Euclid Beach Park

The Humphrey Glass Negative Collection

Doris and Linnie Humphrey
Doris Humphrey with her father's Aunt Linnie
sitting in the grass smelling the roses.View image.

In the second half of the 19th century and in early 20th century, before the invention of film, photographers used specially treated glass plates to capture photographic images. One technique invented by Frederick Archer, which he published in 1851, was called the collodion wet-plate. It used a glass plate coated with potassium iodide and collodion, which is then dipped in a bath of silver nitrate just before the photo was taken. The downside of the process was that the picture needed to be taken while the plate was still moist and then needed to be developed immediately after.

An "easier" technique, the gelatin dry-plate, became available in 1873. This used a photosensative chemical with gelatin, which allowed the photographer more time between exposure and development and required less exposure to light.

Volti, Rudi. "Early Photography." The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Society. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1999. Science Online. Facts On File, Inc. ffests0629&SingleRecord=True (accessed September 24, 2009).

"Glass Negatives." Florida Memory. (accessed January 6, 2012).

The Humphrey Glass Negative Collection in Special Collections at the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University is a set of 700 glass negatives documenting the lives and interests of Euclid Beach Park owners, the Humphrey Family during the early part of the 20th century.

In 1901, the Humphrey Family, headed by brothers Dudley, Harlow, and David, took over ownership of Euclid Beach Park in what is now North Collinwood, Ohio. Euclid Beach Park would continue to operate until its demise in 1969. Unfortunately, the Humphrey Glass Negative Collection spans less than a decade of this well-known park’s existence and Euclid Beach imagery constitutes only a small portion of the entire collection.

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A majority of the images included within this collection represent:

Additional Online Reading About the Humphrey Family