Excitement appears through the magic of capturing an image and visitors to Delaware County Historical Society can experience that enchantment through seeing a projector, a Polaroid camera, a spy camera and even glass negatives showing pictures of how the county looked through Dr. Anna Broomall’s lens.
These artifacts and more are part of the “Another Glimpse of Delaware County’s History” exhibit currently on view in DCHS’s Museum Gallery.
Items in the display include a vintage GAF XL 128 movie camera and its carrying case, a Revere 90X 8mm portable movie projector as well as a dark green Colorpack II Land Camera, built and sold in 1969 by Polaroid highlighting the device’s color image capability.
Dating even earlier there is a No. 2 Brownie, which emerged into American culture in 1901. Manufactured by Eastman Kodak, both the No. 2 and its predecessor were created to build excitement in children over photography.
The Brownie helped fashion the idea of “snapshot” photography and through the use of a simple cardboard box and a meniscus lens, the No. 2 could produce 2 ¼-inch by 3 ¼-inch photos.
The No. 2 Brownie at DCHS was donated by Harry Lamb of Margate, N.J. on March 11, 1959.
Another Kodak camera featured in the display comes from G. F. Lindemer, the successor to Thamer Optician Kodak, a business that developed, printed and enlarged photos on their premises at 443 South Salina Street in Syracuse, N.Y.
Dr. Anna Broomall, who is legendarily known for her groundbreaking role and practices as a local obstetrician, was also noted for her photographic work which highlighted her interest in history. Having studied in Vienna and Paris, she assumed a chief resident physician at the Women’s Hospital in Philadelphia upon her return.
The glass slides in the Dr. Anna Broomall collection consist of pictures she had taken in Philadelphia, mostly in the Germantown and Center City sections, and in Delaware County, particularly in Chester.
When she retired from medicine, Broomall became the librarian and curator of Delaware County Historical Society.
In addition to this equipment and the Broomall slides, DCHS houses 6,000 to 7,000 photographs of people, places and things in the files in its Research Library.
The photography display, part of the larger exhibit, “Another Glimpse of Delaware County, in the Museum Gallery, as well as the collections in the Research Library, are accessible to all, at the home of DCHS, 408 Avenue of the States, Chester, PA. DCHS is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month. It is closed on Tuesdays. Please call 610-359-0832 or 610-872-0502 with any questions.
Appointments and tours of our Children’s Education Center are available upon request. Parking is free in the lot behind the building or across the street in the city’s municipal lot. Friends memberships are encouraged and donations are graciously accepted.
A film projector and film reels are part of the photography display in the "Another Glimpse of Delaware County's History" exhibit.
Come see equipment used in creating still and moving images from the past at Delaware County Historical Society!