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Letter from Otto Ringling, October 26, 1907
Otto Ringling (1858–1911) was the son of a German immigrant who, with his brothers Albert, Alfred, Charles, John, August, and Henry, created the Ringling Bros. circus empire in the late 19th century. The brothers bought the competing Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1907. They ran the circuses separately at first, but merged them in 1919 to create the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which came to be known as “the Greatest Show on Earth.” This letter, written by Otto to his brothers in October 1907, details how the assets ...
Tokareva House, Built around 1900, Detail of Main Facade, Perm', Russia
This view of the main façade of the Tokareva house at No. 67 Kirov (formerly Permskaia) Street in Perm' was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Established in the 1720s as a factory settlement on the middle reaches of the Kama River, Perm' (so named in 1781) is one of Russia's largest cities. Before the 1917 revolution, Perm’ was the center of a large and prosperous merchant community ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
William “Buffalo Bill” Cody
William Fredrick “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846–1917) was at different times a trapper, miner, Pony Express rider, scout, wagon master, stagecoach driver, legislator, and Civil War soldier. He earned his nickname, Buffalo Bill, because of his skill in supplying the Kansas Pacific Railroad with buffalo meat for its workers; in 18 months, he killed more than 4,000 buffalos. In 1883, he started the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Omaha, Nebraska, using cowboys and Native Americans to portray scenes from the West. The show recreated daring rescues, heroic ...
Church of the Ascension (St. Theodosius) (1903-10), Southwest View, Perm', Russia
This southwest view of the Perm' Church of the Ascension in the name of St. Feodosii was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Established in the 1720s as a factory settlement on the middle reaches of the Kama River, Perm’ (so named in 1781) is one of Russia's largest cities. Before the 1917 revolution, the city's merchant community gave substantial donations for church construction. The donor for ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Representatives of the First Iranian Parliament
This photograph shows the representatives of the first Iranian Majles (parliament) in front of the military academy, which served as the first parliament building. In the 1870s–early 20th century, leading political figures in Iran concluded that the only way to save country from government corruption and foreign manipulation was to make a written code of laws, an attitude that laid the foundation for the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905–7. The movement for a constitution bore fruit during the reign of Muẓaffar ad-Dīn Shah of the Qajar dynasty, who ...
Map of the Dominican Republic
The division of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola into the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic and French-speaking Haiti goes back to the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697, under which Spain transferred the western third of what was then the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo to France. In the Treaty of Aranjuez of 1777, the French and Spanish empires defined precisely the border between their respective territories on the island. Part of the present-day border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic still follows the line negotiated in 1777, but adjustments to the border ...
Costa Rica - from Official and Other Sources
This 1903 map of Costa Rica was published by the International Bureau of the American Republics (instituted in 1910 as the Pan American Union), an agency established in 1890 in Washington D.C., by resolution of the International Conference of American States. The bureau issued handbooks, maps, and a monthly bulletin for disseminating information relating to the promotion of trade among the countries of the Americas.  The map shows physical features, such as rivers, lakes and mountains, international and provincial borders, and the routes of steamship lines from the port ...
Cuba
This detailed map of Cuba was published by the Rand McNally Company of Chicago in 1904. It shows provinces, principal cities and towns, and the 18 railroads then in operation in the country. The six provinces are indicated by different colors. A large inset map in the upper right shows the port and city of Havana; the key at the bottom of the main map indicates points of interest in Havana. Smaller inset maps depict Port Matanzas; Cardenas and Santa Clara Bays; the Port of Cienfuegos; and the Port of ...
El Salvador - from Official and Other Sources
This 1903 map of El Salvador was published by the International Bureau of the American Republics (instituted in 1910 as the Pan American Union), an agency established in 1890 in Washington D.C., by resolution of the International Conference of American States. The bureau issued handbooks, maps, and a monthly bulletin for disseminating information relating to the promotion of trade among the countries of the Americas. The map shows the capital city of San Salvador; the capitals of departments and other important cities; international and departmental borders; submarine cables, telegraph ...
British Guiana
This map, prepared and printed in 1908 at the office of the Ordnance Survey, Southampton, United Kingdom, provides a relatively detailed view of the geography of British Guiana (present-day Guyana), one of only two British colonies on the mainland of South and Central America (the other being British Honduras). A note indicates that the portion of the map north of 5° North latitude is from a map prepared by the government surveyor of British Guiana, while the remainder of the map “has been compiled from various sources and is less ...
Telegram from Orville Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to His Father Announcing Four Successful Flights, 1903 December 17
At approximately 10:35 in the morning on December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first powered, controlled, and sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet (37 meters). Orville and his brother Wilbur made three more flights that day, the longest of which covered 852 feet (260 meters) in 59 seconds. With this telegram, sent from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the late afternoon of the same day, Orville informed their father of the achievement. The text reads: “Success four flights this ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Bird's Eye View of Cumberland, Maryland 1906
This panoramic map shows Cumberland, Maryland, as it appeared in 1906. Located on the Potomac River in the western part of the state, Cumberland was an important transportation hub early in the nation’s history. It was the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, built between 1828 and 1850 to link the Ohio River with Chesapeake Bay. It was the starting point of the National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road), on which construction began in 1811, and which ran westward to Vandalia, Illinois. Cumberland later became ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Study for Woolworth Building, New York
On April 24, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button in Washington, DC, that first illuminated the more than 5,000 windows in the 60-story Woolworth Building, the tallest building in the world at that time. Located on Broadway in lower Manhattan, New York City, the building was a triumph of American construction technology and architectural prowess. Known as "the Cathedral of Commerce," it was clad in gleaming architectural terra-cotta, with a gilded roof ascending to 793 feet (233 meters). Shown here is a sketch elevation of the building by ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Gribushin Mansion, Built around 1900, Perm', Russia
This view of the Gribushin House at No. 13 Pokrovskaia (now Lenin) Street in Perm' was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Established in the 1720s as a factory settlement on the middle reaches of the Kama River, Perm’ (so named in 1781) is one of Russia's largest cities. Before the 1917 revolution, the city was the center of a prosperous merchant community in which the Gribushins were ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
At the Universal Peace Congress in Stockholm
The Universal Peace Congresses were international meetings to promote peace that took place in different European capitals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The congresses established liberal pacifism as a distinct system of thought in European politics and a serious force in international relations for several decades. Religious peace groups, labor organizations, government officials, authors, and other notables attended these congresses, whose attendance grew until World War I, when they were discontinued because of conflicting loyalties among the delegates. The first notable peace congress was held in London ...
A Dream Play
August Strindberg (1849–1912) was one of Sweden’s most important writers. From the 1870s until his death, he was a dominant figure in Swedish literary circles. Internationally, he is known for his plays. Strindberg grew up in Stockholm and studied at Uppsala University. From 1874 to 1882 he worked at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm. It was there that he acquired much of his considerable knowledge of cultural history and literature. His breakthrough came in 1879 with publication of the novel The Red Room. Strindberg traveled extensively ...
Views of Great Tibet
These handwritten notes accompany a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society on August 2, 1904. The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, who visited Tibet in 1900 and 1901. The notes were written in Russian for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society by Tsybikov, Norzunov, and other Mongolians familiar with central Tibet. Alexander Grigoriev, corresponding member of the American Geographical Society, translated ...
Lhasa from the East
“Lhasa from the East” is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In the background and nearly in the center of this photograph is the "iron mountain" Ch'agpori (also seen as Chagpori, Chiakpori, Chapori, Chakpori, Chaga, or Chag-pa hill in other sources) with the Man-ba Ta-ts'an (also seen as Man-bo-datsang or Vaidurya Ta-tsan), where Tibetan medicine was taught. On the right in the photograph is the hill Marpori with ...
Sera Monastery
This general view of Sera monastery from the south is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. The monastery consists of very high buildings, with three gilded temples. The 1899 edition of The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism by L.A. Waddell states that it is called "Ser-ra, or the 'Merciful Hail.' It is said to have been so named out of rivalry to its neighbour, 'The rice-heap' (De-pung), as hail ...
Tibetan Manor
“Tibetan Manor” is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In the center of the photograph is a Tibetan manor, located near the Ch’agla pass. The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, who visited Tibet in 1900 and 1901. Accompanying the photos is a set of notes written in Russian for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society by ...
Tibetan Women
“Tibetan Women” is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. The photograph shows two Tibetan women of the lower class, walking barefoot, carrying loads on their backs. W.W. Rockhill, in his 1890 edition of Tibet, states: "Tibetan women are robust and the men weak, and one may frequently see women performing in the place of their husbands the socage services which the people owe. As a consequence (of the superior ...
Lhasa, Royal Monastery of Tengye-ling from Southeast
This view from the southeast of the Royal Monastery of Tan-gye-ling (also seen as Tangia Ling, Tangye-ling, or Tan gye Ling in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. Tan-gye-ling was the monastic palace of Demu-khutuktu (also known as Demohutuktu), the late regent. In the distance are the “iron mountain,” Ch'agpori (also Chagpori, Chiakpori, Chapori, Chakpori, Chaga, or Chag-pa hill) on the left and the Dalai Lama ...
Lhasa, Chagpori (Iron Mountain) from Northwest
This northwestern view of Ch'agpori, the “iron mountain” (also seen as Chagpori, Chiakpori, Chapori, Chakpori, Chaga, or Chag-pa hill in other sources), is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. Houses are visible along the ridge. In his 1890 edition of Tibet, W.W. Rockhill writes: “Houses in Tibet are generally several-storied stone buildings, all the rooms of a storey being of equal size, the largest ones on the middle ...
Lhasa, Amban's Yamen (Residence of Chinese Official) from Southeast
This view of the residence of the Amban (a Chinese official), seen from the southeast, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. The duty of the Amban, according to J. Deniker in his 1903 article “New light on Lhasa, the forbidden city,” was “to watch over the Dalai Lama, the latter being nominally under subjection to China.” Deniker notes that the “house is a very modest dwelling, surrounded by walls ...
Lhasa, Ruins of Donkar-jong Castle
This view of the ruins of Donkar-jong castle on a hillside is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. According to the photographer’s notes, Donkar is a village on the route from Lhasa to Tashi-lhumpo (also seen as Tashi-lhunpo in other sources), about five miles (eight kilometers) to the west of Lhasa. The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O ...
Lhasa, Chja shi tan, Fortified Chinese Camp
This view of Ch’ja shi tan, a fortified Chinese camp (also seen as Chja shi tan in other sources), is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. According to the photographer’s note, Ch’ja shi tan was a fortified camp of the Chinese garrison of Lhasa in the vicinity of the town Dabchi on A-K's plan of Lhasa. (“A-K” refers to Pandit Kishen Singh, a legendary explorer of ...
Lhasa, Kunduling Monastic Palace from Southeast
This southeastern view of the Kunde-ling monastic palace (also seen as Kunduling or Kontia Ling in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. The abbot of this monastic palace was regent (gyel bo or gyal-tsab) at the time of the 1882 visit to Lhasa by Sarat Chandra Das, who described passing the residence of the regent in his 1902 edition of Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet: “. . . we ...
Yaks in the Pasture
This photograph, showing domesticated yaks in a Tibetan pasture with people nearby, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In his 1891 edition of The Land of Lamas, W.W. Rockhill writes of the Tibetans: "They are shrewd and enterprising traders, and able to hold their own even with the Chinese, to whom they sell large quantities of lambskins, wool, yak-hides, musk, furs (principally lynx and fox skins), rhubarb and ...
Samye Monastery
This southern view of the Samye monastery (also seen as Sam-ye or Sam-yai in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. G.Ts. Tsybikov wrote in his article “Journey to Lhasa” of 1904: “The Sam-yai monastery is on the left bank of the Brahmaputra, 67 miles south-east of Lhasa. It is the oldest in Tibet, having been founded in the ninth century. Its five-storied sume (temple), of which ...
Ruins of the De-chen jong Castle
This view of the ruins of the De-chen jong castle, seen atop a large hill (also called De-ch’on jong in other sources), is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. According to the photographer’s note, the castle ruins were on the way from Lhasa to the Gah-Idan monastery (also seen as Gah-Dan). The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe ...
Hermitage in Gechen
This photograph shows a view of a hermitage called Gechen (also seen as G'ech'en-ritod or Gechen-ritod in other sources). The hermitage is built into the top of a remote hillside located to the north of the Sera monastery. In his 1904 article “Journey to Lhasa,” G.Ts. Tsybikov wrote that the “Sera monastery is . . . renowned for its ascetics, who live isolated in their ritods, or cells, plunged into contemplation.” The photograph is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian ...
Yarba Ritod Hermitage
This photograph shows the scattered and secluded buildings of the Yarba Ritod hermitage, located along the route from Lhasa to the Gah-Idan (or Gah-Dan) monastery. The famous Buddhist teacher, philosopher, and guru Padma Sambhava is said to have lived in a cave at the hermitage for some time. In Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet (1902), Sarat Chandra Das writes: “We reached the cell of Padma Sambhava, near which is a chapel called the Upper Lha-khandg of Shetag. The keeper led us to a heavy door under a huge rock ...
Lhasa, Chagpori (Iron Mountain) from Southeast
This photograph shows the “iron mountain” Chagpori (also seen as Ch’agpori, Chiakpori, Chapori, Chakpori, Chaga, or Chag-pa hill in other sources) in Lhasa, viewed from the southeast. It is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. According to the 1903 article “New light on Lhasa, the forbidden city,” by J. Deniker, “The building on the top of the Chagpori mountain is the Man-ba Ta-ts'an [Man-bo-datsang], a monastery where 'the ...
Monument near Gadan
This view of a monument near Gah-Idan (or Gadan) monastery is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. According to the photographer’s note, the monument was erected by the living (thirteenth) Dalai Lama on the spot where he is supposed to have dedicated some relics of the Tibetan religious philosopher and teacher of Buddhism, Tson-kha-pa (also seen as Tsongkhapa, Tson-k'apa, or Tsongk'apa in other sources). In The Land ...
Kichu River West of Lhasa
This view of the Kichu River, west of Lhasa, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. The Kichu River is also called Kyii ch'u, KyiI, and Kyi-chu in other sources. The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, who visited Tibet in 1900 and 1901. Accompanying the photos is a set of notes written in Russian for ...
Lhasa, Potala Palace from South-Southwest
This southwestern view of Potala (the palace of the Dalai Lama) in Lhasa is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. This image was taken by G.Ts. Tsybikov during the festival he calls Ts'og Ch'od (also seen as Tsog Chod in other sources and called Sung ch'o in Tibetan) celebrated on the 29th day of the second moon of the Tibetan year. Two huge pictures hang on ...
Gyantse Jong (Gyangze), General View of Town
This photograph showing the town of Gyantse (also seen as Gyangze, Gangtse, or Gyangtse in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In his 1904 article “Journey to Lhasa,” G.Ts. Tsybikov wrote: “[I]n the valley of the Nian-chu, stands one of the oldest towns of Tibet, Gyangtse, advantageously situated for trade with India. Carpets and cloth are made in this spot, widely renowned for its immense ...
View of Town of Tsetan (Zetang)
This view of the town of Tsetan (also seen as Chetan, Chethang, Tse-tang, or Zetang in other sources), viewed here from the west, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In his 1904 article “Journey to Lhasa,” G.Ts. Tsybikov wrote: “The town of Tsetan stands 20 miles east of the [the Sam-ye monastery], on the right bank of the Brahmaputra, at its junction with the fertile valley of the ...
Sera Monastery
This photograph showing the principal shrines of the Sera monastery, seen from the east, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism (1899), L.A. Waddell writes: “The temples and houses of Sera stand on a slope of the mountain-spur, planted with hollies and cypresses. At a distance these buildings, ranged in the form of an amphitheatre, one above the other, and standing out ...
Lhasa, Residence of the State Sorcerer
This photograph of Na-ch'un, the residence of the state sorcerer in Lhasa, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society.  On the left side of the photograph is the Drepung monastery. In The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism (1899), L.A. Waddell writes: “Every orthodox monastery in Tibet, even of the most reformed sects, keeps or patronizes a sorcerer, and consults him and follows his dictates upon most matters; and ...
Lhasa, Gadan Kansar Palace, the Old Palace
This view of the Gadan Kansar Palace in Lhasa (also seen as Gadan-Khangsar in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In the article “New light on Lhasa, the forbidden city” (1903), J. Deniker writes: “Among other curious buildings in Lhasa, Norzunof was able to photograph the ancient palace of the kings of Tibet. This is falling into ruin, but is still occupied by private persons. The eastern ...
Lhasa, Marpori (Red Mountain) and Potala from the South-Southeast
This photograph shows Marpori (red mountain) and Potala, the palace of the Dalai Lama, in Lhasa, viewed from the south-southeast. It is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In the 1901 article “Lhasa,” T.H. Holdich writes: “Potala derives its chief interest from the fact that it is the residence of the head of all the great Buddhist hierarchy, the Dalai lama, who is represented in the flesh by a ...