Opening day of the Suez Canal. Port Said , Nov. 16, 1869
This photograph depicts the harbor and canal on the day of the opening of the Suez Canal, the “greatest engineering feat of the nineteenth century” (Smith). “Clearly, the canal’s opening festivities placed Egypt in a new way on the European cultural map” (Haddad, “Digging to India: Modernity, Imperialism, and the Suez Canal”).
(Coney Island) John Johnstone, photographer
The Elephant Bazar [sic], Coney Island. Coney Island, 1889
A wonderful photograph of the fabled Coney Island Elephant, the seven-story hotel designed and opened by James V. Lafferty in 1885. Located at Surf Avenue and West 5th Street, the elephant cost $250,000 to build.
An important collection of 40 mammoth-plate photographs of the American West, created for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Watkins, c. 1863-74.
Carleton Watkins exhibited these very photographs at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the first world’s fair in America. Watkins is the greatest of the first generation of photographers of the American West. His early photographs of Yosemite and Utah have never been surpassed. When his work was exhibited back East, the New York Times declared, “As specimens of the photographic art they are unequaled. The views are … indescribably unique and beautiful. Nothing in the way of landscapes can be more impressive.”