Skip to main content

IronWorks Glass Plate Photos

By October 21, 2013General Posts

Today, we are reposting this great topic from IronWorks’ own Sam Kanish. Make sure to hit the IronWorks banner below to view more glass plate photos on the IronWorks blog. There’s much more motorcycle goodness in the printed pages of Ironworks; subscribe today.

Scan2MCFotoFlexer_Photo-455x580While the H-D Museum’s new show “Exposed! Lost Photos from 1915-16” that were taken on glass plates opened on Friday  October18th , it isn’t the only collection of images of motorcycles captured on glass plate negatives. That’s right a certain “IronWorker” has a very small collection of prints that came from a camera that used the glass plate technology. I don’t have an exhibit hall to hang my pictures but I am willing to occasionally share them online. See below.

About 30 some years ago my friends Carol and Ed French, who were photography buffs and collectors, bought a box of glass plate negatives at a yard sale. While they were examining them they found that several had images of motorcycles on them. At the time I was just starting to get into 35mm photography and Carol, who ran the local camera store, was trying to teach me how to use all the functions on my new Canon A-1.

Scan1FotoFlexer_Photo-532x580Carol knew I rode motorcycles so she asked me if I’d like a set of prints from the plates. Of course I said yes and was delighted a couple days later when she gave me the images. I was surprised at how well the images transferred from the old plates. A secondary reason for giving me the copies were that they thought I might be able to date the photos, know where they were taken and who the people in the pictures were.

Looking at the images I was able to tell her that it was an Indian Motorcycle (OK, I cheated and saw Indian on the gas tank) and that the bike was probably pre-WW I era. I didn’t recognize either the sites or people in the pictures. Maybe one of you will be able to shed some light. The best part about my collection is that you don’t have to go to Milwaukee to see it, but if you have a chance I think I’d go see the Harley Museum’s collection. I’m sure it’s more extensive than mine.

Images and post: Sam Kanish