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KNX logo Allen Ayrault Green Photograph Collection (Knox College)

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The Allen Ayrault Green Photograph Collection

Allen Ayrault Green (1880-1963) left to Knox College a set of glass plate negatives from which this collection is produced. Most of the images in this collection are contact prints made from the glass plates by various people over the decades since he created the pictures. The photographs span only a short period of his interest in photography, from the late 1890s to about 1910.

 

Allen Green Photography stamp

Allen Ayrault Green's studio stamp.

As a young man living in Galesburg, Illinois, Green practiced the craft of photography by taking pictures of neighbors, friends and family, events at Knox College (he was a student at Knox College from 1899 to 1901), and goings-on in the city of Galesburg and surrounding areas. People are the subjects of most of the photographs in this collection, although pastoral landscapes and activities surrounding coal mining around the now vanished town of Etherley in Knox County, Illinois are numerous.

 

In the 1902 Galesburg city directory, Green was listed as an author and artist by profession, rather than as a photographer. This collection reflects that focus and includes photographs used as illustrations to accompany several books Green authored and self-published: The Making of a Steam Engine; Being Merely an Illustrated Story of a Trip Through the Frost Manufacturing Company's Plant Located at Galesburg, Illinois; My Painted Tree and Other Poems; and Rhymes of the Woods. Green had many more photographs published in his lifetime in magazines and newspapers. He was an ardent self-promoter with his books and photographs, even using photography to expound on the new technology of x-rays.

 

Green pursued his own interests in photography making some income from work as a professional photographer in addition to his book publications. Green held the position of official photographer at the University of Chicago for a time around 1900 while he was a student there. He was also employed in 1904 as the photographer for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company when he took a widely publicized picture by creating a rig to have the train take its own picture while it was running 60 miles per hour.

 


Please send any comments or questions about the materials in the project to archives@knox.edu

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