Below is a collection of photos produced from glass negatives masterfully taken a century ago by George F. Slade Jr. - an incredible Chelsea, Massachusetts photographer. His father George Sr. was a pioneer photographer in the earlier days of daguerreotype and wet plate photography. George Jr. operated his photography / "Slade Art Studio" on Broadway in Chelsea, which was later maintained by his son Wesley until the 1960's.
In 1908, George Slade's studio was destroyed by the "Great Chelsea Fire" when on Palm Sunday, eighteen miles of streets were burned, thirteen churches, eight schools, the Frost Hospital, library, post office, YMCA, City Hall, four newspapers, and the Board of Health Building were destroyed. In all, 3,000 buildings were destroyed and 18,000 residents were left homeless. Having a young family of 2 children, most residents of the town had little use for a studio photographer. During that time, George traveled the country capturing thousands of landscape images that were commercially produced into 6X8 framed silver gelatin "Art Prints" and picture post cards. He traveled as far as California, preserving distant agriculture, mining towns, and prarie families. George also captured "Photo Stories" of children's play, young lovers - "practing mild lust", and young men practicing their marriage proposal. George is most famous for his numerous landscapes of Lake Sunapee and the surrounding countryside in New Hampshire. Back home, George photographed the rebuilding of Chelsea as depicted in several photos of the local post office below.