The William Ward Watkin negatives (with indices) that I discovered last week turn out to surpass even my wildest dreams. Here’s just the first example. Some of you will remember this striking photograph, which shows a rail car off to the right behind all the stone:
I talked about it here, puzzling about where the rail spur could have come from at such an early date.
What I didn’t know was that some of the Watkin photos actually show later construction. This isn’t an image of materials used for the Administration Building at all—it’s for the Physics Building! I found the notation in the index to the third (and last) folio–it’s number 44: “P. Stone piles,” taken on January 31, 1914. Since the spur was completed in 1913, it all suddenly makes sense.
But wait. Look at that next entry, for number 45: “Hoisting steel trusses from cars.” I held my breath and pulled it out. Holy. Smokes. That’s a beautiful picture of a rail car behind the power plant. It just doesn’t get any better than this.