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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Magic Lantern Slides
Magic Lantern Slideshow - Tuskegee Institute ➔ Tuskegee Institute Slideshow

This is a slideshow of 69 images taken in 1902 of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, now called Tuskegee University a private, historically black university in Tuskegee, Alabama. The school was founded by Booker T. Washington on July 4, 1881. 

The photographs used to create these slides were photographed by early American photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston on a visit to the school in 1902. The book, "Tuskegee and Its People: Their Ideals and Achievements," by Booker T. Washington, was published that same year and features some of these photos. The images capture the progress being made at the school and students performing their work-study programs in the trades including constructing school buildings, agricultural work on the school farm or domestic work.

At the school, in addition to the regular academic work, thirty-six industries were taught and are demonstrated throughout this collection of photos. Those were: Agriculture; Basketry; Blacksmithing; Bee-keeping; Brickmasonry; Plastering; Brick-making; Carpentry; Carriage Trimming; Cooking; Dairying; Architectural, Freehand, and Mechanical Drawing; Dressmaking; Electrical and Steam Engineering; Founding; Harness-making; Housekeeping; Horticulture; Canning; Plain Sewing; Laundering; Machinery; Mattress-making; Millinery; Nurse Training; Painting; Sawmilling; Shoemaking; Printing; Stock-raising; Tailoring; Tinning; and Wheelwrighting.

This slideshow was used by GRPM education staff as part of an outreach program for local schools.  The slides were loaned out as a teaching tool in the early-mid 20th century so educators could present slide by slide about the Tuskegee Institute and its students, its founder Booker T. Washington or its renown scientist and professor, George Washington Carver. 

circa 1902
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History was established in 1854 by a group of civic leaders, inspired by a movement sweeping the country. Followers of the Lyceum Movement believed that education, in the form of libraries, museums, lectures and discussions, and public schools, could help right the illnesses of society and preserve democracy.

In the early 1860s the Civil War had put a halt to the activities of the Lyceum. But in the summer of 1865, the war was over, and the enthusiasm of a group of teenage boys for new ideas about science and nature would bring the fledgling Museum back to life.

In 1868 the Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History and the Grand Rapids Scientific Club merged to form the Kent Scientific Institute. The new organization successfully combined the youthful enthusiasm of local high school students with the experience of prominent civic leaders to create a successful museum for their community.

In 1881, the Kent Scientific Institute reached an agreement with the Board of Education which allowed them to store their collections at Central High School.

In February of 1903, the Board of Education agreed to purchase the Howlett House, at the corner of Jefferson and Washington, to be the permanent home of the Kent Scientific Institute.

The "new" Grand Rapids Public Museum was built during the Great Depression with WPA funds from the Federal Government. The building itself was a radical departure from most contemporary museums, and was described by Museum Director Frank DuMond as "accessible as a dime store and friendly as your next door neighbor."

The Grand Rapids Public Museum began experimenting with planetarium equipment in the early 1960s, and hired its first curator for the new technology in 1964. The planetarium was eventually named after Grand Rapids astronaut Roger B. Chaffee, who was killed in the Apollo I disaster on January 27, 1967.

In 1989, the Grand Rapids Public Museum took over the management of the Voigt House in the Heritage Hill Neighborhood. The opulent home was built in 1895 and includes more than 100 years of the Voigt family's possessions.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum's current facility opened in 1994 on the west bank of the Grand River in the heart of downtown. It contains three floors of exhibits, the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, the Cook Carousel Pavilion, Meijer Theater, cafe, and gift shop.

Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington (born April 5, 1856, Franklin county, Virginia, U.S.—died November 14, 1915, Tuskegee, Alabama) was an educator and reformer, first president and principal developer of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University), and the most influential spokesman for Black Americans between 1895 and 1915.
(Source: Encyclopedia Britannica) 

Frances Benjamin Johnston
Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) was one of the first American women to achieve prominence as a photographer. Trained at the Académie Julian in Paris, she studied photography upon her return to Washington, D.C., in the mid-1880s and opened a professional studio circa 1890. Her family's social position gave Johnston access to the First Family and leading Washington political figures and launched her career as a photojournalist and portrait photographer. Some examples of her work include: photographs covering American world's fairs; coal mining; the White House; openings of Congress; Admiral Dewey; and Progressive era educational efforts, including a survey of Washington, D.C., schools and such minority educational institutions as the Hampton Institute and the Tuskegee Institute.
(Source: Library of Congress) 

Tuskegee Institute