While historic material relating to living on wheels forms the heart of our collection, we see that focus less as confining bookends and more as a solid embarkation point for continuing adventures in hunting and gathering. We often acquire material that helps define an era or a design style, and very often that continues along the themes of transportation and architecture, though not always.
One oddly connected, era-defining collection we acquired was nearly 14,000 large format negatives, circa 1940-1970, from a commercial photographer here in Philadelphia who was about to retire. His old studio was fascinating, with a giant camera on narrow gauge railroad tracks and one large room that was the inside of another camera. We bought flat files and light tables and gew gaws and jim cracks… and lots and lots of negs.
After gathering dust on shelves out of sight, way in the back of Lost Highways, a determined intern went through them and separated them into categories. Lots of product images, portraits of politicians and corporate bigwigs, a little burlesque, a little science, and odd categories like WWII ordnance displays. Out of the daunting morass, there appeared 25 negatives shot from the portfolio of a futuristic illustrator who signed his name RADEBAUGH.
- Radebaugh: The future we were promised @ losthighways.org