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Hello,

My grandfather, Charles T. Chapman, was a professional photographer during the first half of the 20th century.  He was living in the Chicago area when the 33-34 Century of Progress was held.  We have well over 200 images of the World's Fair photographed and developed by him at his basement studio in Evanston.  Many of the images were nicely arranged in photo albums while most others were found at the bottom of grocery bags, cardboard boxes and desk drawers.

Thanks, Bill Cotter, for writing your book last year and sharing a great number of images with detailed information.  

One group of images were taken from inside the "World a Million Years Ago" exhibit and included a number of displays that Bill mentions in his book.  Of peculiar interest are the "shovel-jawed elephant" and the "Ape-Man".

Here is a link to those particular images.

https://goo.gl/photos/XWjFt4ee4U6Nu9Sz7

Also the Sinclair Dinosaurs

https://goo.gl/photos/UQtXw3RX7SUetUrH8

 

Please let me know if you are unable to view the images.

 

greg

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Thanks much!

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A "shovel-jawed elephant"--that creature looks like something the Flintstones would have used to clear their driveway of snow.

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Hi, Greg,

I am a retired telecommunication engineer, and periodically go through a wave of collecting some genre of cameras, most recently the Kodak Ciné-Kodak dynasty of motion picture cameras.

I just acquired a Kodak Ciné-Kodak Special II 16 mm motion picture camera, a full-featured professional camera, first introduced in 1948. On this camera, the purchaser could have the factory apply, in a discreet place on the camera, an engraved plate with the owner's name. This camera has such a plate, with the name "Charles T. Chapman."

In researching that name, we found references to films on campus life done at several universities, one for Notre Dame done in 1943 and one at University of Kentucky a bit later,  done by "Charles T. Chapman". The article on the former referred to Chapman as an "ace newsreel cameraman" and the article on the latter referred to him as a "retired newsreel cameraman."

We also found an iconic photo of people gathered around a radio in a general store in rural Kentucky, dated 1930, and attributed to Charles T. Chapman.

Is this possibly your grandfather? If so, we wouild be thrilled to learn more about him.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug Kerr

Alamogordo, N.M.

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Hello Doug,

Your message brought chills up and down my spine!  (in a good way).  Yes, this would be my Grandfather!  We have the University of Kentucky Film reel as well as the one he made for Notre Dame (we haven't transferred these to digital just yet due to the cost - we've focused on family films so far).  

I don't recall seeing that particular camera in many of his photos but will begin some diligent searching.

Charles Townley Chapman (or C.T.C.) spent most of his life taking photos as well as films not only for personal use but as a professional.  He worked for Pathe News and many newspapers but seems to have been a free lancer for the most part.

He (and my father) left behind a LARGE collection of photos (most were in albums with captions in C.T.C.'s beautiful handwriting.  I've attempted to scan most if not all of these albums and will share links when I close this note.  In addition to the leather bound photo albums were boxes, bags, drawers and bins full of photographs (as well as two dozen film reels).

In addition to the photos are the majority of his correspondence with his "Dearest Mother" even continuing one of his letters huddled in the front of an airplane cockpit as the pilot returns them from a baseball game (I think in Indiana) back to Chicago.  These letters (also between his sisters, wife, father and others have been quite valuable in placing photos and people in the correct location and time period.

I've been working on archiving this treasure for the past ten years (if only I had shown such an interest when my father was alive so I could have firmly placed a name with a face).

In addition to C.T.C.'s vast collection, there are a great quantity of images from his father Frank Townley Chapman (F.T.C.) and a more "modern" collection of slides (in the thousands) from my father Charles Robert Chapman (C.R.C.)

I've discovered that scanning the images is just the beginning!  Finding the perfect method of sharing with my family (and others) is the main challenge.

I generally scan and save to an external drive which then backs up to a Dropbox account.  Google Photos seems to be the easiest for others to view whereas I have found Flick to be the most user friendly for uploading posting (although one needs - I believe- a Yahoo account in order to view?).  Youtube has also been a great source for viewing the films.

Just some of the "assignments" he has photographed:

Shelter Bay - 1924 - he accompanied a logging crew to the northern coast of the St. Lawrence Seaway to photograph and film the process of felling timber to transport to nearby pulp paper mills for the Chicago Tribune and New York papers.  One of the images shows him with a movie camera but alas I haven't found the reel or any footage online.

1933-34 Chicago World's Fair - There must be well over 600 photos he developed covering the year long event. One image shows him filming atop one of the Sky Ride towers.  Unfortunately, the one full reel we have has succumbed to the surrounding conditions and has become brittle and unplayable.  The place I use to transfer the 8mm to digital tried to run the film but it was so jumpy that he didn't want to continue in fear it might break.  

Lac du Flambeau Reservation- 1924 - Northern Wisconsin - C.T.C. produced a film sponsored by the Northwestern Railroad in an attempt to attract Chicagoland tourist to the "Great Northwoods" using any of their swift moving and conveniently scheduled trains.  While most of the script and scenes are centered on the great time to be had by the white tourists, there is a great clip of the Lake Superior Chippewa dancing for the tourists.

There is much more but I will share some links with you here:

My flickr account - not sure if you HAVE to have a Yahoo account to view.  If you know of some other way to share please let me know.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chapmanio/albums

Youtube Channel that has most of our digitized footage (YouTube offered to "stabilize" the footage for me which is rather humorous (It's called the "Trippy" Version

https://youtu.be/XkGU-azOyTo (this is the Lac du Flambeau dancers)

I think you should be able to view the other films from that link?

Google Photos-

This has more current family content but there are some albums of interest https://goo.gl/photos/qzDvhT98FVmaymSq5

This is my school account (I made the mistake of scanning early on in just black and white - they're black and white photos, right?), but soon realized the errors of my ways.  https://goo.gl/photos/WDTMRH4TNYNSTG5PA  that should be the Shelter Bay trip

Anyhoo.  thanks for getting in touch!  I'd love to see the inscription on that camera of yours!  I vaguely recall as a teenager my father selling C.T.C.'s Leicas and other film equipment to a variety of buyers.  Sigh...to be able to go back in time.  Your find is quite fascinating.

One last pic to share is his photography studio in the basement of his home in Evanston, IL.  This particular image has a description of as many of the chemicals I could make out.  I guess there was a lot of "a pinch of that" and a "dash of that" in the early years.  https://photos.app.goo.gl/gzWRpcCmvNZX163N2

Again, thank you for finding us.  Feel free to keep in touch with any questions, suggestions or thoughts!

Sincerely,

Greg Chapman 

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The flickr account has some of the best Century of Progress photos I've ever seen.  And lots of them.

 

 

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