EPB has helped acquire eight images, six of which have become the foundation of an ongoing local black history collection. The goal is to collect local photos and items for the collection.
The first six photographs added to the collection were original photos taken by legendary Chattanooga photographer W.H. Stokes. The photos are dated to about 1890 and offer a glimpse into the working life and leisure of blacks living in Chattanooga at the time.
Click here to view the new collection.
The other two photos acquired—available here and here—are landscapes from the same collection. The first photo shows Market Street circa 1890, and the second is a view of the bluff from under the Walnut Street Bridge.
In January, organizers with Picnooga discovered more than 400 glass plate negatives as part of an online auction. They allowed the public to "adopt" the photographs for a fee, with each donor receiving a high-quality scan of a photo from the collection in return.
The campaign was a success, and they were able to acquire the entire collection based on donations alone.
Click here to view a part of that collection.
"EPB had offered to sponsor the last batch of glass plate negatives," said David Moon, founder of Picnooga. "Instead, they sponsored the acquisition of this starter collection. We're hoping that other companies will step up and sponsor collections as well."
Kelvin Boyd, community relations specialist at EPB and Professor Gig-A-Watt, helped coordinate EPB's Black History Month poetry contest.
"EPB is proud to support the efforts to preserve our community's history," Boyd said. "The pictures tell the stories of people who made significant contributions to our community and culture, which we hope will inspire younger generations to further these accomplishments in the years ahead."
Updated @ 12:27 p.m. on 2/29/16.