Our indexer Lisa has finished describing the Howard J. Thompson — Jessen’s Weekly Photograph Collection which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives. Here’s what she has to say:
These 41 black and white photographs were taken by Jim Ogden with a Rolleicord camera in April, 1954. Jim was an amateur photographer that was stationed with Howard J. Thompson in the 449th Fighter Squadron at Ladd Field, and Howard had purchased the camera from Germany for him to use. The photos are mostly of the machinery used for publishing Jessen’s Weekly, a newspaper of interior Alaska published in Fairbanks, Alaska. Jessen’s Weekly was published from January 23, 1942-August 25, 1968, when it was absorbed by Jessen’s Daily.
When I was first diving into this collection of photos, I was a bit daunted by all of the printing industry machinery that was depicted in the photos. I have no knowledge of the printing industry, nor of newspaper publishing in general, and wondered how I would begin to describe all the fascinating-looking pieces in this collection. Nonetheless, once I looked closely at each photo, I began to see clues that drew me in and nudged me to do further research. Who knew that a simple plate on a machine could lead to finding the type of machine, its purpose, and/or its manufacturer? Or that a “galley tray” is not something from the kitchen of a ship, at least not in the printing industry? From the “Model K” Linotype machine, which could set a whole line of type, to the “Little Giant” created by American Type Founders in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the print enthusiast will find much of interest in this collection. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!