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Springtime Selections from the Green Photography Collection

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 12th, 2019

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

The James Edwin Green photography collection of over 500 glass plate negatives at the History Center contains a variety of images that document life in western Pennsylvania and Pleasants County, West Virginia.  This blog will sample images that are seasonal, relating to the theme of springtime and warmer weather.

The first image shows the photographer, James Edwin Green (1878-1952) with his family at Orchard View Farm:

Family seated outside eating watermelon in an orchard, with text "Who Said Watermelon!"

James Edwin Green (1878-1952) and family at Orchard View Farm,
Pleasants County, West Virginia, ca. 1905-1910.
(From collection A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer,
Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material.)

In this picture we see his wife Edith Sarah Taylor Green with their three children (left to right) Virginia, Jeanette, and James Edwin, Jr.  If you look closely, you can see James Edwin, Sr. holding a string.  This string was attached to a camera in order to trigger its shutter.

James Green, Sr. also used his photography for creating Easter greetings as shown in the following example:

Girl in Easter dress, holding a toy bunny, next to an Easter basket

Easter Greeting card featuring a Green child; 1909.
(From collection A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer,
Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material.)

Woman in orchard, with blooms on the trees, with text "Down in Blossom Row"

A view of Orchard View Farm, Pleasants County, West Virginia, ca. 1905-1910.
It may be the photographer’s wife, Edith Green, who is strolling through the orchard.
(From collection A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer,
Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material.)

Man in orchard with three children, with text "Spring Time"

A portrait of James Edwin Green and his three children, Orchard View Farms,
Pleasants County, West Virginia, ca. 1905-1910.
(From collection A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer,
Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material.)

Many photographs in the collection were shot in Foxburg, Pennsylvania, where many members of the Green family lived, like the following:

Four children seated on a horse or mule, surrounded by family members

Children of James Edwin Green playing with relatives at Foxburg, Pennsylvania, ca. 1905-1910.
(From collection A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer,
Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material.)

In this picture we see Mrs. Edith Green on the left, her son James Edwin Green, Jr. on the horse, and her daughter Virginia on the right with hands behind her back.  Aunt Roseanne Green of Foxburg is holding a child up on the horse.

Three children in orchard surrounded by chickens, with text "Easter Greetings -1909- From St. Mary's W. Va."

Another Easter Greeting with Virginia, Jeanette, and James Green; 1909.
(From collection A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer,Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material.)

For more information about the James Green photograph collection, see the blog:
The Photographs of James Green and the Democratization of Photography

Sources consulted:
A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer, Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material, box 15/folder 15a for genealogy information
A&M 3460, James Edwin Green, Photographer, Glass Plate Negatives and Other Material, box 15/folder 16a for identification of subjects in photographs

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