The Found Archive Of Charles Cushman

Charles W. Cushman gazes across the Grand Canyon in Arizona, November 1939

Charles W. Cushman gazes across the Grand Canyon in Arizona, November 1939 The Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection/Indiana University hide caption

itoggle caption The Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection/Indiana University

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In the 1990s, photo historian Rich Remsberg made a wonderful discovery: In a trove of boxes headed for the trash, he found a view of American history like he'd never seen it. That is, America in color, as early as 1938.

The photos Remsberg found had been separated from a much larger collection, housed at Indiana University. It had belonged to hobbyist photographer Charles W. Cushman. Fully reunified, the archive contains more than 14,000 photos spanning three decades we typically see in black and white — including one of the first known color photos of a freshly-painted Golden Gate Bridge.

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