East Liverpool Historical Society

The East Liverpool Historical Society has among its many historical treasures a collection of approx 200 lantern slides from the Collection of Historical Slides of East Liverpool, Ohio taken by Dr. Charles H. Birkett (for information on Lantern Slides, visit Lantern Slides: History ∓ Manufacture). They later came into the hands of H. A. Dawson of East Liverpool. He in turn gave them to the Historical Society.

In their Lantern slide form they have limited use so the Historical Society questioned if they could be turned into a digital image format.

A member of the Historical Society was working at that time with Professor Matt Stewart of Kent State's East Liverpool branch, the sponsor of the Kent State/EL, archival project, was asked if it might be possible to scan these images thus turning them into digital images.

Fifty slides were loaned to the Kent State archival project to determine if digital images could be obtained from them.

After discovering that traditional scanning with the available equipment wouldn't produce good images, Prof. Stewart made some inquiries and it was discovered that there was a way of obtaining good results. Thirty of the fifty slides have been done to date and over time those thirty will be posted on the Historical Society web site. Hopefully all of the slides will have digital images made of them in the near future.

Based on the little black book that accompanied the slides Dr. Birkett took the original pictures. He apparently used some of the negatives to make these lantern slides. However, one confusing element is that the little black book with the lantern slides numbers the slides and gives descriptions of the slides indicate that there were existing regular photographs in some cases.

The slides show street scenes of East Liverpool and surrounding area. As near as can be determined were taken in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

There are also a number of slides that are portraits of local business people, people known in their times.

Since some of the slides may have been taken from existing photographs, those may be familiar to some people, however, there are slides that may not have been seen before in any form other than the original slides.

The picture shown here is Slide #1; the description reads: Land grant given to John Fawcett in 1837 by [President] Martin Van Buren in the 62nd year of American Independence.

John Fawcett was the son of Thomas Fawcett, the founder of St. Clair which was commonly called Fawcetttown which became Liverpool, Ohio which became East Liverpool, Ohio.


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