2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 20, 2019 6:02 PM by Patrick Power

    Seeking source of Photograph Distribution

    Patrick Power Wayfarer

      For the last two years, I have been collecting photographs from families of the sailors with whom my father served aboard the USS Zircon (PY-16). I have had probably a hundred or so photographs come into my possession from several sources. It's been clear to me that several (or possibly all) of the sailors were getting the same photos, despite that overlap from person to person, so far, has been but a photo or two, but what I haven't been able to understand is how the photos were produced and distributed.

      For most of the commissioning of the Zircon, there were no Photographer's Mates on board (Photographer's Mate, WIlliam Patrick Shea, Jr., served from 27 January 1945 to 20 March 1945, and is the only one I've been able to find on muster rolls) whom I would expect would be charged with taking official Navy photos. I have photos from as early as what appears to be November of 1942 and as late as early 1946, with most others from (likely) August to October of 1945. So, SOMEbody else was taking official-ish photos that were somehow distributed to the other sailors.

      Today I received a bunch of photos from someone that helped clarify things a little. Just a little. I received four booklets with ten photos each, and there is a perforation at the binding that allows for the photos to be torn out. So, it appears that once the photos were taken, the film was dropped off to be processed and printed, with a booklet (or booklets) of photos POSSIBLY given to each sailor on board.

      The photos and booklets were produced by The Camera House, Inc. at 728 Lexington Avenue in New York, based on the imprint on the backs of the booklets. But HOW did this process happen. The store was in Manhattan between 58th and 59th Streets, not exactly next door to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, or near Staten Island, where (from what I can tell) the Zircon often made port.

      Pardon that long, rambling preamble to my question, but would documentation exist which include invoices regarding photographic services, or would such trivial matters not have been documented, much less archived?