmark. Foulke contacted paleontologist Joseph Leidy, and together they recovered an almost complete set of limbs, along with a pelvis, several parts of the feet, 28 vertebrae (including 18 from the tail), eight teeth and two small parts of the jaw. Foulke and Leidy studied the fossils together, and in 1858, Leidy formally described and named Hadrosaurus foulkii in honor of his collaborator.[