Magic Lantern Slideshow - Tuskegee Institute
DescriptionA slideshow of 61 black and white, photographic, magic lantern slides depicting the Tuskegee Institute at the turn of the 20th century. This celebrated institution was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, who is featured in several of the images in this collection. There is some mystery about how this set of slides ended up in Grand Rapids. With no accession information or provenance, it is unclear if the slides were commercially available and were purchased by the Museum's Education Department like many others. In his book, African Americans in the Furniture City, Dr. Randal Jelks notes that Booker T. Washington visited Grand Rapids several times in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was well received here. He also mentions another possible connection, in that Grand Rapids Schools Superintendent William H. Elson visited the Tuskegee Institute in 1904 and considered it "a great trade school" that "would be a good thing for White students in the North" (Jelks, 47-53).