Photographs have told the story of families and events since 1839. Last week, we asked readers to contribute some of their old family photographs. Three responses yielded some true photographic treasures and are featured today. Thanks to Sharon Pratt Wilbur, Louise Cheney and David Sandberg, who provided us with some great images.
Wilbur sent photos from the 1890s into the 1920s of life in Salt Lake City. Cheney shared with us a few of her father's color photos of downtown Salt Lake in 1951 — some 60 years ago. And Sandberg shared with us two photos of Ruby's Inn near Bryce Canyon in 1984, after it had burned to the ground. You can view other photos by viewing the gallery on this page.
To capture history you need to be at the right place and the right time — and sometimes at the wrong time. As a young man I remember the Abraham Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination or the young photo journalists who where just blocks away from the World Trade Center as planes crashed into the side of the tower.
Capturing moments in life and history is what the professional photographers of the Deseret News have done for the past 100 years. Their work for the past 10 years will be featured in next week's story.
Last year the Deseret News placed at the LDS Church History Library some three quarters of a million photos and negatives. The goal was to preserve them for history and protect them from deterioration.
As you move or as family members pass away, consider donating your photographs to the many institutions in the state that preserve our state and nation's history.
It is true they don't have room for everything, but too often valuable history has gone to the county landfill or was burned in a fire behind a home.
I recently talked to William Slaughter, a photo curator and archivist at the Church History Library. He said that the 1940s and 1950s are areas where their collections have holes. I am sure that Roy Webb at the University of Utah's Marriott Library, or Doug Misner at the Utah State Historical Society, would say the same thing.
We invite you to submit to us at UtahHistoryPhotos@gmail.com scans of photos of movies and TV productions being made in Utah. Movies have been made in Utah since about 1908. Recently, BYU Archivist James V. D'Arc put together a great history of moviemaking in Utah titled "When Hollywood Came to Town: The History of Moviemaking in Utah." If you have been on a TV or movie set, we would like to see your behind-the-scenes photos. Also, if you would like to find out a little more about the importance or value of your old photograph, send it to us.