SINNEMAHONING STATE PARK
Wood on Glass - The Lumber Industry Photographs of William T. Clarke
William Townsend Clarke (1859-1930) was a self-employed photographer who, for thirty years during the late 1800s and early 1900s, documented the logging industry of north central Pennsylvania. At various times, he had studios in Galeton and Hull (now Conrad) in Potter county and Betula, McKean county. His photos provide a stark look at the workings of the lumber industry in north central Pennsylvania and a window into the lives of the lumbermen who worked the forests.
The gelatin dry-plate method of photography used by Clarke produced negative images on glass plates from which positive images on paper were printed. Approximately 1200 of Clarke’s glass plate negatives were stored in a barn in Betula where many were damaged or destroyed. Henry W. Shoemaker (1880 – 1958), director of The State Museum of Pennsylvania and the nation’s first official folklorist, rescued about 450 of the plates from the barn in 1922. They are now part of the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg.
A number of Clarke's photos are now on display at Sinnemahoning State Park as part of a small traveling exhibit on loan from the Lumber Heritage Region. Fifteen photos and accompanying information will be displayed in the Wildlife Center classroom through February 2012.
For more information on this event or for directions to the Wildlife Center, contact the Sinnemahoning State Park office at 814-647-8401.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks: (888) PA-PARKS (voice), (888) 537-7294 (TTY), (717) 558-2711 (local or international TTY), (800) 654-5984 (PA AT&T Relay Service). With at least three days notice, interpreters for people who are deaf or hard of hearing are available for educational programs. For more information visit our web site at www.dcnr.state.pa.us