Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sepia Saturday 116; hair


The prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday is Hair, and shows a man with a fine full beard, American painter William Morris Hunt.  The photo made me think of the gentleman above, who you won't recognize, so let me explain.

Long time readers of this blog know I like all things geology and this man is geological.  He is John Wesley Powell, soldier, geologist, second Director of the US Geological Survey, and leader of the Powell expedition, which made the first known passage of the Grand Canyon by boat. According to Wikipedia, "He was director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, where he supported linguistic and sociological research and publications."  This was later is life, and when I think this photo was taken.

The first passage of the Grand Canyon was made in 1869. He later went back in 1871-1872, this time with photographer J.K. Hilliers (imagine the conditions! with glass plate negatives!). They made the river run again, this time chronicling the journey in photographs.




Rapid at Canyon of Lodore, Green River. Head of Hell's Half Mile. Jones, Hillers, and Dellenbaugh in the Emma Dean at foot of rapid. Dinosaur National Monument. Moffat County, Colorado. June 1871.

My source for these photos: US Geological Survey Photo Library.

Edited to add:  If you are a regualr user of Facebook, you can keep up with me at my Facebook page,
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Viridian61/347674418583948#!/pages/Viridian61/347674418583948?sk=wall.  Just click on the link and 'like' me!

Viridian

15 comments:

Postcardy said...

He sure had a lot of travel adventures when he was young.

Kristin said...

Several people said my bearded 2x great grandfather reminded them of Lenin. This fellow reminds me of Rasputin.

barbara and nancy said...

And to think he did all that with only one arm. At least I think I read that some place. It does look like he's hiding that arm in the photo. Only one hand shows.
He was an amazing person.
Nancy

Rob From Amersfoort said...

Surveying the Grand Canyon for the first time must have been a dream come true for every geologist.

Karen S. said...

Absolutely do I ever remember the first time I saw the Grand Canyon, and I was so very lucky to see about every summer growing up. Nice post bringing back memories for me.

Bob Scotney said...

An interesting man with a fine beard.

Geology has been an interest of mine since I studied the subject as a subsidiary subject at St Andrews University under Professor Davidson, one of the men who exposed the Piltdown hoax.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

To be the first to document that river trip is really saying something. Thanks for giving us his background. Great post!

Kathy M.

Wendy said...

The Grand Canyon is so amazing -- can't imagine what it must have been like to see it by boat for the first time.

Bees Knees Daily said...

What an amazing experience he must have had to photograph the Grand Canyon so long ago. Wonder if he kept a diary?

Unknown Mami said...

In another life I could have been a geologist...fascinating.

Little Nell said...

Isn't it great the way a hairy prompt can lead to such an interesting story about a pioneer? So educational!

viridian said...

Bees Knees: he did keep a diary or journal and published it later.

imagespast said...

John looks like a very learned gentleman. It's nice to be able to zoom in on the pic and see his books and desk accessories :-) Jo

Tattered and Lost said...

It's funny that before I read your post I'd already determined he had to be a scientist. At some point I must have seen photos of Powell. Then again, he just looks like a scientist.

Mike Brubaker said...

The beard may have been Powell's mark of military service. Well into the 1900's there were many civil war vets with similar long whiskers. His trip down the Colorado is even more amazing considering the heavy wooden dories that they used.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails