Solomon D. Butcher: Photographing the American Dream

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9780803214040: Solomon D. Butcher: Photographing the American Dream
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For millions of Americans, Solomon D. Butcher’s photographs epitomize the sod-house frontier. His late-nineteenth-century images from western Nebraska constitute the most extensive photographic record in existence of the generation that settled the Great Plains. The faces are unforgettable: jaunty bachelors and earnest husbands, Civil War veterans of both armies, spinster sodbusters and determined mothers, cowhands, farmhands, and former slaves—all in search of land of their own. Originally published in 1985, this first book devoted to Butcher and his photographs presents a unique visual chronicle of Great Plains settlement and established Butcher’s place in frontier photography. Everyone interested in the plains pioneers or historical American photography will prize this splendid book.

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About the Author:

John E. Carter (1950–2015) was a senior research historian at the Nebraska State Historical Society and is the coauthor, with Richard E. Jensen and R. Eli Paul, of Eyewitness at Wounded Knee (Nebraska, 1991).

From Publishers Weekly:

Dugouts and sod houses were the only shelter for homesteaders in the 1870s and '80s on railroad and government land grants of the Nebraska plains. Twenty years later, there were frame houses, farm machinery, even automobiles and an emerging Main Street here and there. S. D. Butcher, a self-confessed pioneer failure who, happily, was successful at photography, recorded it all. In this vibrant collection of Butcher pictures from the University of Nebraska files, we see, for the most part, family portraits with farm and ranch backgrounds, but there are also schoolchildren, skating parties, rodeos, pretty cowgirls, and pelts nailed to the barn door. Carter's text, and quotes from regional authors, retrace the story of heartland America. The high quality of the reproductions from antique glass negatives helps make this a superb portrait of a bygone time. December 6
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780803260382: Solomon D. Butcher: Photographing the American Dream

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ISBN 10:  0803260385 ISBN 13:  9780803260382
Publisher: Bison Books, 2016
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