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Gulf Coast Museum of Historical Photography

Museum of Historical Photography - Old photos
Matt Claiborne
Matt Claiborne
July 9, 2021

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Museum of Historical Photography curates treasured photographs of the area. The museum features wonderful exhibits of important historical photograph collections.

While shutterbugs will undoubtedly be fascinated by a visit to the museum, anyone interested in local history will delight in the stories these photographs tell.

MUSEUM WORK -- PHOTO RESTORATION‍

Gulf & Ship Island R.R. Engine #29

The museum honors pioneering photographers of the Gulf Coast. The museum restores old photos so that future generations can enjoy and be inspired by these historical photos. Often, older plate glass photos are damaged by age, neglect, and water damage.

The museum takes valuable historical photos and restores them digitally. First, digital scans of damaged plate glass photos are created. The technician then edits the digital copy to restore the photographer's original vision.

FEATURED LOCAL MISSISSIPPI PHOTOGRAPHERS‍

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Museum of Historical Photography celebrates several local artists. Here's a run-down of a few of them and what their work looks like.

WILLIS W. VAIL‍

Willis W. Vail is one such photographer. He was born in 1868, and his photos of the Mississippi Gulf Coast date from the late 19th century and early 20th century. As the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad manager, he took important photos or "views" of the waterfront under development. His photos focus on the pier, the railroad, and early Gulfport buildings.

WILLIAM HENRY JACKSON‍

Jackson was born in 1843 and began experimenting with photography at the age of 15. Throughout his life, he developed over 40,000 plate glass photographs. Jackson exposed 8 x 10 plates in Ocean Springs, Gulfport, Pass Christian, and Bay St. Louis between 1901 and 1906. He focused on the waterfront, trains, and buildings.

LEWIS HINE‍

Lewis Hine was a schoolteacher and photographer based in New York. He quit his job to work with the National Child Labor Committee as an investigative photographer.

In the Mississippi Gulf Coast, children commonly worked as laborers in the seafood industry. Children as young as three years were working long days with low wages without access to schooling. Children would peel shrimp and shuck oysters. Their days started as early as 4 am. Lewis Hine often had to take photos after the bosses had left for the day, as the supervisors opposed photographs of child labor. His essential work showcased the hardships facing young laborers.

States began passing child labor laws in the late 19th century, but it wasn't until 1938 that the Fair Labor Standards Act regulated child labor.

GULF COAST FISHING BOATS‍

The Schooner Boat

A variety of photographers took fabulous plate glass photos of boats working along the Gulf Coast. Schooners were famous amongst anglers in the late 19th century. The museum also hosts images of working catboats and luggers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

VISIT CURRENT EXHIBITIONS‍

The Museum of Historical Photography collaborates with a variety of locations to display its exhibits. As a result, you have noticed see some of their pieces as you tour the area.

JOHN C. ROBINSON EXHIBIT‍

The John C. Robinson Exhibit is dedicated to Colonel John C. Robinson, known as the Brown Condor. This photo exhibit is hosted at the Gulfport Museum of History, located in the historic Union Station Depot.

The exhibit includes photos of John C. Robinson's inspiring life. This Gulf Coast hero grew up during segregation. He was the first black student admitted to the Curtis-Wright School of Aviation in 1927. He became a national hero when he became the commander of the Ethiopian Air Corps in 1935. You can learn more about Robinson at the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum.

Kiln Public Library

KILN LIBRARY EXHIBIT‍

The Kiln Library has several restored photos on display.

WILLIS VAIL PHOTOS ON DISPLAY AT MARINE RESEARCH CENTER‍

The Willis Vail collection can be seen at the Port of Gulfport U.S.M./Navy Marine Research Center.

EDGEWATER MALL EXHIBITS‍

An extensive collection of historical photos is on display at Edgewater Mall.

U.S.M LIBRARY EXHIBIT‍

Three photographer's works are on display at the U.S.M. Visitors will find the works of William Henry Jackson, Willis Vail, and Lewis Hine.

MARITIME AND SEAFOOD INDUSTRY MUSEUM‍

Lewis Hine's photos are also on display at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum.

‍ENJOY HISTORIC GULFPORT, MS‍

Gulfport, MS, has a rich and varied history. Visiting museums is a great way to explore Gulfport and appreciate the area's culture. Check out our blog for more things to do in Gulfport, MS, for couples.

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