Road Paving and Construction Projects in Virginia Photograph Album, 1916-1925
- Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
- Road Paving and Construction Projects in Virginia Photograph Album
- Collection No.:
- SC 0288
- 1 box, .31 Cubic Feet
- Language of the Material:
- The Road Paving and Construction Projects in Virginia Photograph Album, 1916-1925, comprises approximately 140 black-and-white photographs of road-paving projects in various Virginia locations including Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Scottsville, Norfolk, Goucester Point, and Ellerson.
[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Road Paving and Construction Projects in Virginia Photograph Album, 1916-1925, SC 0288, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.
Provenance information provided by the auctioneer suggests that this photograph album was once associated with Howard Hamilton Johnson (1894-1990). Johnson was a sales representative for Universal Atlas Cement Co., a division of U. S. Steel, for forty years prior to his retirement in 1959. He lived in the Washington, D. C. area from 1925 until 1981, when he moved to Harrisonburg.
The contracting firm Betts & Boice conducted the paving work in downtown Harrisonburg and Maloney Paving Company conducted the work on Rt. 20 between Scottsville and Charlottesville.
Scope and Content
The Road Paving and Construction Projects in Virginia Photograph Album, 1916-1925, comprises approximately 140 black-and-white photographs of road-paving and construction projects in various Virginia towns and cities. The photographs document the workers, many of whom are African American, inspectors, foremen, machinery and equipment, and trains and horses involved in the construction projects. Surrounding buildings, telephone lines, automobiles, and landscapes are also depicted.
Road paving and construction projects documented in the album include Downtown Harrisonburg, 1916; Ash Block Factory, 1917; Norfolk, 1919; Charlottesville, 1921 (likely documenting the paving of Rt. 20 between Charlottesville and Scottsville); Carter's Bridge in Albemarle County, 1922; Scottsville, 1922; Ellerson, 1924; Hanover, 1924; Pamunkey River, 1924; and Gloucester Point, 1924-1925. The bulk of the photographs appear to document road paving projects, but there are also examples of sidewalk and sewer construction.
Businesses and streetscapes present in the Harrisonburg pictures include Bloom's Dry Goods & Millinery (located on Main Street across from the First National Bank), Court Square, and the courthouse.
Most of the photos contained in the album are inscribed with their location and/or year of the project. Some include inscriptions of people's names and their titles.
The album also contains two photographs of unidentified men. One photograph is inscribed "Semper Fidelis - E. J." It is plausible that this is a photograph of Howard J. Johnson's brother Bernard Elwood Johnson, though this assertion is purely conjectural.
The photograph album remains bound and is arranged according to its original order.
Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The photo album was acquired at Jeffrey S. Evans and Associates' Winter Americana and Variety Auction on February 16, 2019.
Per the auctioneer's description, the photo album came from a private collection Red Hook, New York. Additionally, a provenance note provided by the auctioneer suggests that this album was associated with Howard Hamilton Johnson (1894-1990) who was a sales representative for Universal Cement, a division of U. S. Steel.
Genre and Form
- Photograph albums
- Roads -- Virginia -- Design and construction -- 20th century
- Pavements -- Virginia -- 20th century
- Road construction workers -- Virginia -- 20th century
- Harrisonburg (Va.) -- History
- Charlottesville (Va.) -- History
- Scottsville (Va.) -- History
- Norfolk (Va.) -- History
- Ellerson (Va.) -- History
"Paving Route 20 to Charlottesville," Scottsville Museum, https://scottsvillemuseum.com/transportation/homeRoll4Neg3A.html (accessed April 24, 2019).
Obituary for Howard H. Johnson, Daily News-Record, February 3, 1990.
"Begin Paving on Monday," Daily News-Record, July 22, 1916.
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