Dwight Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Mass (1)

Employees of the Dwight Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Mass, in November 1911. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

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The same scene in 2014:

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This photo was one of many taken in Chicopee by noted photographer Lewis Hine, during his travels across the United States documenting child labor issues.  Photographing for the National Child Labor Committee, his photographs are now available through the Library of Congress, so I decided to try to re-create some of his Chicopee photos.

This one is probably my favorite, because the scene can be re-created so perfectly; the brick walls, the “1894” on the granite pillar, and even the wrought iron gates are still there.  At the time that the photographs were taken, the factory belonged to the Dwight Manufacturing Company; it was part of a sprawling complex of factories and boarding houses along the Chicopee River, and many of the buildings still exist today, including the main entrance, which is surprisingly unchanged over 100 years later.

Hine identified the young man on the left as Stanislaus Fabara, writing this as the caption of the photo:

Watchman Stanislaus Fabara, 59 Exchange St. Works in cloth room. The day before he gave me his name as Frank Fabara and today said it was wrong. “We give wrong names when we think trouble is coming.” Two other boys here acknowledge giving me wrong names also. Location: Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Visits Springfield

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s car travels down Elm Street past the Court Square Theater in 1940. Image courtesy of Cinema Treasures.

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The same scene in 2014:

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On October 30, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made a stop in Springfield on his way to Boston to give a campaign speech. Just six days before the election, he stopped to inspect the Springfield Armory and give a speech. The top photo shows him passing by Court Square along Elm Street, with the Court Square Theater in the background. The building is still there today, but the theater section itself is gone – it was demolished in 1957, and is now a parking lot. The main entrance for the theater, which is seen in the background of the 1940 photo, is now the entrance to the parking lot.

Roosevelt, however, is far from the only past, present, or future president to visit Court Square. George Washington once lodged at Parsons Tavern, which occupied part of what is now Court Square. According to one 19th century account, Washington “tasted liquid refreshments of a strong flavor” at the tavern. In addition, President William Howard Taft, several months after leaving office, presided over the dedication ceremonies for City Hall and Symphony Hall. On the day before the 1960 election, then-Senator John F. Kennedy spoke from the steps of City Hall to a crowd gathered in Court Square. More recently, just two days before the 1996 election, President Clinton also gave a speech in front of City Hall, in support of Senator John Kerry.

Calvin Coolidge at the White House, Washington DC

President Calvin Coolidge on the South Lawn of the White House in 1925. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Photo Company Collection.

Presidents

The South Lawn in 2012:

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In my previous post on the White House, I mentioned some of the changes that have occurred to the building since it was first occupied by John Adams, so I’m not going to go into great detail about the structure itself.  What I do find interesting about these two photos is not the building itself, but rather the people in the photos.  President Coolidge is clearly visible in the first photo, but look carefully at the second photo – President and Mrs. Obama are sitting on the second floor balcony, right between the two middle pillars.  So, not only do these two photos document changes in the building, in transportation (note the truck to the right of Coolidge, compared to the SUV on the left-hand side of the 2012 photo), and in presidential security (note the lack of Secret Service agents in Coolidge’s photo); they also document two presidents, who served 80 years apart, and who held very different political views, but who nonetheless occupied the same office and the same building.

Lefty Grove at Fenway Park, Boston

Lefty Grove warming up at Fenway Park in 1937. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

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The scene in 2006:

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In an earlier post, I looked at the present-day location of a photo of a Red Sox pitching legend, Cy Young.  Less than 30 years later, the Red Sox would have another stadium and a new ace pitcher, Lefty Grove.  Although he spent the majority of his career with the A’s, Grove remains the only pitcher to be inducted into the Hall of Fame wearing a Red Sox cap.

Today, Fenway Park hasn’t changed a great deal, although it now has lights, electronic scoreboards, and bullpens beyond the outfield fence.  The Green Monster now has seats atop it, and is no longer adorned with any racist ads.

Cy Young at Huntington Avenue Grounds, Boston

Cy Young, warming up at Boston’s Huntington Avenue Grounds in 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Bain Collection.

Sports

The scene in 2014:

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Finding the precise location of this photo is tricky, since nothing in the 1908 photo still exists.  The top photo was taken of Cy Young, the winningest pitcher in baseball history, during his last year with the Red Sox.  At the time, the Sox played a few blocks south of what would become Fenway Park, at the Huntington Avenue Grounds.

The site of the field is today part of the Northeastern University campus, and in this courtyard is a tribute to Cy Young and the old baseball field.  In the foreground is a granite home plate marker, and 60 feet away in the distance is a statue of Cy Young.  The Cy Young statue is on the approximate location of the pitcher’s mound (which can be seen behind and to the left of Cy Young in the 1908 photo), but home plate would have actually been further to the right of where the 2014 photo was taken (which is now a building).

Because of that, it is likely that the 2014 photo was taken from approximately the same location, looking in roughly the same direction, as the 1908 photo, although the lack of any landmarks makes it difficult to be exact.

Football at Fenway (2)

A football game at Fenway Park, sometime between 1947 and 1956. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.

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The same view in 2006:

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As mentioned in my previous post, football was a common occurrence at Fenway Park. However, this photo was taken a couple decades after the other one – a couple telltale signs are the right field bullpens and the light tower, which was not added to Fenway until 1947.  I don’t know the exact date of the first photo, or whether this was a college or professional game, but it could be a Boston Yanks game.  The Yanks were a short-lived NFL team that played at Fenway Park from 1944 to 1948, which would put it within the time frame of the first photo, and the scoreboard above the bleachers has “Boston” and “Visitor” as the two teams, which suggests this was a professional team that regularly played home games here.