The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Help Us ID These Mystery Women and Scientists
As we noted before, we’re in our third year of celebrating Women’s History month by uploading new (old) photos of women scientists on the Flickr Commons, and highlighting some of these and other groundbreaking women on the blog. Back in 2009, we asked for you to help us learn more about some of the mystery women in our Science Service collections, and boy did you deliver! You provided additional background information for thirteen women posted to the Flickr Commons that year, and in one particularly unique example, you started the chain of events that not only helped us identify scientific illustrator Elizabeth Sabin Goodwin, but also eventually meet Ms. Goodwin’s granddaughter and discover other drawings by Goodwin in our collections. We’re here to ask for your help again this year with a new set of photos that we just added to the Smithsonian Flickr Commons:
While not all of the unidentified individuals in these images are women, all of these photos do feature women and are from our venerable Science Service collection. Some photos have quite a bit of context, others have very little—either way, your sleuthwork could help us gather valuable new information about our collections. In some instances, we have a name associated with a photo, but little background information about the career of the woman pictured. Case in point? Marian G. Hogan, described on the reverse of this photograph as “President of Weatter [or Wealter] Services, Inc., 41 Mt. Vernon St., Boston, Massachusetts.” The photo is not dated, but we know that the photographer, Bradford Bachrach, was the head of the well-known studio chain, Bachrach Photographers, from the mid–1950s through 1970s and specialized in portraits of women. Any ideas about in what industry Ms. Hogan might have worked?
In other cases, we may have incorrect names or attributions. For example, here is an image of Professor and Mrs. H.C. Hamilton being photographed by psychologist Weston Ashmore Bousfield (1904-1986),which was made by Marjorie Van de Water at an American Psychological Association meeting. However, our researcher and archivists have decided that given the context of the photograph (and that Bousfield's name was misspelled on the original label), it is likely that one or both of the Hamiltons were psychologists but that the initials written on the accompanying caption may be incorrect. What do you think—have any leads for us? No matter if you help us research these photos or not, we hope you enjoy, and please keep your eyes out for our weekly additions of photos to the Flickr Commons throughout the month of March!