This blog has been a little quiet lately -- it actually takes more time than I expected to assemble a coherent article on Springfield's history. Plus, I'm a procrastinator.
I've recently been focusing on stereoviews, which were produced between 1850 and 1900, but were most popular in the 1870's. They are among the earliest photographic records of Springfield.
This was an exciting time in the city's history. Springfield nearly doubled in population from 1860 (11,766) to 1870 (26,703). Change was rapid - and it's always more fun to be expanding than contracting or stagnating.
Above is an example of a typical stereoview:
They consist of two nearly identical photos, taken with a slight offset, so that if you use a special viewer, the image will appear somewhat three-dimensional.
I just purchased that card, and its not yet in my possession, but it appears to be the aftermath of a fire in the Mass Mutual block downtown. It doesn't seem to be from any particular series, it was probably made special to capture the unique event.
One great benefit of stereoviews is that, for the most part, a "checklist" is included on the back, listing all cards from the series. As any collector knows, a finite goal is a good thing.
I hope you enjoy exploring the checklists, along with the history behind their subjects, as well as any available images. I have noted the article as a reference article, it will be updated from time to time as my collection grows.