Sunday, November 02, 2014

Dog That Didn't Bark Special - Volume Nine, No. Two - Why no Centennial Celebrations?

If you google these words, centennials "National Park Service" 3,120,000 hits come up. It seems the NPS is very excited, and spending a lot of tax payer dollars, to publicize its coming Centennial, promising even more, “Conservation and preservation.”

Merging these terms is a real mistake. The rupture between Gifford Pinchot, John Muir was percisely, exactly, over the issue of using the Hetch Hetchy, the Little Yosemite, as a reservoir. Muir, a Preservationist, lost. Pinchot, a Conservationist, won, as did the corporations who made fortunes on the flow of water into San Francisco. 

The issue of Hetch Hetchy helped determine the 1912 election, removing the opponent to this use of Hetch Hetchy, William Howard Taft, from the office of president.  Wilson, once elected, happily signed the bill allowing this to happen.   

Read the Time Line.

Could these two events have been overlooked because they occurred so early, seven and four years before the founding of the National Park Service?

Absurd. But as you read their websites they ignore the clear evidence long available online, together with the absolute absence of any mention of who the inventor of the use of film to increase public awareness of environmental issues and the  invention of a new technology. Those on line have been picked through Also, as mentioned previously, they received news releases along with everyone else.

Taking one National Park, Yosemite, as an example the subject of photographers is covered back to the first one, who photographed Yosemite for the first time in 1859. But wait, it is posited on these same 'official' sites there was a contender for this First. But nowhere is the name of such an individual mentioned.  Curious.  Perhaps a time traveler took along his cell phone?  The Miwok had cameras?  

The one who provably took the first photos died in 1902, was Charles Leander Weed. Weed was either hired by James Mason Hutchings, then the publisher of California Magazine, or his employer Robert Vance of San Francisco. According to some sources Charles L. Weed was to take a "Yosemite Panorama”. Today we cannot imagine an image with the dimensions of 10" x 14" being called a panorama. Then, it was a real improvement, however. 

This is what the writer is calling a Panorama.

Photo of Yosemite 10 x 14

This is a Panorama.

The Hetch Hetchy after it was dammed, you can see the reflections.
 This is not an issue of art, it is an issue of advances in technology.  So, let's be clear about what exactly is under discussion.   

These 14 x 10 enlarged scope photographs were to be added to the firm's stock and to provide a basis for engravings by Thomas Armstrong in the five articles which appeared in California Magazine.

It was hard to get to Yosemite in those days and a group of people, sponsored by Hutchings, with porters, went along. Included in the party was the Guide, Mrs Ewer, Miss Neil Hutchings, Ewer, and Weed. Cameras weighed 40 pounds and getting there took several days and a guide. This was a considerable expense, beyond the resources of most people. 

Weed arrived in Yosemite Valley around 9:30pm on June 17, 1859. During their 1851 – 1860. Photos were taken as everyone enjoyed the scenery, this going on for several days.

So, the confusion, or obfuscation, is not about these two distinct events in 1909 and 1912 alone. These were events which resulted in Pillsbury lecturing and showing his movies at every Town Hall in America and at all the major universities.  Pillsbury short subjects were also sold to Hollywood to be shown before the 'feature' film. 

Nature Movies take us to the wilderness without risk or cost and certainly impacted how people living in cities viewed the world of nature.  Lapse-Time films did the same.  These were not small, irrelevant events.  These technologies are still opening people's eyes today.  

There is more. That Dog is still not barking, but he will. Sign up to receive tomorrow's DTDB Special.  

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