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Posted on 10/08/2009


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Old Photographs Old Photographs



Keywords

1912
Sepia
Photographer
African American Man
Vintage Portraiture
Michael Francis Blake


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Michael Francis Blake

Michael Francis Blake
He opened one of the first African-American photography studios in Charleston, South Carolina.

Born in 1850 in Needham, Massachusetts, Francis Blake spent his formative years as a scientist on the United States Coast Survey and Darien Exploring Expedition from 1866 to 1874. After this valuable experience, Blake began to experiment with early telephone technology, heating systems, and perhaps most telling, photography. He purchased his first camera in 1884, and soon after that he began to take a wide range of stop-action images of trains, pigeons, horses, and other subjects. Blake spent the next three decades taking thousands of photographs in this vein, and he was primarily concerned with the technical and scientific challenges of photography, rather than any artistic elements. He died in 1934. [Photo: Michael Francis Blake Photographs, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University] [Bio: Massachusetts Historical Society]

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