Cross Erected near Paricutin Volcano

ID: SIA2009-0865 and F22-C

Creator: Foshag, William F

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: May 27, 1943

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7281, Box 7, Folder: Photographs of Parícutin #F15-#F33c; 1943

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A man is standing on a road beside a cross looking across at the smoke billowing from the Paricutin volcano. The caption on the back of the photo reads: "Paricutin from the outskirts of Paricutin village. The cross was erected to ward off danger to the village."


National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The Paricutin volcano erupted from 1943 to 1952 with several eruptive phases. In early 1943, residents near Paricutin, Mexico, about 200 miles west of Mexico City, experienced hundreds of earthquakes. On February 20, 1943, a large fissure opened in the cornfield of Dionisio and Paula Pulido, Tarascan Indians. A crater soon formed, and over the next ten years, hundreds of scientists from around the world witnessed the birth and growth of a volcano. Foshag, from the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, and Dr. Jenaro Gonzalez Reyna from the Mexican government, spent several years at the site, observing and documenting it through field notebooks, photographs and films. This was the first time that volcanologists were able to fully document the entire life cycle of a volcano, and the numerous studies published increased understanding of volcanism in general and especially scoria cone formation.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7281, Box 7, Folder: Photographs of Parícutin #F15-#F33c; 1943

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


May 27, 1943

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No restrictions


  • Scientific expeditions
  • Earth Sciences
  • Landscapes
  • Geology
  • Natural History
  • Religion
  • Explorations and Expeditions
  • Volcanoes
  • Volcanism
  • Parícutin Volcano
  • Earth sciences
  • Indians of Mexico
  • Volcanoes--Mexico
  • Natural history
  • Indians of Central America
  • Religious articles




  • Photographic print
  • Landscape
  • Person, candid

ID Number

SIA2009-0865 and F22-C

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 4w x 5h; Type of Image: Landscape, person candid; Medium: Photographic print

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