Historical Rephotography

Lincoln Highway then and now example.
Lincoln Highway then and now example.

We attempted to relocate and rephotograph a number of historic scenes depicting the Lincoln Highway through Dugway Proving Ground and the surrounding region. These early-twentieth century photographs were obtained from the University of Michigan Library Special Collections Lincoln Highway Digital Image Collection. Image selection was based on visual aesthetics and identifiable topographic traits (distinct mountains, skylines, dunes, trees) that would aid in their relocation.

From the larger digital archive of some 3,000 Lincoln Highway images more than 160 photos were downloaded from the Dugway area, but only 19 were selected to be rephotographed. Of these, we were only able to reshoot 14 scenes. Four were not relocated and one was relocated but was along the Pony Express Route south of the project area. It is interesting to see the changes that have taken place over some 90 years, as well as what has remained virtually unchanged.

Rephoto written descriptions are also available on a non-Flash page.

Lincoln Highway Then and Now Example

The top photograph was taken along the 1919 route ca. 1923 and was taken looking west towards the north end of Granite Peak. Note- figures atop knob (upper left) likely taking photo lhc0521. The bottom rephotograph was taken from a similar location and viewpoint 86 years later. Although vegetated, the LH is visible on the ground and while the sign post is not standing, a short length of metal post was relocated and aided in aligning the photo retake.

Historical Image Photo Credit

Lincoln Highway Digital Image Collection
Transportation History Collection
Special Collections Library
University of Michigan

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