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The Camera's Cost: Historic Images of Ship and Shore in New England

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Cameras float coastward. Almost every old family photograph album contains snapshots of children and sand pails, teenagers frolicking in surf or rowing a rental skiff, young couples half blinded by love and half blinded by beach-reflected sun, mothers with infants shaded by makeshift tents, and old-timers ensconced in folding beach chairs, often shielded by umbrellas.... Now and then the rummager of attics and antique shops finds other photographs, usually made from ferries or other commercial craft passing parallel to industrial waterfronts, beneath drawbridges, beside shipyards, sweeping professional and holiday-making image-makers just a wee bit offshore. Sometimes the photographs lie mixed with memorabilia: the steamship ticket or schedule, vacation map, restaurant menu, advertising label or other ephemera that people picked up, brought home, and preserved as they did shells, rounded stones, and sea glass gleaned from beaches. Taken together, arranged and rearranged, juxtaposed and analyzed, they form a kaleidoscopic vision...." From the Introduction by John R. Stilgoe The Camera's Coast: Historic Images of Ship and Shore in New England is a wonderful collection of historic photographs, paired with a rich assortment of ephemera - the subtle colors of an old postcard, the seductive details of an advertisement, a gay poster - engagingly captioned by W. H. Bunting. This page-by-page panorama of New England coastal activity from the late-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries ranges from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from leisure and recreation to hard work. The imagery is mostly bygone but still strongly connected to our present-day landscape. The Camera's Coast began several years ago as a traveling Historic New England exhibition of photographs with informative captions by guest curator Bunting, a maritime historian who brings old photographs to life with small stories - sometimes humorous, sometimes heroic, sometimes tragic, but always captivating. In this beautifully designed book, additional images from Historic New England's diverse collection of ephemera have been carefully selected by the editors to augment the photographs and to flesh out Bunting's stories. This book is the first in a Historic New England series that will feature its collections in new ways that will appeal to both the specialist and the casual reader. Historic New England is presented by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.

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