JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 433
Here's another in the Looking (Really) Closely at Prints series--actually they're more like a Inner Life of Prints series than anything, each mico-investigation leading to another entirely new world, each a new image, each a new view and vision, an orders-of-magnitude appreciation of one single object.
This photograph depicts a "human fly" making his untethered way up the side of a high rise in Manhattan (?), each foot of his success no doubt raising money for relief effort of American troops or displaced persons or orphaned children, probably in 1918.
Perhaps this is Mr. Harry G. Gardiner. the self-styled "human fly" who climbed many buildings in NYC and Boston and Philadelphia in 1918 and 1919. I cannot identify the church (Episcopal?) in the background, sorry to say (though I'm sure that this will be easy for someone to do). But I did have a very close and fairly thorough look at the crowd under some fair magnification, and found that not many were actually watching the climber. On the other hand how interesting can it be to watch someone climb a building--slowly--observing it from hundreds of feet away? I didn't see any kids, I don't think, and there are lots of people looking the other way. Its difficult not to try and put yourself in the very shoes of these people under the 'scope, trying to imagine what they were thinking, the heat of the sun on their boaters, the uncomfortable nature in general of wearing all of those clothes for the women, leaning against the black iron fence taking in the stubby sites of the graveyard next to the church....I stopped finally with the two guys in boaters (seen here in the enlargement, the original being just a specky bit at the rear of the cemetery at the back of the church, to the right), looking very comfortable and relaxed, one with his hands loosely clasped behind, the other perhaps pointing. Both are looking away from the climber, in the opposite direction, across the graveyard and above the gravestones. The sun caught their hats perfectly. They were enjoying a leisurely morning. There are hundreds and hundreds of these mico-scenes caught in this moment, their suggested fullness revealed only under magnification, like looking through a telescope, in a way, back into a frozen moment of time, yet another photonic jewel.