U.S.S. Lexington at Baker Dock, 1929 (Modern Silver), Today's Coolphoto 09/20/2019


Tacoma Public Library, (Chapin Bowen Collection G71.1-114)

Tacoma Public Library, (Chapin Bowen Collection G71.1-114)

This is a great photograph by Chapin Bowen who was active in Tacoma between 1927 and 1949. The image is part of the Chapin Bowen Collection in the Pacific Northwest Room at the Tacoma Public Library.

For a month in the winter of ‘29, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington provided electricity to the city of Tacoma. A drought brought the water levels down behind the city’s hydroelectric dams, and without water to drive the turbines, the city was low on power. The city shut electricity to the Cascade Paper Company’s tide-flat pulp mill. The mill laid off 300 men.

This photograph shows the ship at Baker Dock on the City Waterway (now named for Thea Foss). In a rain storm a brass band announced its arrival to a crowd at the dock. The drought had passed. The Lexington’s boilers produced a quarter of Tacoma’s power for about 30 days. The ship was lost during the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.

I made this print from the original negative in 1977 on a Kodak Ektalure paper, a warm toned chloro-bromide paper. The picture was taken less than 46 years before I made the gelatin silver print from the original negative, and now 42 years have elapsed since. Mt Rainier looms on the horizon. The sign reads, “North Coast Limited - One of America’s Fine Trains.” The North Coast Limited was operated by the Northern Pacific Railway between Chicago and Seattle via Bismarck, North Dakota. Tacoma was the western terminus of the Northern Pacific.

Todays Coolphoto 20190920

U.S.S. Lexington at Baker Dock, 1929 (Modern Silver)
Artist Chapin Bowen
Original Date 1929
Print Date 1977
Size 10x8
Format Silver
Edition 1
Stamp On Back
Price $625


Vintage prints are made within a year of the photographs create date. My usual practice is to print within a few days or weeks of exposure. What you see is a scan of the actual print that is for sale. Price does not include shipping or taxes.

Please note that vintage prints are imperfect. They’re old, after all. If you’re worried about it, bring it up. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Vintage - When I print the photograph within a year of the original exposure, that becomes a Vintage Print.
Archival Pigment - When I print in my studio using computer technology with pigmented inks on acid and lignin free paper, I call that an Archival Pigment Print.
Silver - When I print in my darkroom on gelatin silver paper, that is a Silver Print. These prints are double weight on a cotton fiber base.

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