Thursday, January 16, 2014

Frank Carpenter: World Traveler and Photographer

Over on the Facebook page for this blog I’ve been posting a series of pictures this week I’ve simply sourced as “Library of Congress”, but the source goes much deeper than that.  The pictures are wonderful depictions of world scenes beginning in the 1890s through the 1930s. I’ve featured some here.

The collection was put together by Frank and Frances Carpenter, a father-daughter team, during their world travels. The photos were used to illustrate his writings regarding travel and his world geography textbooks.

I love to snap pictures myself. Over the last five years I’ve taken approximately ten thousand photos, myself, but over his lifetime no telling how many photographs Frank Carter produced. The Library of Congress collection contains 5,400 photos in albums, 10,400 loose photos, and 7,000 glass and film negatives.
Frank Carpenter was a journalist whose assignments took him many interesting places.  Being a writing myself, I love the fact that he took his interest in travel and photography and more or less created a job for himself.

He took a trip around the world from 1888 to 1889. During that time he wrote a letter per week that was published in twelve different periodicals which led to more letter-writing travels.
Where can I get a job like that?

Not only were Frank Carpenter’s geography books used in schools for over 45 years, his writings helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography.
Carpenter died a millionaire, but not necessarily from his writing and photography. He used his money to invest heavily in real estate in the Washington D.C. area, and at one point was then able to fund his world travels and photography “habit” on his own terms.

Frank Carpenter died in China during his third trip around the world.

Use the “like” button above in order to join the history conversation on Facebook and view more of Carpenter’s fantastic images.

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