This photograph was exposed on a glass plate negative. There are two types of glass plate negatives: collodion wet plate negative and the gelatin dry plate. Both techniques require a light-sensitive emulsion that is spread and fixed onto a glass plate. This method required a relatively long exposure—anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Imagine keeping a group of 5 year olds still for that long! See if you can spot some motion blur in this photograph due to movement that occurred during the exposure.
This photograph comes from the Emmanuel House lantern slide collection comprised of 87 slides dating from 1900 to 1914 that show children and activities of the Emmanuel House, a civic center and place of outreach run by the Young Men’s League of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, located at 131 Steuben Street in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. The majority of the photographs in this collection are group portraits of the clubs’ classes and recreational activities such as Kindergarten, Sunday school, sewing school, scouts, and baseball teams. To view more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org