The high-quality photos depict employees on the roof of D.B. Loveman’s Department Store between 1898 and 1900, posing against a downtown Chattanooga skyline.
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Picnooga, a local online history organization, recently obtained a large collection of more than 400 glass plate negatives depicting life in the early 1900s in Chattanooga. A series of photographs from the collection has been previously released by Nooga.com. Click here and here for more stories on this collection.
According to the Retronaut article, the photographer was Charles Gustavus Walline, who was an employee of Loveman’s at the time the photos were taken. The article suggests the photos were “apparently colleagues on their lunch breaks.”
Picnooga founder David Moon said these are special because they offer a rare glimpse into the leisure lives of employees at the time.
“I think Retronaut chose this set from Picnooga’s collection … because they illustrate that people haven’t changed much from over a century ago,” he said. “Humans have always been adventurous and playful, such as getting the maintenance guy to unlock the door to your employer’s rooftop during a work break for a few photos. No doubt these pics would have been posted to Instagram if Instagram was invented 118 years ago.”
The Retronaut article includes 11 high-quality scans. Most depict individuals posing in front of the Dome Building. The Loveman’s Building is located at 800 Market St. in Chattanooga.
Updated @ 2 p.m. on 4/7/16.